Blackboard Course Evaluations Building Block

During the month of November, I worked on a project at UALR to create a process for online course evaluations. The result of several weeks of slaving away on one of my first blackboard Building Blocks (B2) ended up being used to allow online students evaluate courses at the university.

Currently there are few options for mixing course evaluations and Blackboard (depending on your wallet size) and therefore other universities might have an interest in this extension. You can download the B2 from the open source project page. See video below for an eight minute introduction.

Researching the API actually took longer than the actual coding. I felt before writing this web application, I should know some Blackboard best practices first. The open source community was quite helpful and can be found on projects.oscelot.org. I did notice that Hibernate did not want to integrate due to classpath issues in tomcat and ActiveObjects did not work well with Oracle. The B2 should be database agnostic and is designed to work with both SQL Server and Oracle based Blackboard installs. The Spring framework was used for routing controller actions. There is still a lot of room for improvement but it’s a good start I believe.