Student View Building Block

In the old days of WebCT, instructors were given a tab that allowed them to view their course as a student. In Blackboard 9.1 this functionality is missing and much missed!

After a little investigating I found an open source Student View building block developed by cool Aussie cat named Wiley Fuller. The block exposes a course tool for the teacher to click which causes a demo student to be created and enrolled into the course and then switches the instructor to the freshly made demo student.

However, I found a few things missing so I decided to chip into the open source community. Here they are:

  1. Demo students can be grouped into a data source key
  2. Demo student accounts can be prefixed with a custom tag set by system admin
  3. Demo student that is created can be named after the course pkid (default), teacher’s pkid or the teacher’s username.

You can view my code changes with subversion. I left it up to Wiley to merge the branch back into the trunk (which eventually he did). Wiley also implemented velocity templates for the RenderingHook which allows the B2 to interject javascript code and add those nifty little Student/Teacher view links to the course menu.

svn checkout

To get an idea of what visually changed…



Here’s a summary of code changes

[ktd1@box1 ~]$ svn diff --summarize
M src/java/
D src/java/au/edu/swinburne/bb/studentview/
M src/java/au/edu/swinburne/bb/studentview/stripes/
M src/java/au/edu/swinburne/bb/studentview/stripes/
M web/WEB-INF/applicationContext.xml
M web/WEB-INF/jsp/config.jsp