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Outcomes Distribution Lists

Portfolio Templates, Artifact Templates, Surveys, and Course Evaluations are all instruments used to collect data to measure expected outcomes. These instruments are deployed to recipients in a variety of ways. One way is to use a Distribution List. Distribution Lists allow a privileged user to define specific audiences or groups based on personal attributes or email addresses. Distribution Lists are defined independently and typically in advance of a deployment. They are saved and can be selectively shared so that others can use them to deploy instruments.

To protect sensitive and potentially private data, access to create Distribution Lists is by default limited to privileged users that have the role of System Administrator, Outcomes Assessment Administrator, or a defined flexible role with the privilege to create or modify Distribution Lists.

Types of Distribution Lists

Two types of Distribution List can be created: lists based on email addresses and lists based on criteria such as Person Record Affiliations and other system attributes. All Distribution Lists are created and accessed from the Discover page.

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Email Distribution Lists can be created with as little information as a set of email addresses uploaded from your computer. More complex Criteria Distribution Lists can be created using system-based personal attributes to select recipients based on demographic, program affiliations, or other criteria. Criteria Distribution Lists can be generated at a specific point in time or at the time of deployment, ensuring that a new version of the list is used that includes any newly qualified recipients.

For example, a Survey targeted to recent alumni is deployed using a Distribution List that is made up the names and email addresses of students who graduated last year. The survey is sent once and responses are collected. The same survey can be used to compare results with a different Distribution List targeting alumni in a different graduating class.

Another example is the creation of a Distribution List based on students affiliated with the Bachelor of Science degree program and enrolled in a senior thesis course. This list is created to deploy an Artifact Template for submitting the senior thesis project. Students receive the template in the Content Collection, add their work to it, and then submit their projects using the template. The Artifacts are then received by the template creator and distributed to faculty for review. After the submissions are evaluated, evaluators publish the results back to the student.

To successfully deploy Portfolio Templates and Artifact Templates, recipients must have a Blackboard Learn user account.

Deployment of Evaluations Workflow

Different people within an institution want to or need to distribute evaluation instruments to various sets of constituents. Distribution of instruments such as Surveys and Course Evaluations may also be subject to institutional business rules such as policies for the protection of data, privacy rules, centralized data control, or other assessment procedures. To honor established policies and processes while making evaluation instruments systemic, Blackboard Learn provides a role-based set of privileges to control the creation and sharing of various types of Distribution Lists.

For example, at one institution, most Distribution Lists are created by a limited set of people with the system role of List Manager. These few people have the knowledge, permission, and access to obtain data on various constituents to assemble Distribution Lists for widely circulated evaluation instruments. Lists are created and then shared with other users in the system (who never see the actual query for the data thus protecting sensitive information), ensuring that institutional procedures are honored while providing an easy way for evaluation to occur. At this same institution, departments (Units) and their program administrators and faculty have permission to directly send evaluation instruments to those constituents who are affiliated with them, removing the need for a list manager to prepare a Distribution List ahead of time.

The creation of evaluation instruments and Distribution Lists can take place independently and can be accomplished by different users in the system depending on the type of instrument and the scope of the distribution of that instrument. However, to successfully launch an evaluation and receive submissions back from recipients, the separate tasks involved are dependent on one another and need to occur in a specific sequence.

Using the Discovery page, create and share a Distribution List that may contain data not available to all system users, and may be dynamic if based on criteria.

During the deployment of the instrument by uploading a list of email addresses.

During the deployment of the instrument by selecting everyone who has an affiliation with the Unit, Program, Course, or Educational Experience (place).

  1. Design the Instrument to be distributed to recipients.

    Keep in mind who will receive the instrument. For example, students enrolled in a specific course, a Section of a Course, or local community members.

  1. Determine the method of distributing the instrument.

    Keep in mind how they will receive it. For example, an email message or a link in System, Organization, or Course Announcement.

  1. Deploy the instrument to one or more lists.
  2. Constituents receive the instrument, interact with it, and then submit the instrument to Outcomes Assessment.
  3. Submissions are evaluated or reviewed by Outcomes Assessment users. The set of users that can perform evaluations is defined by the specific Course, Program, or Unit that deployed the original instrument. This does not apply to Surveys or Course Evaluations, which are not evaluated, only reviewed.
  4. End the deployment so that no new submissions are accepted. Artifact Templates may also be set up so that they automatically close for a specific recipient after their initial submission, or they can be allowed to submit multiple times until an evaluation has been submitted, or they can be allowed to submit indefinitely.
  5. Run reports on the resulting evaluation data.
  6. Optionally, evaluations are published back to recipients in the case of Artifacts and Portfolios.