LMS Integration: Brightspace D2L

Overview

Student Success & Engagement integrates with Brightspace D2L to provide updated LMS data to a student’s success team. In order for SS&E to connect with a Brightspace D2L instance, a Brightspace App and User must be created specifically for SS&E with the correct Role and Permissions. This article provides the steps needed to configure Brightspace D2L to allow SS&E to connect and retrieve information using the Brightspace D2L API.

  • The intent is for the Student Success Team to be able to view all important information on a student in a “one stop shop” and avoid the need to navigate between various systems.
  • Automatic alerting, filtering and reporting features leverage LMS data to quickly identify students who may need additional support for their success team.
  • The LMS data is matched with course section and enrollment data within SS&E so that users can view Grades and last login data on the student profile.
  • To verify whether or not data is syncing properly from the LMS at a high overview level, you can check the LMS Summary Report, further explained here.

Setup Instructions For Brightspace D2L- SS&E Integration

In Brightspace D2L

As a Brightspace D2L Administrator, log in to your instance of Brightspace D2L and complete the following:

Create the SSE App 

  • As a Brightspace administrator, navigate to "Admin Tools" (Gear icon at top right of page)
  • Click "Manage Extensibility"
  • Click "Register an App"
    • Name the app "SSE"
    • Use https://apitesttool.desire2learnvalence.com/index.php for the trusted URL
    • Set the major version to 4 and the minor version to 2
    • Ensure that "Enable this application" is checked
    • Note the Application ID and Application Key that are generated. These will be entered in SS&E in a later step.

Create a new Role

  • As a Brightspace administrator, navigate to "Admin Tools" (Gear icon at top right of page)
  • Click "Roles and Permissions"
  • Create a new role called "SSE Admin"
    • This role can be copied from an existing role or started new
  • Role Settings
    • Click the downward pointing arrow to the right of the role title. Then click Edit Settings in the drop down menu list.
    • Ensure that:
      • The Cascading Role setting is enabled
      • All settings under Course Access Options are selected 
      • Click Save and Close
  • Role Permissions
    • Click the downward pointing arrow to the right of the role title. Then click Edit Permissions in the drop down menu list.
    • In the role's permissions, provide the following permissions (note that additional permissions may be required depending on institution's Brightspace configuration):
      • Org Unit Editor
        • Can create and edit org units
      • Content
        • View Course Content
      • Course Management Console
        • See Course Info
      • Security
        • See Roles and Permissions
      • Advanced Data Sets
        • Can execute Learner Usage
      • Custom Reporting Framework
        • See reporting tool
      • User Profile
        • View other users’ profiles
      • User Information Privacy
        • See Usernames
        • See Org Defined Ids
        • See Email Addresses 
      • Users
        • View the Users’ Email Address
        • View Users' Org Defined Ids
        • View User Enrollments
        • See the user management tool
        • View Users' contact information
        • View User Tracking
      • Email
        • See external email addresses for
          • SS&E Admin role
          • All Student roles
          • All Faculty/Instructor roles
          • All Teaching Assistant roles
      • Grades
        • See the grades tool
        • See user grade values (API only)
    • Note: D2L currently lacks a read only permission for org units and org unit types. If the institution prefers to not grant this permission, they can instead use the enrollments method instead. To use this alternative integration method, see Enrollments Connection Method below.

Create a new user 

  • As a Brightspace administrator, navigate to "Admin Tools" (Gear icon at top right of page)
  • Click "Users"
  • Click "New User"
    • Set the Org Defined ID to "WMSSE"
    • Set the name to "WM SSE"
    • Set the email address to lms@watermarkinsights.com 
      • Uncheck "Send Creation Email"
    • Select "SSE" for the role
    • Set the username to "WMSSE"
    • Set a password
    • Ensure that "Make user Active" is selected
  • At the top of the page, click "Enrollments"
    • Search for the root organization level.
    • Set the role to "SSE" and allow it to cascade.
  • Create User Id and User Key
    • An administrator can go to https://apitesttool.desire2learnvalence.com/index.php and enter the App Id, App Key and host information. Upon clicking authenticate, log in as the newly created user and retrieve the generated user id and key from the resulting page. Save this connection information to enter into SS&E below.

Course Settings - Current Grade Values

  • In order for 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.

In Student Success & Engagement

Enter Connection Details

An SS&E Administrator must enter the Brightspace/D2L connection details into SS&E. The Brightspace/D2L Administrator and SS&E System Admin may work together on this step. 

  • From the SS&E Home screen, open the navigation menu "Advise" with 9 dots. 
  • From SS&E Administration, on the left side navigation menu, navigate to LMS Integration > LMS Integration Configuration.
  • Edit the page, and edit the Integration Type to select D2L
  • In D2L Configuration:
    • Check "enabled"
    • Fill the connection details in this section using the information generated in Brightspace/D2L
      • appId
      • appKey
      • userId
      • userKey
      • fullD2lUrl: Usually this looks something like "https://brightspace.yourinstitution.edu" or "https://d2l.yourinstitution.edu". This should include the "https://".
      • host (LMS domain): Usually this looks something like "brightspace.yourinstitution.edu" or "d2l.yourinstitution.edu". Do not include the "https://".
    • Save the configuration

Note: It is not recommended to edit the Advanced Configurations.

Test Connection

It may take a few minutes for the integration changes to take effect.

  • From the LMS Integration Configuration page, use the test connection button to confirm that the connection is configured correctly.
    • If an error message is returned, review the verify the configurations and permissions above are correct.
      • "Cannot invoke method render() on null object" - Verify that appId, appKey, userId and userKey are correct
      • ""success": false" - Verify that the fullD2lUrl and host are correct
    • If valid data is returned, the connection is successful. An example of a successful connection looks like this. 

      Note: If the SSE Admin user has been deactivated, the connection test may still be successful. Complete the following steps for additional testing.
      • Confirm that data is returned from the Course Sections call on Manual API Calls page.
        • Navigate to LMS Integration > Manual API Calls and locate the Course Sections box.
        • Click Course Sections to trigger the API call to confirm that the connection is configured correctly.
          • If an error message is returned, verify the configurations and permissions above are correct. Example error message:
            • "Error getting course sections: Cannot get property 'PagingInfo' on null object" - confirm the SSE Admin user is active with correct permissions.
          • If valid course section data is returned, the connection is successful and the setup is complete. Note that this pulls all course sections, so a large amount of data is being queried. 

Once this process is complete and the connection test and Course Sections calls are successful, please let your Project Manager and/or Technical Consultant know. Next, Watermark staff will need to build the LMS course resolver (for new implementations or LMS migrations). 

Technical Notes

The way that the SS&E - D2L LMS integration works is that SS&E uses the D2L Learner Usage report to sync LMS data from the D2L data hub. Following is the information used by the Aviso/SS&E user:

  • The SS&E User Email is lms@watermarkinsights.com
  • The D2L Data Hub report that is used is: Dataset name Learner Usage

Enrollments Connection Method

D2L currently lacks a read only permission for org units and org unit types. If an institution prefers to not grant this permission, the enrollments method can be used instead.

  • Enroll the user (see below) in all D2L course sections that should be synchronized by SS&E
  • Notify the SS&E Project Manager or Technical Consultant that this is the preferred integration method
    • Provide the D2L root org unit id
    • Provide the course offering org unit id

Troubleshooting

  • If the D2L Learner Usage report is not present or the SS&E user cannot access the report, this will cause the LMS Enrollment Import job to consistently display a 'STOPPING' status every  hour as it runs hourly. What this means is that there is something preventing the LMS Enrollment Data Import sync from completing. Once the underlying issue is fixed, the LMS Enrollment Import job will show a 'COMPLETED' status.
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