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What is a Profile in Blackboard Learn?
A Profile enables users to have an online identity so they can discover each other and share their academic resume with classmates and potential employers. Profile Cards provide a preview of a user's profile and includes a user’s name and highlights of their experience and competencies. Profiles are integrated with MyEdu extending a user's academic resume beyond the institution walls and to where employers are looking.
Where are Profiles stored?
Because Profiles are cloud-based, they are stored in the Blackboard Cloud. Therefore, Profiles will not affect your Learn storage capacity.
At the time of launch for the Social Profiles & Tools, our cloud infrastructure will include services and components hosted both within Blackboard Managed Hosting data centers in Reston, VA, and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. Profile and Social data will reside within the US-based AWS-hosted components. Currently, all of the cloud services data is hosted in the United States.
One of the benefits of cloud-based services is the flexibility they provide to leverage multiple infrastructure platforms, so the details of our service deployments across infrastructure platforms may change over time.
What’s the relationship between information in the cloud-based Profile and information in the user’s Blackboard Learn account?
These two accounts are entirely separate. The user’s Blackboard Learn account passes first name, last name, and the user's current course and organizations enrollments to the cloud service. Changes to fields like name or email in the Profile do not alter or affect similar fields in Learn.
Can our institution automatically populate our users’ Profile pictures?
Institutions cannot automatically populate Profile pictures, as Profiles are owned and managed by the user. However, any user in the system can report a Profile if they feel the picture or any Profile content is inappropriate. To learn more about reporting, see the “How are Profiles monitored for inappropriate content?” question later in this topic.
How do I upgrade Learn to use Enhanced Cloud Profiles?
Profiles are included in the Social Learning Tools Building Block. Blackboard released an update to this Building Block in May 2014 that included Enhanced Cloud Profiles, which leverage the MyEdu profile experience and allow students to showcase work experience, projects, organization memberships, and competencies. With the update, users can carry their educational identity outside the institution and share it with not only peers, but also employers.
Instructions on how to upgrade the Social Learning Tools Building Block, including updating profiles, can be found in the May 2014 Release Notes.
Do all users have to have a MyEdu account?
If you do not want to connect your profile to MyEdu, select I am employed by in the drop-down list on the Let's get started! page.
What are the different Profile privacy settings?
The different Profile privacy settings include the following:
- Hidden: If you select this option, no users can find and view you on the People page. Your name and avatar appear throughout your courses, but users cannot view a preview of your profile from there.
- My Institution: If you select this option, anyone at your institution can find and view you on the People page. They do not have to be enrolled in the same course or organization as you. Your name and avatar appear throughout your courses, and users can view a preview of your profile from there.
- All Institutions: If you do not see this option, your institution has not turned it on. If you select this option, anyone with a Blackboard profile can find and view you on the People page. They do not have to be enrolled in the same institution, course, or organization as you. Your name and avatar appear throughout your courses, and users can view a preview of your profile from there.
- Institutions and Employers: If you do not see this option, your institution has not turned it on. If you select this option, anyone with a Blackboard profile can find and view you on the People page. They do not have to be enrolled in the same institution, course, or organization as you. Your name and avatar appear throughout your courses, and users can view a preview of your profile from there.
- Public (recommended): If you do not see this option, your institution has not turned it on. If you select this option, anyone with a Blackboard profile can find and view you on the People page. They do not have to be enrolled in the same institution, course, or organization as you. Your name and avatar appear throughout your courses, and users can view a preview of your profile from there. You will also have a Google profile that is optimized for search engines so that others can search for you on the web.
Can system administrators restrict certain privacy settings or set one as the default?
The default setting for Profiles is Private. System administrators cannot restrict certain privacy settings or change the default setting, as these settings are the same for all Learn institutions that connect to the cloud-based global learning network.
Can a user block someone from viewing their Profile?
Yes, if a user feels uncomfortable with someone seeing their Profile or interacting with them, they can simply click Block on that user’s Profile or Profile Card.
Upon blocking someone, a user will see the confirmation dialog box below. When a user blocks another user, this is a personal action between two users and requires no action on the part of the administrator.
How are Profiles monitored for inappropriate content?
All Blackboard Learn users and system administrators can report inappropriate content they find in any Profile. From a Profile, the user can simply click Report and from a Profile Card the user can simply click on the flag icon in the bottom right corner.
They will then see the following screen that prompts them to fill out some brief information to report the profile.
After a user’s Profile is reported, administrative action is then required. The system administrator will see a notification next to Reported Items under Cloud Management on the Administrator Panel.
Click Reported Items to view all of the reported items.
This screen is where administrative action can be taken on the reported item. You can click the action link beside each item to review the report and block the item from being seen by other users in your Learn instance.
Blocking the item displays a dialog box.
Clicking the Block button sends an email to the blocked user to prompt action by that user to have his or her profile to be reinstated. In addition to receiving an email, the user will also see a notification bar when they view their Profile to let them know it has been blocked and thus must be edited and submitted for review.
After the user has submitted an updated Profile for review, a new “Reported Item” notification appears for the administrator. On the Reported Items page, the administrator will see that the status has changed to Under Review and can review the updated Profile and unblock the item.
Can a user with a Blackboard account on more than one Blackboard instance have the same profile?
For example, a student taking classes at multiple schools or someone who teaches at one school and is a student at another.
Yes, users with Blackboard accounts on more than one Blackboard instance now have the ability to merge Profiles to support the use of a single Blackboard Profile with multiple Blackboard Learn user accounts.
This new capability means that an individual user can maintain a single profile in the Blackboard Social cloud and use that profile with multiple Blackboard Learn accounts. This will support a user who might be using Blackboard Learn at multiple institutions simultaneously (for example, a user who is getting a graduate degree at one institution while teaching undergraduate courses at another, or a user who is enrolled a four-year university but takes some core courses at a local community college during the summer). More importantly, it will also support a user “taking their profile with them” as they change schools and progress through their academic career. A user who graduates from university using Blackboard Learn and goes on to graduate school at a university using Blackboard Learn can maintain their same Blackboard Profile, maintain the relationships they’ve built, maintain their participation in Spaces, and so on.
Merging Existing Profiles
If you have two or more existing profiles already, you can merge them into one profile.
Choose a profile to be your target profile. We recommend choosing a profile that uses a personal email address as the primary email address.
Edit the Primary Email field of each of the remaining existing profiles to use the same email address as the target profile. This will initiate the merge process.
Any existing activity and relationships (posts, comments, Space memberships, followers/following relationships) are merged into the "target" profile. The Avatar, About Me, and Area of Study are only retained from the "target" profile.
- If you have an existing profile with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, and, when setting up a new profile, you enter email@example.com, then the new profile (which is empty) is merged into the existing profile.
- If you have two existing profiles, one with firstname.lastname@example.org as the primary email and another with email@example.com, and you change the email on the first to also be firstname.lastname@example.org, then the profile for "me2" is the target profile (because its primary email is not changing). The posts, comments, Space membership Follower/Following relationships from both will all be available in the merged profile, but the Avatar, About Me and Area of Study of the merged profile will be from the target profile.
Users can delete their profiles, this is done from the user’s Edit Profile page. When the user selects Delete My Blackboard Profile:
- The Profile will be deleted. This includes all of the Profile information, the Profile Card, the Avatar photo, the Profile Wall, any posts the user made to the Profile Wall, and any comments other users made on posts.
- The user may not be able to access some content in their courses. Items that had appeared in a user’s Post tool stream from the cloud services will be inaccessible.
- The People tool is no longer available. The user will no longer be able to access the People tool, view other user’s full Profiles (although Profile Cards will still be viewable), nor will their Profile be discoverable as it will no longer exist. Any comments they made on other user’s Profile Walls will appear as “Delete User.”
- The Messages tool is no longer available. The user will no longer be able to access the Messages tool, send cloud Messages (though Course Messages and Send Email will still function normally). Their contribution to any Messages conversations will appear as “Deleted User.”
- The Spaces tool is no longer available. The user will no longer be able to access Spaces at all. Any previous contributions to Spaces will appear as “Deleted User.”
- The user will appear anonymously in Blackboard Open Content. Any contributions to Blackboard Open Content Forums or submission to Blackboard Open Content Assignments/Tests will appear as “Deleted User,” in the Blackboard Open Content interface. Note: although the user appears anonymously in the Blackboard Open Content interface, the numeric Blackboard Open Content ID persists and is still mapped on the Learn-side to the Learn user ID, so the submissions to Blackboard Open Content Assignments and Tests still appear attributed to the correct user in Learn. However, that data will not be present in any Blackboard Open Content interface.
If the user chooses to delete their profile, the Profile deletion process is irreversible. The user can always create a new profile, but it will not “re-attach” to any of the data (for example, posts made to Spaces under their initial Profile).
What happens with inactive profiles?
After 12 months of inactivity, the cloud service will send an email to the end-user’s Primary Email Address identified in their Profile indicating that their Profile will be deleted automatically in 30 days unless they take steps to retain it.