BboogleTeams - EduGarage (Blackboard Developers Network)

Bboogle Teams: Supporting Small
Group Communications through
Google Apps Integration with the
Blackboard Learn Platform
Jonathan Smith, Software Architect,
Northwestern University
Patricia Goldweic, Sr. Software Engineer,
Northwestern University
Project Members
Software Development
– Jonathan Smith (Software Architect)
– Patricia Goldweic (Senior Software Engineer)
• Blackboard Support
– James Altman (Manager, Faculty Support Services)
– Brian Nielsen (Project Manager, Faculty Initiatives)
What is Bboogle?
What is Bboogle Teams?
Examples of Usage
Teams in the classroom
Teams concepts
Integration with Bb Learn and Synchronization with
Bb groups
• Teams tools
• Architecture
• Roadmap
What is Bboogle?
A Bb plugin that provides Google Apps Integration by
• Instructor tools to create links in Bb course sites to
Google Documents, Sites and Calendars
• Automatic adjustment of permissions in Google Apps
so that instructors and students can collaborate
• Integration with Google SSO so that no second logins
are required for Bb users
• (optional) Automated Google Apps user provisioning
What is Bboogle Teams?
• Bboogle Teams allows a class to be divided into
smaller groups (teams)
• Features:
– Each team gets its own Google Documents
Collection, Site and Calendar
– Provides instructors and students easy access to
each team’s content
– Automatically adjusts content permissions based on
team memberships
– Supports division of larger communities such as a
cohort of students in a specific program
Examples of Usage
• An engineering class where students work
together on a team project
• A history class where student teams work with
Google Docs and Sites using primary sources
• A journalism class where students collaborate on
a research project with practicing journalists
Teams in the classroom
• Teams may be fluid (students may move from
one group to another)
• May be time-constrained (e.g. a team’s project is
due at a specific date) or may have a start date in
the future
• Might be set up through a deliberate process, or
just random assignment
Teams Beyond a Classroom
• A collaborative site for a research project so as to
promote undergraduate involvement in research
• Longer lasting interest groups collaboration
around sub-disciplines and to support research
• A collaborative space for a cohort of students in a
specific academic program.
Teams Course Tool
Sample Team Site
Sample Team Site Template
Bboogle Teams Concepts
• A Bboogle Teams community may encompass a
course or academic program, a cohort, etc.
• A Bboogle Teams breakout partitions a
community into a set of disjoint teams, which can
be time-constrained.
• A Bboogle Teams team corresponds to a
particular group of people within a given
• Each Bboogle Teams community and each
individual team is associated to a Google Apps
Integration with Bb Learn and
Synchronization with Bb groups
• One or more Bb courses can be mapped to a
particular Bboogle Teams community
• Within a Bb course, a group set can be mapped
to a particular Bboogle Teams breakout
• A given Bb group set can be (re) synchronized
with its mapped breakout, thus updating the team
assignments according to the Bb group
Bboogle Teams Tools
• A course tool provides instructors and students with
easy access to their teams’ content.
• A tool exposes the Blackboard groups integration. It
allows instructors to:
– Connect a Bb course to a Bboogle Teams community
– Map a Bb group set to a Bboogle Teams breakout
– Choose the Google Apps group names for each of the
teams mapped to the Bb groups in the set
– Choose a Google Site Template to be used for all teams
in the breakout
– (Re) Synchronize a given Bb group set with its mapped
Bboogle Teams Tools
• A course control panel tool (under construction)
provides an easy to use team assignments
• Supports the creation/editing of teams, breakouts and
• Allows the re-assignment of team members
(movements between teams, etc.)
• Allows the incorporation of external users to the
community (identified by a Google email address)
Bboogle Teams Architecture
How Bboogle Teams Extends Bboogle’s
• Bboogle uses the Gint (Google Integration web service)
service to mediate all the Google-related requests
• Teams adds an additional, higher-level service to Bboogle
• The Teams service maintains its own database for
storage and interacts with Google Services via the Gint
• Examples of Teams service requests by the building
– Verifying that the current user belongs to a certain team
– Ensuring that a course’s instructor owns the community
mapped to the course
– Synchronizing a Bb group set with its mapped breakout
Bboogle Teams Architecture: the Teams
web service
• Uses the Java persistence framework to store
relevant data structures:
Team assignments
• Is a RESTFUL web service which in turn uses the
Gint web service
Bboogle Teams Architecture: the
expanded Gint service
• Uses a relational database for storage coupled
with the Java persistence framework.
– Easy to hook up to different RDBMS systems
– Can use embedded or external database, including
Blackboard’s own
• Keeps track of request executions in a new table,
including logging information
• Is able to schedule execution of requests (as it
implements time-constrained breakouts)
Bboogle Roadmap
• Bboogle release that uses part of the expanded Gint
service (relational db-based) created for Teams
• Blackboard contributes to the open source project
with a release that simplifies installation
• Northwestern University continues piloting the Teams
tools + integration with Bb groups
• Bboogle Teams gets integrated into Bboogle building
• Later (possible) improvements:
– Support for primary/secondary Google domains
– Tool/user interface improvements
– Support for multiple first class Google domains
Bboogle Contacts
• Bboogle is hosted at the Oscelot projects site
• The Subversion repository can be found at
• You can contact us for more details at:
– [email protected][email protected]
Please provide feedback for this session by emailing
[email protected]
The title of this session is:
Bboogle Teams: Supporting Small Group
Communications through Google Apps Integration with
the Bb Learn Platform

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