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Configuring Vista SIS Integration XML Syntax for Course Creation

The Vista hierarchy is very different from the hierarchy in Blackboard Learn. The first four levels of a Vista hierarchy (Institution, Division, Group, and Course) are converted into Blackboard Learn hierarchy nodes and linked to each other appropriately. The fifth level of the Vista hierarchy (Course Section) is converted into a Blackboard Learn course and associated with its parent node.

Blackboard Learn does not generate nodes for the course layer of the Vista hierarchy, and, as a result, the courses created out of Course Section Vista elements are associated with their parent group.

This behavior can be changed in the integration settings.

The following is an XML fragment of <group> and <relationship> elements that describes a Division, Group and Course and their associations.

<enterprise xmlns:webct="http://www.webct.com/IMS">
<!-- division item -->
  <group recstatus="1">
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source>
    <id>DIVISION1</id>
    </sourcedid>
  <grouptype>
    <scheme>LEARNING_CONTEXT_V1</scheme>
    <typevalue level="25"/>
  </grouptype>
  <description>
    <short>AAA Division IMS</short>
    <long>Test Division IMS</long>
    <full>This Division is for testing IMS imports by WebCT Support staff</full>
  </description>
  <datasource>TestDS</datasource>
  </group>
<!-- Group Item -->
  <group recstatus="1">
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source>
    <id>GROUPBABBLE_IMS4</id>
  </sourcedid>
  <grouptype>
    <scheme>LEARNING_CONTEXT_V1</scheme>
    <typevalue level="30"/>
  </grouptype>
  <description>
    <short>AAA Group IMS</short>
    <long>Test Group IMS</long>
    <full>This Group is for testing IMS imports by WebCT Support staff</full>
  </description>
  <relationship relation = "1">
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source> <!-- *** DIVISION ID HERE *** -->
    <id>DIVISION1</id> <!-- *** DIVISION ID HERE *** -->
    </sourcedid>
  <label/>
  </relationship>
  <datasource>TestDS</datasource>
  </group>
<!-- course item 1 -->
  <group recstatus="1">
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source>
    <id>COURSEBABBLEONE_IMS4</id>
    </sourcedid>
  <grouptype>
    <scheme>LEARNING_CONTEXT_V1</scheme>
    <typevalue level="80"/>
  </grouptype>
  <description>
    <short>AAA-101</short>
    <long>Introduction to Triple A</long>
    <full>This course introduces basic concepts of AAA, an important part of your life</full>
  </description>
  <relationship relation = "1">
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source>
    <id>GROUPBABBLE_IMS4</id>
    </sourcedid>
  <label/>
  </relationship>
  <datasource>TestDS</datasource>
  </group>
<!-- Section Item -->
  <group recstatus="1">
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source>
    <id>SECTIONBABBLEONE_IMS4</id>
    </sourcedid>
  <grouptype>
    <scheme>LEARNING_CONTEXT_V1</scheme>
    <typevalue level="90"/>
  </grouptype>
  <description>
    <short>AAA-101-001</short>
    <long>Introduction to Triple A - Section 001</long>
    <full>This course introduces basic concepts of AAA, an important part of your life</full>
  </description>
  <relationship relation = "1"><!-- Parent Course -->
    <sourcedid>
    <source>TestDS</source>
    <id>COURSEBABBLEONE_IMS4</id>
    </sourcedid>
  <label/>
  </relationship>
  <datasource>TestDS</datasource>
  </group>
</enterprise>

Edit the relevant attributes and values in the above code with the details of each level.

Level Details
Element/Attribute Required Description
recstatus No Type of action to be performed on an object. Numbers are used for language independence: 1 = Add, 2 = Update, and 3 = Delete.

If no recstatus attribute is supplied, the API will default to 1 (Add) if the record does not already exist or 2 (Update) if the record does exist.

sourcedid Yes Contains a unique identifier for the group object consisting of a source element and an id element.
source Yes Unique identifier of the system that created the group object in the first place.
id Yes Lower level unique identifier for the group object.

For a course, it uniquely identifies the specific course, term, and so on, within the originating organization or system. For a node it uniquely identifies the department, school, and so on, within the organization or system.

grouptype Yes The type of Group.
scheme Yes Identifies the group categorization scheme being used.
  • Blackboard Enterprise uses <scheme>Blackboard</scheme>.
  • Vista Enterprise uses <scheme>LEARNING_CONTEXT_V1</scheme>.
typevalue Yes Specifies what is being added. The object this group represents. The typevalue for Blackboard Enterprise should be one of the following:
  • 10 – This represents a node in the institutional hierarchy.
  • 20 – This represents a Blackboard Learn course.

The typevalue for Vista Enterprise should be one of the following:

  • 25 – This represents a Division.
  • 30 – This represents a Group.
  • 60 – This represents a Term.
  • 80 – This represents a Course.
  • 90 – This represents a Section.
description Yes Describes the course or node.
short Yes For a course, identifies the abbreviated version of the course title. For a node, identifies the node name. For example, Engineering.
long No Course title.

If no <long> value is specified, the <short> value becomes the course title.

full No The full course or node description.
relationship No The parent node (learning context) of the course or node being added.

This overrides the command line and default setting entered in the administration settings interface.

relation No Qualifies the relationship type. This should always be a vale of 1.
relationship.
sourcedid
Yes The sourcedid of the parent node the course or node should be associated with.
label Yes Describes the relationship.

Although this is a mandatory field, an empty element reference can be used if there is no value for label as seen in the example.