Typically external learning tools can be integrated with the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) though the LTI standard, or via a Blackboard Building Block. A Building Block allows students authenticated to a Blackboard course to receive seamless access to an external tool. Building Blocks have to be enabled inside the Blackboard LMS by an ITS system administrator. Because Building Blocks gain access to private corporate data (incl. student name and email address), and because instructors may depend on these tools, it is important to confirm their security and sustainability in the event of a problem. ITS therefore seeks to identify who is taking responsibility for service integrity and UQ policy compliance regarding privacy, copyright and intellectual property. Example risks are documented on the external tools page. Because of the potential for poorly maintained building blocks to disrupt systems, Building Blocks are only selectively installed for broadly applicable functionality. A building block that useful for 1-30 courses may sound like it is broadly applicable but that represents only 1% of the course population. A poorly maintained building block will not be allowed to hold back upgrades that deliver functionality and fixes for 3000 courses. To make a request for Building Block integration:

  • Identify answers to the questions in the table below. This may entail seeking legal advice for external tools with terms and conditions.
  • Email the completed table to help@its.uq.edu.au

 

Question

Response Required
Requester Name of the person requesting this building block

Tool name

Name of the Building Block

Description

Provide a description of the functionality delivered

Impact and endorsement Provide an indication of how broadly valuable this tool might be across UQ's 3000 courses. Any endorsement by the Elearning Operational Forum, Teaching and Learning Committee or an ADA should be listed here. Because of the potential for poorly maintained building blocks to disrupt systems Building Blocks can only be selectively installed for broadly applicable or critical functionality.
SysAdmin Documentation Please provide a copy of any administrator documentation and codes
User documentation Please provide a copy of any user guides
Impact acknowledgement I acknowledge that a) disruptive building blocks may need be disabled immediately if required to maintain the integrity of the wider UQ Blackboard environment, and b) best efforts will be made to carry building blocks forward in system upgrades but incompatability will not hold back an upgrade.

For a commercial Building Block:

 

  • What is the name of the manager and team taking responsability for a legal and policy review of this Building Block?
Building Blocks gain access to private corporate data (incl. student name and email address), and because instructors may depend on these tools, it is important to confirm their security and sustainability in the event of a problem. ITS therefore seeks to identify who is taking responsibility for service integrity and UQ policy compliance regarding privacy, copyright and intellectual property. Example risks are documented on the external tools page.
  • Legal review
Provide a copy of the legal review

For a bespoke building block you would like ITS to support and take control of:

 

- Source code.

Provide a copy of the source code.

- IP rights to code?

Provide a legal review indicating clear UQ IP rights to use this code.

- Documentation.

Provide full documentation.

For a bespoke building block you would like to retain control of, and support:

 

  • Service manager

Provide a clear statement from the manager that they will resource this service appropriately in terms of budget and staffing to ensure adequate redundant support and expertise for the maintenance of this tool.

  • Support contacts

Provide contact phone, email and availability hours in the event there are any support problems with this tool.

Confirm a review has been done and list any concerns. Evidence may be sought.