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Integrating LibGuides and e-Reserves into Blackboard -- The LibApps LTI Tool

This is a guide for LibGuides admins or BB admins at CUNY colleges, who are interested in implementing LibGuides integration.

How Integration Works

How does LTI integration work to connect campus-specific content with campus-specific Blackboard instances?

Each campus’s Springshare instance has its own double set of:

  1. LTI Config URLs
  2. LTI Launch URLs
  3. LTI Consumer Keys
  4. LTI Shared Secrets

There is a set of four for Manual Mode and a slightly different set of four for Automagic Mode. These are listed for LibApps admins at LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool Builder, under the Manual Mode and Automagic Mode tabs.

Setting Up Manual Mode

Note: you can find Springshare documentation on this process by searching lti manual in the "Ask Springshare" site (https://ask.springshare.com/).

  1. LibGuides administrator (probably a librarian at your campus) configures the setup options at LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool Builder > LTI Manual Mode

Manual Mode Setup Options

  1. LibGuides admin provides the Manual Mode Config URL, Launch URL, Consumer Key, and Shared Secret to Krafins (Email)

Manual Mode Config Details

  1. LibGuides admin provides information about Label (how you want the link worded for faculty) to Krafins (Email)
  2. Krafins will set these up in the test environment (https://bbhostedstage.cuny.edu)
  3. LibGuides admin works with their BB admin to set up one or more test courses in the test environment
  4. From the faculty or librarian role in the test environment, you should be able to manually add content (guides, pages, boxes) anywhere in a course

Some campuses are considering using the Manual Mode to deliver OER textbook materials to students. Librarians or instructors could manually add a new option to the students' left-hand navigation, name it "Textbook," and embed a LibGuide with the OER materials.

Setting Up "Automagic" Integration - Single Guide on a Page Option

Note: you can find Springshare documentation on this process by searching lti automagic in the "Ask Springshare" site (https://ask.springshare.com/).

  1. LibGuides admin configures the setup options at LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool Builder > LTI Automagic Mode
    • First, setup the Automagic Setup Options.Automagic Setup Options
    • Second, set up the Parameter Matching options at LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool Builder > LTI Automagic Mode > Library LTI Page Builder. The LTI Parameter Name should be context_label. Be careful when setting the Name (the label students will see in the left navigation) – it is not easy to change.Automatic Parameter Matching Options

  1. LibGuides admin will provide metadata in their LibApps system for guides and e-reserve courses using data from the course_id field.

Metadata Screen

  • Sample metadata:
    • BAR01_AAS_2155_FTRA_1169_1
      • BAR01: CUNYfirst College ID (Baruch)
      • AAS – department
      • 2155 – course
      • FTRA -
      • 1169: Term (1: Century (21st); 16: Year (2016); 9: Term (fall); _1: Session (session1)
  • HTR01_ANTHC_31800_02_1132_1
    • HTR01: CUNYfirst College ID (Hunter)
    • ANTHC – department
    • 31800 – course
    • 02 - section
    • 1132: Term (1: Century (21st); 13: Year (2013); 2: Term (spring); _1: Session (session1)
  • You may want to follow up with your BB admin for more about how the course_id data is configured at your campus.
  • Remember, for stepped integration, you configure the metadata in the guide/course to match either the section, course, or department, and in settings you determine what happens when there’s no match

Note that metadata can also be added and updated by batch processing. You can find Springshare documentation on this process by searching lti metadata in the "Ask Springshare" site (https://ask.springshare.com/).

  1. LibGuides admin provides the Automagic Mode Config URL, Launch URL, Consumer Key, and Shared Secret to Krafins (Email)

Automagic Configuration Details

  1. LibGuides admin provides information about Label (how you want the link worded for faculty/students—probably same as Name) to Krafins (Email)
  2. Krafins will set these up in the test environment (https://bbhostedstage.cuny.edu)
  3. LibGuides admin works with their BB admin to set up one or more test courses in the test environment
  4. If you want the feature to automatically appear in the student tool navigation (“opt-out” for faculty):
    • At campuses that use a customized course template – work with your BB Admin to place the link in the navigation by default

List of campuses using templates:

  • Baruch
  • BMCC
  • Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • City Tech
  • College of Staten Island (CSI)
  • Hostos
  • Hunter
  • John Jay
  • Kingsborough
  • Lehman
  • Queens
  • Queensborough
  • School of Professional Studies (SPS)
  • School of Public Health and Health Policy (SPH)
  • York
  • If your campus does not use a course template – your faculty will have to “opt in,” and you will need to instruct them to do so.

PLEASE NOTE: Once students click on the option in their left-hand navigation, they are shown a "Launch LTI Link" screen, and must click on Launch in order to view the LibGuides content that is Automagically loaded (see below). We have been notified that this is not something that we can change.

student view with Launch LTI Link screen

At some campuses, they are considering a work-around: instead of programming the page with the Automagic LTI tool, they would manually insert a link to the guide and set it to open in a new window. Thus students would need to click on a link that is labeled for library research help (or some other appropriate name), rather than the generic and perhaps off-putting Launch LTI Link button.

Setting Up "Automagic" Integration - Library Page Option

If you want Automagic to display the Library Page instead of one LibGuide on a page, you will need to decide how and under what conditions you want your Library LTI Page to appear.

The Library LTI Page is an automatically-generated page that includes links to designated LibGuides, e-Reserves Courses, Database Lists, and more.

The Library LTI Page is configured primarily via LibApps => Admin => LTI Tool Builder => LTI Automagic => LTI Automagic Setup Options AND Library LTI Page Builder.

By default, the Library LTI Page appears when:

  • More than one guide or e-Reserves course is associated with a Blackboard course
  • When no guides or e-Reserves courses are associated with a Blackboard course
  • When a subject is associated with a Blackboard course, but no guide or e-Reserves course

You can also configure Automagic to display the Library LTI page all the time, even when a LibGuide or e-Reserves course is associated with a Blackboard course.

Note: you can find Springshare documentation on customizing the Library Page by searching library lti page in the "Ask Springshare" site (https://ask.springshare.com/).

However, it's helpful to keep some limitations and details in mind. Below is an image of a sample Library LTI Page, with various areas annotated for further explanation.

Sample Library Page

(Note: The Library Hours are drawn from the LibCal Hours tool, not the Calendars.)

As you can see, some of the features can be edited via LibGuides or LibApps. However, many cannot. Several other limitations exist, of which these are a few:

  • The hours widget cannot be customized to only show specific libraries/departments within a LibCal system
  • The heading text (i.e., "Library Resources for...") cannot be customized
  • Rich text or images can't be added to the page
  • It's not possible to embed third-party widgets on the page

In order to create the Library LTI Page that appears above, you must:

  1. Create a metadata field to be used for all "automagic" configuration (in this case, "cms")
  2. Add that metadata field to a LibGuide, Subject, and e-Reserves course
  3. Assign a value to that metadata field, which must correspond to the BlackBoard course_ID for the appropriate course (in this case, "LEH01_LIB_GUIDE_DEV_1182")

Below is an image of how the metadata is set up for the example above: