These guidelines were developed in an effort to provide consistent and timely responses for incoming integration requests. The vetting process for new integrations will ensure that third-party add-ons meet security standards for protecting student information in accordance with FERPA.

Beginning August 12, 2021, no new building blocks will be added to UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn. All new integrations must be LTI and/or REST API.
Information on Blackboard Integrations

Timeline for Integration Requests

Integration requests pass through several stages prior to being made available to UA faculty and students:

  • Functional review: Evaluates added functionality, accessibility, and compatibility between the add-on tool and UA’s Learning Management System (LMS).
  • Security review: Examines the process by which student information passes to the third-party tool, vendor privacy documentation, and FERPA compliance
  • Support planning: Develops a support plan based on campus and vendor support channels
  • Testing: New tool is added to our Test systems for LMS system administration and end-user functionality review
  • Installation: New tool is added to our Production system between academic terms

Following the LMS Functional review, the UA faculty sponsor or delegate requesting the new tool will need to seek approval from UA Legal and the UA Registrar for the new tool to access FERPA-protected student data. The Center for Instructional Technology can help facilitate this approval process. Upon approval for installation on our Production system, CIT will schedule the new integration during the next system update window. These update windows occur between academic semesters while classes are not in session. Please contact CIT as early as possible when requesting a new REST API or LTI integration. We recommend contacting our office a full semester in advance of implementation to allow for the approval process to take place.

Support for Third Party Tools

While the CIT will attempt to provide support for third party tools, there are limitations to our control over third-party vendor products and vendor support responsiveness.

Retention and Ongoing Maintenance

The Center for Instructional Technology reserves the right to disable or remove any integration that becomes a vulnerability to the system. We will review third-party integrations in conjunction with LMS system maintenance and will assess whether integrations continue to meet the needs of UA’s LMS users.

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