Blackboard Installation Guide

Blackboard Installation Guide

Introduction

The Biometric Signature ID (BSI) Building Block for Blackboard Learn 9.1 provides a mechanism to require a user/student to validate their identity when needed. This process is split between enrollment for the user to create their initial profile, and subsequent times when they need to validate themselves. Validating can be configured for three scenarios. Before a course can be opened, right after the “Begin Quiz” button is clicked, or as any other content item via adaptive release conditions.

The current (as of September 24th 2020):

Feel free to provide this WAR file to your Blackboard CSR for installation on SaaS, but it should already be available in their CAPtain system. It is functional on both Java v8 and v11 environments.

Quality-Assurance testing has been performed with:
  1. Blackboard v3700.0.10-rel.12+2ad3637
  2. Blackboard v3800.17.0-rel.21+0b17a13

ULTRA VIEW: Blackboard SaaS Ultra using Ultra View (Ultra using Original View works) remains under development, because Blackboard is actively adding REST API calls that we require to bring over the same functionality that the building block offers. We have this functional in Canvas for 6+ years, but Blackboard is behind the curve. The 'tool' instance aspect works, but 'quiz' intercepts is broken as Blackboard does not expose the API calls we need for this. Feel free to inquire with us on how to assist in applying pressure to get them to move forward on this. Due to lack of pressure the Blackboard 2020 roadmap item #10 to handle adaptive release API calls has now been pushed back to Q1'2021.

IMPORTANT: The Blackboard environment needs to be patched to accept secure building blocks such as BioSig-ID. Please visit the Behind the Blackboard "LRN-86495" security advisory page for more information; included are instructions on how to fix it for a self-hosted environment, or create a ticket with Blackboard managed hosting.

Installation

The BSI Building Block is installed in the same way as any other Learn 9.1 Building Block. For example:

  1. Login into Learn 9.1 as a System Administrator
  2. Navigate to the list of installed tools:

a. Click on the "System Admin" tab

b. Click on the "Building Blocks" link inside the "Building Blocks" section

c. Click on the "Uploading Building Blocks" button

  1. Browse to the Building Block war file and finalize the process with the “Submit” button
  2. Locate the Biometric Signature ID Building Block in the list of Installed Tools and change its state from “Inactive” to “Available” in the Availability column
  3. Click on the “Approve” button
  4. Optionally you may change the state from “Unavailable” to “Available” in the Course/Org Default column

The building block is now available for use within Learn 9.1.  To alter the availability of the building block within courses use the following:

  1. Log into Learn 9.1 as a Systems Administrator
  2. Navigate to the list of installed tools:

a. click on the "System Admin" tab

b. click on the "Tools" link inside the "Tools and Utilities" Section

  1. Locate the Biometric Signature ID Building Block in the list of Installed Tools and change its state

More information on this process can be found in the Blackboard manuals on how to work with building blocks.

Note:  Quick alternative is to disable the availability for all courses would be to uninstall and reinstall the building block.

Configuration

Before the BSI Building Block will work it needs to be configured:

  1. Log into Learn 9.1 as a System Administrator
  2. Navigate to the list of installed tools:

a. click on the "System Admin" tab

b. click on the "Building Blocks" link

c. click on the "Installed Tools" link

  1. Locate the Biometric Signature ID Building Block in the list of Installed Tools and open the "Settings" page.
  2. In the System Identification section of the Settings page enter the following details as provided by BSI:

Configure BSI Building Block

a. SSO URL - URL for single sign-on (SSO) connections to Biometric Signature ID server

b. Shared code - Shared secret code which authenticates the primary system to BSI

c. System ID - Unique identifier assigned to the primary system

d. Customer ID - Unique identifier assigned to the customer of the primary system

e. Default Locale - Default locale code specifying the language and locale (e.g. en_US)

  1. In the Encryption Settings section of the Settings page enter the following details which are provided by BSI:

Encryption Settings 

a. Pass phrase (to be used to generate the encryption key)

b. Salt value (to be used to generate the encryption key)

c. Initialization vector (must be 16 ASCII characters)

  1. Optionally, in the Default content values section of the Settings page enter the following details:


Default Content Values


a. Title - default title of new instances

b. Description - default description of new instances

  1.  Additional settings can now be configured depending on how BioSig-ID is used within Blackboard:


Other Settings


Automatically Delete Gradebook Item

Adding a BioSig-ID building block instance inside a course, via “Tools” drop-down menu, creates a corresponding grade book column for adaptive release conditions.

If this option is activated with a checkbox, then removing the “Biometric Signature ID” instance from a course will automatically delete the corresponding gradebook column at the same time.

Intercept Test Launches

This option can be used concurrently with any adaptive released based instance, and will add a new setting in the drop-down menu for any quiz item or other supported course content item.
The new entry acts as “Set BioSig-ID status (current status)”, and results in:

Intercept Test
 

“Set BioSig-ID status (Disabled)” == BioSig-ID is not used

“Set BioSig-ID status (Enabled)” == BioSig-ID will intercept the quiz before it starts

Changing the status is as easy as clicking on the entry in question to toggle between the two.

** If the option is not listed, then please verify that the building block is active for the course.


Enable Test Intercept by Default

Activating this setting will cause all quiz items across every course to intercept the quiz before it starts if BioSig-ID is enabled/active for that course. Individually the status can then be disabled again with the same drop-down menu as shown earlier. **This setting is inherited.

Institution Roles

BioSig-ID can be limited to only be used by the “Role” entries selected in the listed table. If nothing is checked then *ALL* institution roles are active. **This setting is inherited.

This is useful for hybrid classes in which institution wishes to only offer BioSig-ID for their on-line students and skip it for the onsite/campus students. This automatically works for course intercept, and quiz intercept, but Blackboard would be unaware for course items relying on adaptive release conditions. To that end if institution role is active, then students not in the selected role(s) will add a "SKIPPED-{time}" entry in the grade-book versus the "{time}" that BioSig-ID intercepted students create.

Debug Mode

Additional information is stored in the "plugins/bsi-biosig-id/bsi-biosig-id.log" file that is available within the "System Logs" area. For SaaS environments, please use the "Kibana Log Visualizer" method or locate logs under "Manage Content" section.

Known Issues

Known Issues:

  1. Blackboard Learning Modules do not properly show the next item once BioSig-ID releases the adaptive conditions. The workaround is to either instruct the student to wait/refresh and it will eventually show the next item, or to avoid using learning modules. Blackboard is aware of this problem and is actively working on solving it.
  2. Setting a time/date adaptive conditions on a Blackboard item that is also relying on a BioSig-ID Tool instance to make it visible after the student validates their identity. Students become confused when they validate with BioSig-ID after the time has expired and nothing is shown. The easy solution is to place the item and the BioSig-ID tool instance inside a content folder and apply the date/time restrictions to that folder instead. Quiz intercept on a Blackboard test-assessment item would also solve this problem.
  3. The <video> tag on a Blackboard item for the BioSig-ID instructions is being converted to a Flash plugin video that does not work for iPhones/etc. This has been fixed by Blackboard in Q4 2015 and higher. Please update your Blackboard environment.

Support

For any updates to this document, or to consult others please review the Blackboard articles on this site.

You may create a support ticket on this page. Be sure to include as much information as possible to properly assist you as fast as possible

Students may request support via your existing BioSig-ID Support Site, or use the “Help” link within the BioSig-ID page inside their course. For clients using BioProof-ID (photo-ID check) please refer students to the BioSig-ID/BioProof-ID Support site

It is important that they understand that all their interactions with BioSig-ID happen solely within Blackboard.


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