Blackboard Learn ships with a set of default attributes that define the rules for the data collection fields of the default forms. For example, if an attribute is defined as a three-digit integer, the data that is acceptable for that field consists of whole numbers such as 1, 23, 560. Four digits, decimals, and text will not be allowed. If an attribute is defined as Boolean, the data that is acceptable consists of an Or choice (such as true or false, yes or no, male or female) and can be represented on the form as check boxes or radio buttons.
User-defined attributes can be created to collect the types of data an institution desires. Attributes are stored in the database. They can be added and hidden, but they cannot be deleted without corrupting the structure of the existing database.
Attributes fall into three different classifications:
Simple attributes set the rules for the format of the data and the type of data that can be entered into a field and present a single choice on the form.
|Value Type||Check box||Content Editor |
(Rows 1 & 2 only OR Legacy)
|Text Field||Content Editor |
(Spell Check Only)
|Short String |
|Med String |
|Long String |
Selection attributes present a number of options on the form that allow the users to select one from among many choices. Selection attributes allow the user to create the attribute and the label value-pairs. This creates drop-down selection lists on the forms, check boxes, or other methods for making one selection among different options, for example, a list of US states to be used in one field of a form. The Selection Attribute would be the name of the list and function (US States) and the items on the list, called Options, would be added.
|Value Type||Option Buttons||Drop-down||List Menu |
|Short String (100 characters)||X||X||X|
|Medium String (255 characters)||X||X||X|
System attributes operate system wide and include selectors, term, attachments, and any other type of attribute that is created using business/special logic. System attributes cannot be modified.
|Value Type||Drop-down||[entity] Selector||Attachment|
|[entity type] Selector||X|
Many list pages in outcomes assessment display attributes and additional data about entities that allow user-defined attributes. When Outcomes Assessment is configured, the columns provided on these pages may be changed. As a result, it is possible to customize the lists that display entities created by templates in the system to reflect configuration.
Unit managers have the right to add columns of data, remove columns of data, change the order of the columns, and change the column headers. Removing a column does nothing to the data; it simply removes it from the list page. Changing the column header does not impact the field label on the form. Customized list pages appear the same for all users accessing the Unit.
Any user customizing a list page is able to select Secure attributes to add as a column. Rendering the list page as customized only displays a secure column to users with the secure entitlement. As a result, if a user has the entitlement to customize a list but not to see secure data, the user will know that secure attributes exist, but will never be able to see the data values.