Skip to main content
pdf?stylesheet=default
Blackboard Help

Control Personal Information

For Blackboard Open Content to work properly, data must be passed from a Learning Management System (LMS) to Blackboard Open Content. Minimally, this data includes a non-personally identifiable ID for students. Instructors and administrators must create a Blackboard Profile to use Blackboard Open Content. If personally identifiable data is allowed to be passed from the LMS to Blackboard Open Content, both the instructor and the student experience using Blackboard Open Content can be greatly enhanced.

An LMS administrator must configure Blackboard Open Content before it can be used. As part of this initial configuration, personally identifiable information about the admin will be sent to Blackboard Open Content. ​

Blackboard Open Content is able to make use of the following integration capabilities for conveying identity in Blackboard Open Content: 

  • Blackboard Profiles
  • Learning Tools Interoperability
  • LMS-Blackboard Open Content integration Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) 

Each of these capabilities can be configured independently to give your institution, instructors, and students options for managing personally identifiable user data in Blackboard Open Content. 

No matter how these options are configured, Blackboard Open Content will always pass a non-personally identifiable unique ID from the LMS to Blackboard Open Content. This ID is used to tie the results of individual student submissions back to the LMS grade book. This is accomplished using a standards-based method which is part of the IMS LTI specification.

Blackboard Profiles

This is the preferred and only way for students to manage personally-identifiable data in Blackboard Open Content. Profiles allow students and instructors the ability to create, manage, and delete their online profile within Blackboard systems, including Blackboard Open Content. Students are required to opt-in to terms of use to create a profile. The Profile is used to identify the student within the Blackboard Open Content user interface using an avatar and a profile card. If a student does not opt-in to creating a Blackboard Profile, they are still allowed to use Blackboard Open Content anonymously. When using Blackboard Open Content anonymously, students appear as "anonymous user" in some interfaces such as discussions and submission reports. If a student chooses to opt-in but then deletes their Social Profile, all personally identifiable information about that student is deleted from Blackboard Open Content.  

Instructors must create a Social Profile in order to use Blackboard Open Content. 

Although a student without a Profile is displayed as an anonymous user while using Blackboard Open Content, gradable activities are still able to return a grade from Blackboard Open Content to the LMS grade book using the unique identifier from the LMS. This means that students can take quizzes and tests in Blackboard Open Content anonymously and still earn a grade that appears automatically in the LMS grade book, attributed to the correct student.  

To learn more, see Profiles.

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)

LTI settings for Blackboard Open Content can be configured to not send optional user first name, last name, and email address to Blackboard Open Content. When configured this way, and assuming no Blackboard Profile exists, students will interact with Blackboard Open Content anonymously. 

To learn more, see Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI).

LMS-Blackboard Open Content Integration APIs

LTI settings for Blackboard Open Content can be configured to not send optional user first name, last name, and email address to Blackboard Open Content. When configured this way, and assuming no Blackboard Profile exists, students will interact with Blackboard Open Content anonymously. 

When Blackboard Open Content is activated for the first time, what information the LMS sends to Blackboard Open Content via LTI can be configured.

Available Sources of User Information per LMS

Refer to the following matrix for an availability of personal data sources by LMS platform. Blackboard Learn is the only platform that is able to take advantage of all three data sources. 

Available Sources of User Information per LMS
Personal Information Control Blackboard Learn Joule/Moodle Engage
Blackboard Profile Yes Yes Yes
LTI Yes Yes Yes (Not Configurable)
LMS-Blackboard Open Content Integration APIs Yes No No

Personal Identifiable Information That is Passed

The personally identifiable information that is passed via the different information sources can be found below. Note that LTI is able to send additional information about a user and their learning environment.

Personal Identifiable Information That is Passed
Personal Information Control Blackboard Learn Joule/Moodle Engage
Blackboard Profile Personal Avatar Personal Avatar Personal Avatar
LTI
  • Institution
  • Course
  • Role of User
  • Resource
  • User first name, last name, email address (optional)
  • Institution
  • Course
  • Role of User
  • Resource
  • User first name, last name, email address (optional)
  • Institution
  • Course
  • Role of User
  • Resource
  • User first name, last name, email address (optional)
LMS-Blackboard Open Content Integration APIs First, Last Name N/A N/A

Where Personal Identifiable Information is Stored

Personally identifiable information is stored in different locations based on where it originated. Below is a listing by data source showing where that service stores data.

  • Blackboard Profile – AWS cloud, Virginia data center
  • Blackboard Open Content – AWS cloud, Virginia data center
  • LMS-Blackboard Open Content integration APIs – no data is stored outside of Learn or transferred to AWS