Blackboard: LTI Integration
Blackboard Integration with Acrobatiq
This guide describes how to configure Blackboard for use with the Acrobatiq platform. The Blackboard integration uses LTI (learning tools interoperability) to authenticate students to the Acrobatiq platform and a custom building block to report student scores from Acrobatiq to the Blackboard gradebook. The setup process requires administrator access to Blackboard and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Part 1: Add Acrobatiq as an LTI Tool Provider
Acrobatiq uses the LTI standard for one-click access from Blackboard. LTI enables users to securely access Acrobatiq courseware without creating an account, signing in, or registering for a course. The Acrobatiq platform is role aware. Users’ roles in Acrobatiq will match their roles in Blackboard. Instructor-only features (such as Course Settings and Gradebook) are available only to users enrolled in Blackboard with the instructor role.
Additional setup is required to use these features:
- Single sign-on and automatic course registration
- Display your institution’s logo, navigation bar, and links
- Create deep links to specific locations within the courseware
- Differentiate users as students, instructors, and assistants
- Route customer service inquiries to your internal help desk
Creating the LTI Tool Provider
1. Navigate to System Admin > Building Blocks > LTI Tool Providers. Click the button Register Provider Domain.
2. Complete Provider Domain Settings:
- Provider Domain: courses.acrobatiq.com
- Provider Domain Status: Approved
3. Complete the Default Configuration:
- Default Configuration: Set globally
- Tool Provider Key: Provided by Acrobatiq Support
- Tool Provider Secret: Provided by Acrobatiq Support
4. Set Institution Policies
- Send User Data: Send user data only over SSL
- User Fields to Send: Role in Course, Name and Email Address
- Show User Acknowledgment: No
Part 2: Gradebook Integration
Acrobatiq Gradebook Sync – Blackboard REST API
Acrobatiq supports syncing of grades between the Acrobatiq platform and Blackboard using Blackboard’s REST API services. The syncing applies to all Blackboard courses using AQ with LTI. Please see the following links for more information regarding the Blackboard REST API:
Note: Acrobatiq recommends using REST API Gradebook sync integration in conjunction with Blackboard release version 3200.7.0 or newer.
Configuration and Setup
Obtain a Blackboard Application ID from Acrobatiq and create a new REST API integration in Blackboard:
Navigate to System Admin > Building Blocks > REST API Integrations. Click the Create Integration button.
Select a Blackboard user that the API will use as an actor for gradebook sync requests. This Blackboard user is usually an admin account. Fill out the form with the supplied App ID, set End User Access to Yes, and submit.
- Create a test course in Blackboard.
- Enroll and log in as an instructor.
- Click on an LTI link in the Blackboard course that has been configured to launch into the Acrobatiq platform.
- For the Blackboard user used to test with: If this is your first time initiating an LTI launch with the Blackboard REST API gradebook integration, then you will be prompted to give the Acrobatiq platform permission to connect to the Blackboard REST API.
If you have already given the Acrobatiq platform permission to connect to the Blackboard REST API, then this information is available in Blackboard. There is a link on the Blackboard home screen, in the Tools menu, titled Application Authorization.
Clicking the Application Authorization link will show your approved application connections for your Blackboard user. The Acrobatiq Gradebook authorization page will look like the following screenshot if the Acrobatiq Gradebook is correctly configured:
Once a successful LTI launch has been made from Blackboard into Acrobatiq, navigate to any quiz or unit test in the course and submit:
Acrobatiq Gradebook Sync –The Acrobatiq Building Block
Note: Acrobatiq recommends using REST API Gradebook sync integration and versions of Blackboard 3200.7.0 or newer.
The building block is another method to synchronize student grades from the Acrobatiq platform to the Blackboard grade center. It is a plugin developed by Acrobatiq and installed on the Blackboard server. It uses Blackboard and Acrobatiq APIs to update scores in the grade center.
Additional setup is required to use some of these available features:
- Grades update automatically within Blackboard at set intervals
- Select which activity and assessment types to send to Blackboard
- Set preferred column titles and point values for Acrobatiq assignments
- Zero maintenance; one-time installation and setup in Blackboard
- Compatible with Blackboard’s course copy and archive functions
- Upgrade, disable, or remove building block without affecting grades
Step 1: Download the Building Block
Two builds are available, one for development/testing and one for production. The production build is recommended. It updates scores approximately every 10 to 15 minutes.
The current and recommended version is: acr-gradebook-sync-0.9.10.war
1. Install and approve the building block by navigating to the building block section in your system admin area and click on Installed Tools.
2. Click Upload Building Blocks and follow the prompts.
3. Update security permissions.
The building block needs to be able to do the following. All communications with Acrobatiq are encrypted and authenticated with OAuth (with signature, nonce, and timestamp validation).
- Look up users, courses, and memberships (enrollments).
- Create and modify line items and outcome descriptions (grade center entries).
- Create and modify scores.
- Make outbound HTTPS connections to connect back to Acrobatiq.
- Write a configuration file to its plugin directory. No values are stored in the database.
- Use certain Java APIs required by the OAuth and REST libraries it requires.
4. From the Installed Tools menu, locate Acrobatiq Gradebook.
5. Click Settings from the drop-down menu.
6. Enter the values provided by Acrobatiq:
- URL: https://platform-api.acr
- Key/Secret: Provided by Acrobatiq
- Security Settings: Use tool provider security settings
Step 2: Course Setup
1. Add the URL provided by Acrobatiq to the course.
2. Enter the URL provided by Acrobatiq. Alternatively, you can deep link to a specific page of the course. Check the box indicating the link is to a Tool Provider.
3. Enroll in the Blackboard course and verify that you can access the link.
Step 3: Integration Testing
Test the integration by completing assignments as a student in the Acrobatiq platform (via LTI launch in Blackboard).
Note: When testing this link, use a Blackboard account with the role of "instructor," because Acrobatiq is expecting an instructor to use the link to attach an Acrobatiq course to the Blackboard class environment. An "admin" role may receive an error.