Blackboard APIs for Courses and Enrollments

At VitalSource, we are committed to helping your institution improve student access to course materials while also reducing costs and boosting outcomes. To improve course materials access, we rely on LMS data to match students and instructors to their assigned course content. Providing your LMS data to VitalSource automates manual setup processes and offers valuable insight and functionality for your campus.

Leveraging Blackboard’s REST APIs, this integration gives VitalSource additional data to complement the VitalSource LTI Tool for Blackboard and enhance the user experience across VitalSource applications. Campus Blackboard administrators can quickly and easily create a role and system user, then register the VitalSource app to power this integration.

Create a System Role 

  1. Go to the Users section of your System Admin menu and select System Roles.
  2. Click Create Constituency, enter the following, and click Submit:
    • Role Name: VitalSource_API
    • Role ID: VitalSourceAPI
  3. After you have successfully created the System Constituency, add the following privileges. You can search for each individual privilege. Check the box for each privilege and click Permit Privileges. A green check will appear by each privilege when it has been permitted:
    • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Create Materials This permission allows VitalSource to push LTI links back into Blackboard courses via API integration.
    • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Materials This permission allows VitalSource to sync LTI links in Blackboard courses. This is used to capture Course Material adoptions when direct links are used (/books/:sku) instead of manual Course Book Pairings.
    • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users This permission allows us to view user data. This pulls users to their enrollment in specific courses.
    • Administrator Panel (Users) > Users This permission allows VitalSource to view course rosters.
    • Administrator Panel (Courses) > Courses This permission allows VitalSource to view the list of courses associated with an account and term.
    • Administrator Panel (Courses) > Courses > Edit > Course Properties This permission allows VitalSource to sync Blackboard sections (parent/child courses). 
    • Administrator Panel (Courses) > Terms This permission allows VitalSource to receive Blackboard course details, such as Start/End dates and which term the course belongs to.

Create a System User

  1. Go to the Users section of your System Admin menu and click Users.
  2. Click Create User, enter the following, and click Submit:
    • First Name: VitalSource
    • Last Name: API
    • Username: VitalSource_API
    • Password: Enter a secure password
    • System Roles: VitalSource_API (or the name of the System Role created in Part One)

Set up the Integration

  1. Go to the Integrations section of your System Admin menu and click REST API Integrations.
  2. Click Create Integration, enter the following, and click Submit:
    • Application ID: (Enter the application ID provided to you by your VitalSource Customer Success Manager)
    • Learn User: (Select the user you created in Part 2)
    • End User Access: No 3.
  3. When you have completed these steps, let your VitalSource Customer Success Manager know and they will complete the final steps to enable your REST API Integration.

Requirements & Support

Minimum Requirements: The VitalSource integration with Blackboard Learn’s REST API Services is only available on Learn SaaS or Self-Hosted and Managed-Hosted Blackboard Learn instances using Build 3400.8.0 or later (Q4 2018 or more recent).

Your Customer Success Manager will provide you with details on any training and support your campus may need.

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