LMS Data Synchronization

Overview

Synchronization between Student Success & Engagement and the LMS happens within three domains:

  1. First, Course Sections (LMS Course Ids) sync with SS&E via the LMS Course Resolver - lmsCourseSectionSynchJob
  2. Next, Enrollment Data syncs from the LMS (LMS Person IDs, Current Grades, Last Login Dates, Assignment Submission Dates) based on the Course Section LMS ID and Person LMS ID matching - lmsEnrollmentsImportJob
  3. When configured, some LMS Systems can also sync Assignments Data (Assignment Data and Assignment Grades) - lmsAssignmentsImportJob

NOTE: Moodle 4 customers must use an updated Moodle plugin in order to sync LMS data, including Assignment data, with SS&E.

LMS Integration Schedule

By default, the LMS data is synchronized according to the following schedule:

  • Course Sections are synchronized between SS&E and the LMS at 3:00 AM once a day.
  • "Enrollments from LMS" for the current term are synchronized between SS&E and the LMS every hour - this includes current grades, last login dates, and the first/last assignment submission dates for each registered student/course section enrollment record syncing from the LMS.
  • When supported, Assignments and Assignment Grades are synchronized every six hours.

Click here to learn more about the LMS Integration Jobs.

Grades Data Synchronization

Current Grades sync from the LMS system, while Midterm Grades and Final Grades import from the SIS system on the Transcript Course data feed.

  • If Midterm grades or Final grades are missing, this is not realted to the LMS and is rather a SIS issue. For SIS troubleshooting guidelines, click here.
  • Grades Configuration in Academic Planning Administration allows SS&E to map grades used in all areas of each individual organization.
  • By default, SS&E only syncs LMS Enrollment Data for the current term. To learn how to import LMS Enrollment Data for a past term, click here.

LMS and SIS Data Prerequisites

Before any LMS data can sync with SS&E, the course sections, student (Person) records, and enrollment (Transcript Course) records must first import from the SIS system to SS&E.

  • In order for LMS data to sync with SS&E, the LMS Integration Jobs must first find a matching course/student/student enrollment record imported via the course, course section, academic calendar, person, transcript course and other data feeds. LMS data can only sync when it finds a matching course/term/student/registered enrollment to display the LMS data in SS&E.
  • The LMS Summary report shows how many course sections have synced with SS&E for each term.
      • If no data is syncing for a current term, from LMS Integration Configuration Administration, check Test Connection to verify that the API connection is successful.
      • If Test Connection is consistently failing and no LMS data is syncing, depending on the error message, this may indicate a permissions issue solved by updating the username/ password/ token in LMS Integration Configuration Administration. To verify the credentials used to sync LMS data via the API, check with your LMS Administrator. 
      • If Test Connection is sometimes failing to connect yet LMS data is syncing, most likely there is limit on the API Calls. If no new LMS data is syncing, make sure the connection details and credentials are correct.
  • In order for LMS current grade, first/last assignment submission dates, and last login dates to display on student records and be used for LMS related alerts etc., the person, course section, and transcript course/enrollment data must have first imported correctly from the SIS.
      • To learn how to troubleshoot missing SIS data, click here.
      • Click here to learn how student-person records are matched between the LMS and SS&E.

In addition, in order for current grades to sync from the LMS with SS&E, LMS Gradebooks must be formatted correctly on each course section within the LMS system.

  • For each course section syncing from the LMS, the Current/Total grades must be formatted as a percentage in the LMS system in order to be processed by the LMS Enrollment Integration Job and displayed in SS&E.
  • "Has Gradable Assignment" and "Has Configured Total Column" are set on the LMS Course Id in SS&E Course Section Administration based on information received from the LMS system.
  • If needed, "LMS Has Gradeable Assignment" and "LMS Has Configured Total Column" can be manually edited on each individual course section from within SS&E Course Section Administration.

LMS ID/Course Section Sync

Before any LMS student enrollment data can synchronize from the LMS with SS&E, LMS course sections are matched with course section data imported from the SIS. Once there is a match, the course LMS ID is populated in SS&E Course Section Administration for each SIS course section that is syncing data from the LMS.

The following steps explain how course sections are matched between the LMS and the SIS/SS&E:

  1. All course sections are retrieved from the LMS.
  2. The LMS Course Resolver matches LMS course sections with existing course sections in SS&E based on the Course Resolver mapping. 
  3. Course LMS IDs are updated in SS&E on individual course section records.
      • If for some reason, a course section cannot be resolved by the LMS Course Resolver, then the course LMS ID will not populate automatically and nothing will sync from the LMS until this fixed. If something changed to the course Id formatting in the LMS, the course resolver may need to be updated. In addition, missing course LMS Ids can be manually entered into SS&E.
      • The Course Section LMS Id displays on the course section record in SS&E > Admin > Course Sections Administration, found here.

Once the Course LMS ID is populated in SS&E Course Section Administration via the LMS Course Resolver, "Has Gradable Assignment" and "Has Configured Total Column" are automatically set on the course section record based on information received from the LMS system.

Manual LMS Course Section Property Updates

If the LMS Course Resolver is able to populate the proper course LMS ID within SS&E, then the above LMS course section properties are set automatically by the LMS Course Resolver.

However, if for any reason the LMS Course Resolver cannot match up the LMS-SIS/SS&E course section, S&&E Administrators will usually edit the course section record in SS&E to manually enter the course LMS ID, further explained here.

When editing the course section record, if enrollment data is syncing correctly from the LMS:

Note: When manually setting these LMS course section properties, it is the responsibility of the institution and the LMS Administrator to ensure that the Current Grade and Assignment Submission data syncing from the LMS is correct to ensure the accuracy of the automated alerts.

  • Manually checking these settings does NOT guarantee that Current Grade and Assignment Submission data is syncing properly from the LMS or that the Current Grade, Notice to Withdraw, and Assignment Submission alerts will trigger.
  • SS&E Administrator users should only manually mark these course section settings as enabled after verifying with the LMS Administrator that these settings are true in the LMS, as explained below in the automatic LMS property updates.
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  • If the LMS Course ID is automatically populated by the LMS Course Resolver then these settings should not be manually updated as they represent course section properties set in the individual LMS course section configuration settings synced from the LMS system.

Automatic LMS Course Section Property Updates

Following are rules for "Has Gradable Assignment" and "Has Configured Total Column" set by different LMS system types.

Canvas Sync

  • Has Configured Total Column:
      • Always set to true
  • Has Gradeable Assignment True/False:
      • Set to true if at least one of the assignments in the course section is published

For assignment level synchronization:

  • There is an enhancement regarding pulling unpublished assignments and never removing assignments even if they are deleted from Canvas.

For current grades displayed on the individual student Courses tab:

  • The SIS-LMS integration syncs the current_score from the Enrollments API (https://canvas.instructure.com/doc/api/enrollments.html), therefore whatever Canvas is making available and sending as the current_score is what's displayed in SS&E on the student enrollment current grade.
  • For additional information please check the Canvas Support docs to find what exactly is included in this current grade score.

Blackboard REST* Sync

  • Has Configured Total Column:
      • Set to true if there is a column that has been marked "External Grade"
  • Has Gradeable Assignment:
      • Set to true if there is at least one grade column in the course that is not "Calculated"

*By design, the Blackboard API only returns posted grades and will not sync 'ReadyToPost' grade details with SS&E for calculated grade columns that have a grade associated with them and the status is "NEEDS_GRADING". In addition, in regards to grades displayed on a student's course section Assignments tab - SS&E does not sync unposted grades and there is no way for Blackboard to auto-post a grade. Therefore, if a gradable item needs to sync with SS&E, the instructor may need to post it before the assignment grade is complete.

NOTE: Unposted grades will affect the teacher-facing UI within Blackboard, however unposted grades will NOT be included in the BB REST API response that is received from Blackboard. Therefore, current grades displayed on the course details tab in SS&E will only match the grade received via the BB REST API, which does NOT include any grade changes based upon unposted BB grades.

Blackboard Ultra

The Blackboard Ultra Overall Grade column cannot be marked as external yet is configured as an external grade by default.

  • Since the overall grade column is configured as an external grade by default, it does not need to be manually set as external grade. Grades will pull from the overall grade column.

Moodle Sync

  • Has Configured Total Column:
      • Always set to true
  • Has Gradeable Assignment:
      • Set to true if at least one grade column is not hidden, and does not have the grade column activity "Course"

Blackboard Building Block Sync

  • Has Configured Total Column:
      • Must be configured properly in order to sync Current Grades with SS&E
  • Has Gradeable Assignment:
      • Set to true if there is a non-calculated, scoreable column

 D2L Sync

  • Has Configured Total Column:
      • Always set to true
  • Has Gradeable Assignment:
      • Always set to true

For current grades displayed on the individual student Courses tab:

  • In order for D2L current grade data to be available, the gradebooks must have their final grade value released. In order to do this, the final grade item must be calculated and published.

LMS Enrollment Data Sync

  1. Enrollment data for each course section/student in the LMS is synced with SS&E using the course LMS ID populated by the LMS Course Section Sync Job.
  2. Enrollment data synced from the LMS by the LMS Enrollments Import Job includes current grades, first/last assignment submission dates, and last login dates for each student enrollment.
  3. The very first time a student enrollment syncs from the LMS, the LMS Enrollments Import Job matches the LMS student identifiers with a student record in SS&E, populating the person LMS Id on the SS&E person record. After the person LMS Id is populated in SS&E People Administration, the system does not re-attempt to match person records and uses the person LMS Id to sync LMS Enrollment data between the LMS and SS&E.
  4. Transcript course records imported from the SIS must display the current courses on the enrolled students Courses tabs so that enrollment data synced from the LMS displays in SS&E.

For more information about the Course Section LMS ID, click here.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to manually override the LMS Course ID and manually resolve merged courses.

Click here for more information about troubleshooting LMS data that is missing or incorrect in SS&E.

Last Attendance Date

The Last Attendance Date displayed value depends on whether or not an individual course section is an Online course section. For more information, click here.

Person Matching

Student LMS data (current grades, last login dates, first/last assignment submission dates, and assignment data when relevant) will only display correctly in SS&E if/when:

  1. The LMS student data was successfully matched with the correct student in SS&E.
  2. The student's transcript course records ("Course Enrollments") displayed in SS&E match up with the student's LMS coursework. 
  • This requires that the LMS "student" data matches up with SIS "person" data as it appears in SS&E.
      • The LMS Data is found here at SS&E- Administration - Course Section - Enrollments from LMS.
      • The SS&E Person Data is found here at SS&E- Administration - People & Roles - People.
  • Once a student is matched between the LMS and SS&E, the person's LMS Id is added to their Person Detail record displayed in People Administration, found here.
      • Once the Person Lms Id appears on a person record in SS&E, this is what's used to sync LMS enrollment and assignment data (when relevant) with all of the student's courses.
      • If the person LMS Id displayed on the SS&E person details record is missing or incorrect, and does not match up with the correct LMS person data included in "Enrollments from LMS", then the student's LMS enrollment data will not display correctly within SS&E.
          • To fix this, the correct SS&E person record must be identified so that either the person data in the LMS is corrected or the SIS/SS&E Person Override data is updated to display the correct information, depending on where it is incorrect.
          • For more information about resolving duplicate records, click here.
          • For more information about using the Person Override menu, click here.
  • This does not apply to Moodle or Blackboard Building Block as they do not yet support displaying the LMS ID on the Person record and/or using the User Detail Manual LMS action.

If there is no match found between the person identifiers syncing from the LMS and person identifiers in SS&E such as the SIS Person Src System Id, username, or primary email, then the LMS Enrollment Data will not display in SS&E.

  • If the LMS Enrollment Import Job is unable to determine which SS&E/SIS student/person record matches with the LMS Enrollment Data, the LMS enrollment data will have nowhere to display in SS&E.
  • LMS - SIS/SS&E person matching does not take the SS&E user's role(s) into consideration, so any SIS/SS&E person record can be matched with the LMS person data, regardless of role.

How to View LMS Data by Course Section

To view all the LMS student enrollment data syncing for a specific course section:

  1. Open SS&E > Administration > Course Sections from here.
  2. Filter on the course section.
  3. Select "Enrollments from LMS" from the top menu bar.
  4. Results will open on a new tab and display all the most recent student enrollment data syncing from the LMS for the selected course section.

How to Sync LMS Enrollment Data for Past Terms

By default, LMS Enrollment data is configured to sync only for the current term.

If you wish to sync LMS Enrollment Data for a past term, please open a ticket with SS&E Support requesting to enable a job in Application Settings in order to update LMS Enrollment Data in a past term.

  • By default, the LMS Enrollments Import job that runs only for previous terms 'enableLmsEnrollmentsImportForPreviousTermsJob' is disabled.
  • By design, if the job is enabled, it will run once a week, over the weekend. Otherwise, this job will not run since it is disabled by default.
  • In addition, for institutions integrating with Blackboard REST, there is a chance that this job will not run since Blackboard REST LMS limits the number of API calls per client. Therefore, in a large institution, if your school reaches the limit, the job may not complete. Depending on where it stopped/failed, you may or may not see partial data synced between BB REST LMS and SS&E.
  • In order to view the job status and check job status history, SS&E Admin users can monitor the lmsEnrollmentsImportForPreviousTermsJob in order to verify that the job is completing from Advanced Administration -> Batch Processing.

LMS Data Reporting

To report on the most recent LMS Enrollment data that has synced from the LMS, including current grades, use the Enrollments report source.

 

 

 

 

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