How to Display Video Conference Links in Blackbaud's LMS

March 13, 2020 Jackie Christensen

Hi, everybody, it's Jackie Christensen from Blackbaud's education management, product management team.  
 
In this video, I want to share some different options for sharing out links to web conferences for virtual class meetings through Blackbaud Learning Management System.  
 
First, I'm going to show you some options for pasting in the link to the web conference manually. And then I'll show you an option that leverages our LTI standard. Both have pros and cons—so it's just a matter of deciding which approach will lead to the best user experience for your Students.  
 
I'm going to use Zoom for my example but this should also work with other web conferencing tools as well.  
 
Big thank you to the Barstow School for letting me use their site. I think it's very useful to see a real-life example.  
 
I'm logged in as Scott Daniel, a teacher who teaches Computer Science.  
 
Let's presume Scott has already spun up a Zoom account, created a recurring meeting for his class and copied the meeting link to his clipboard. The next step is to figure out where to paste the link for his students to find it.  
 
Luckily, there are a number of content types available to Scott in his learning management system, which support Links.  
 
One option is that Scott can paste the link to the Text or the Links channel on his Bulletin Board.  
 
It's front and center for his students to find.  
 
Another option is for Scott to use Assignments. The reason I like this idea is that Assignments appear in the Assignment Center as well as the School Calendar. It's also great that students can opt-in to receive email and/or text notifications when Assignments are added or edited, which can serve as a reminder to join the meeting.  

You'll notice that when Scott added the Assignment he pasted the link to his Zoom meeting into the Title using the HTML editor.  
 
The outcome of this is that students will see a direct link to the Zoom meeting from their Assignment Center without having to click into the Assignment Detail page, which is nice.  
 
Now let's take a look at how LTI works in this situation. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability. It's a standard maintained by IMS Global with the goal of making it easy to plug third-party ed-tech tools into an LMS without the effort of custom integrations.  
 
Platform Managers can set up LTI tools under Core > Settings > Integration Settings > Learning Tools.  
 
Here, you'll notice I already have one set up for Zoom. You'll want to reach out to Zoom to get any necessary set up credentials including your consumer key and shared secret.  
Once a Platform Manager has set up LTI tools, teachers will see the option to plug into the tool either from Assignments or Topics depending on the configuration.  
 
So when I hop over to a Class and add an Assignment I'm seeing the choice to associate Zoom with the Assignment.  
 
Once saved when a teacher or student clicks to view the Assignment detail they'll see the Launch link. Clicking Launch SSOs the teacher into their Zoom account where they can set up their virtual meetings.  
 
Now let's take a look as a student. The student will also click into the Assignment detail and click on the Launch link. From here, students will see the list of meetings they can join.  
 
Still have questions? Our Blackbaud Support team is standing by. Just give us a call or post a chat. We're happy to help.  

About the Author

Jackie Christensen

Currently serving as a product management manager, Jackie Christensen has been a member of Blackbaud K–12's product development team since the inception of the education management solutions. In fact, she was on site with the first school to launch our LMS and SIS. She loves the journey of working with schools and our UX and technical team to bring ideas to life. Jackie lives in New Hampshire with her husband Mark and three boys. Depending on the season, you’ll either find them at the lake or skiing.

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