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Drexel CNHP: Integrate ApprenNet into Blackboard

Welcome! As a Drexel CNHP Course Chair using ApprenNet there are number of things you need to do before the term begins to ensure a smooth user experience for your Section Professors and students.

If you choose to integrate ApprenNet into Blackboard, you will no longer add a unique ApprenNet Group link to each Section on Blackboard; rather, ApprenNet will be integrated into Blackboard through an LTI launch. The following Knowledge Base article breaks down each step you need to follow to ensure a successful LTI integration. Before you follow the steps below, you must first sync your Blackboard and ApprenNet email. To learn how to do so, follow the steps in this Knowledge Base article.

Step 1: Create a web link to an "External Tool" in each of your Section Professor's Blackboard course. To do so, follow these steps for each Section:

  • Visit a specific Section's blackboard course page
  • Select Create Web Link
  • In the Name section, enter: ApprenNet
  • In the URL section, enter:
  • Make sure the box is checked for "This link is to a Tool Provider"
  • In the Key section, enter: NhsZHZXVqty-9v4spA7V
  • In the Secret section, enter: Please contact your administrator for the secret

*Note: There is a bug in Blackboard's system that counts all characters when entering your key and secret. Please make sure you delete any extra spaces around the codes when entering the information.

*Note: There is a known issue with Blackboard when adding a "description" along with the LTI link that can sometimes result in a failed LTI launch. When adding an LTI link, we recommend not adding any text to the 'description' field. You can may use surrounding course items to provide instructions or other context. Here is more information on this bug:

For visual learners, this is what the Create Web Link page looks like in Blackboard.

*Leave Enable for Evaluation checked as No.

By following the steps above, you will create a special Web link item in the Blackboard course that looks like this.

Before navigating to ApprenNet, enter this message above the ApprenNet link in Blackboard:

To get started, follow the link below (this will open in a new window so when you are finished, simply close the window to return to Blackboard). You will be taken through a series of set up prompts.

Remember, if you have any questions about this assignment, please post it on the Q&A Discussion Forum.

For technical issues with the "ApprenNet Exercise", click on the green Help button located in the bottom right corner of all ApprenNet pages. ApprenNet's support team is available from 9-5 ET M-F.

After posting the message above, select the ApprenNet link. From here, you'll be brought to ApprenNet's site.

Important Note: To proceed you must have already synced your ApprenNet and Blackboard accounts by changing your email address. If you have not done so, please follow the steps to do so in this Knowledge Base article.

Set up ApprenNet Groups for each of your Sections

Begin by selecting the ApprenNet link you created in Blackboard. From here, an empty Group in ApprenNet will be created. This will automatically be named whatever the course is named in Blackboard (this can be changed by visiting the Manage Group button). At this point, you will find the Master Group for your Course in ApprenNet and then copy the Master Group's content for the particular Section you are setting up. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Visit your course's Master Group* in ApprenNet. This will be the ApprenNet Group with all the exercises set up for the course.
  • Select Manage Group (light gray button on the right side of the Group page)
  • Select Copy (under Group Management)
  • Select the ApprenNet Group that the LTI link automatically created. It should have the same name as the course in Blackboard.
  • Make sure the Exercises and Group settings is selected
  • Select the green Copy to Group button

The ApprenNet Group for the course created by the LTI launch should now have all your course's exercises in it.

*A note on the Master Group: Before each term begins you should make sure that there is a Master Group in ApprenNet for each course you are teaching. This is the template you will use when populating each Section's Group page through the LTI integration.

**To help your students avoid any technical issues, ApprenNet has created an optional Practice Exercise you can add to your Master Group. The Practice Group will review how ApprenNet works and provide recording and uploading tips. If you would like to add the Practice Exercise to your Master Group, follow these steps:

  1. Email Fran Cornelius and ask to be added as an Instructor to the Practice Group
  2. Once you're added, visit this Group:
  3. Select Practice Exercise
  4. Select Admin (top right corner)
  5. Select Copy Exercise
  6. Under Set Up, select your Master Course
  7. Edit as you see fit (i.e. add dates or leave open, add instructions or leave blank)
  8. Select Update Exercise

Repeat this for each Section you set up.

Set up all Sections

Repeat the above instructions (minus the email change) for each additional Section you need to set up for your course.

Invite Section Professors to their Groups

Once each Section is set up, you can invite all Section Professors to visit his or her Blackboard account and click on the ApprenNet link in Blackboard. This action will automatically add each Section Professor as an ApprenNet Instructor in his or her ApprenNet Group.

Note on Students 

When students are invited to Blackboard, they can click on the ApprenNet link in the course content and will be launched directly to their section's Group in ApprenNet. This “External Tool” link in each course should be the single entry point for all ApprenNet interactions. In other words, do not tell students to go directly to and sign in and make sure all lingering ApprenNet links from past terms are removed from Blackboard. Following any link other than the "External Tool" link will cause a lot of confusion for both students and Section Professors.

Good luck!