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Configuring Brightspace LMS with Echo360 - Integration Overview
Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019 12:45PM EDT

This article applies to:  Echo360 Admins

Echo360 has developed multiple modes of interoperability with the Brightspace LMS.

The steps below provide a high-level workflow for integrating Echo360 with Brightspace, and provides links to more specific articles with more detailed procedures as needed. The procedures in the linked articles are provided as guidelines to the Brightspace setup process. Refer to the Brightspace documentation for additional details or contact Brightspace product support if you need further assistance.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: You will want to determine if your Echo360 Courses and Sections will be created separately in Echo360 and then linked to through the LMS, OR if you want to enable the simplified One-Click Provisioning feature for your institution. The One-Click course provisioning auto-creates the course and section in Echo360 from the LMS link, using the same course code and name as the LMS. This is designed to accommodate institutions who want to limit administrative involvement in Echo360 management, and use Echo360 primarily as a content management solution for instructor class materials. You can still create capture schedules for the sections, to record and publish lectures, or allow instructors to generate ad hoc captures for their sections, if lecture capture is part of your institution's workflow. Beyond the one-click course provisioning feature, all other LMS integration steps remain essentially the same and are described below.

Step 1: Add a Brightspace LMS Configuration in Echo360

This step generates an authentication mechanism, allowing your Brightspace instance to talk to your Echo360 instance. 

To add a Brightspace LMS configuration to Echo360

  1. As an Echo360 Admin, click the Settings icon (it looks like a gear). 
  2. Select Configurations.
    The LMS Configurations page appears by default. 
  3. In the right side of the LMS configurations page, click Configurations, as shown below. 
  4. Click Add Configuration, then select Desire2Learn from the drop-down list, and click Save.
    While the selection option says Desire2Learn, once the configuration exists, you can edit the LMS name in the text box then click SAVE if you prefer it read "Brightspace".

A Brightspace/D2L LMS Configuration appears on the page, as is shown in the below figure. The Key, Secret, and URL field values are the values you will copy and paste into Blackboard for ALL of your Echo360 tool configurations.

LMS configurations page with Add Configuration button identified and a Desire2Learn LMS Configuration block showing
 

Step 2: Create an Echo360 External Learning Tool Provider in Brightspace

Brightspace uses External Learning Tools to integrate with external systems. Echo360 strongly recommends that the Echo360 Tool you add to Brightspace are added at the Account level AND applied to "all descendants" in the desired organizations/departments. Adding tool providers at the Account/Organization level (rather than at the individual course level) makes those tools and their functionality available to all courses in the organization(s).  

As a Brightspace admin, navigate to the Account and select the Settings icon from the top right corner. Then select External Learning Tools from the options shown.

Brightspace Admin settings options with External tool link identified as described
 

Complete the fields in the External Tool form, using the URL, Key, and Secret values from the LMS Configuration in Echo360 created in Step 1 above.

BE SURE to configure the Security Settings and the Link availability settings properly. AT A MINIMUM, Echo360 requires the user name, user email address, and role. Other selections may aid in the LTI communication required for future integration, so unless you have a specific reason not to, checking all the options is recommended.  ALSO NOTE that you should make the link available to all descendants under the account/organizational unit. See Adding Echo360 as an External Tool in Brightspace for additional details.

Brightspace LTI tool provider Security settings section of configuration page with options as described
 

Step 3: Create a Remote Plugin for Echo360 for Embedding Videos

While this step is optional, if you want to allow users to embed Echo360 videos directly from their Echo360 content library into Brightspace content windows, you need to create a Remote Plugin that, like the External LTI Tool configured in Step 2, points to your Echo360 instance using the LMS Configuration field values.The Remote Plugin will provide an Echo360 option in the Insert Stuff button selections in content windows in Brightspace.

As a Brightspace admin, navigate to the Account and select the Settings icon from the top right corner. Then select Remote Plugins from the options shown.

Brightspace Admin settings options with Remote Plugins link identified as described
 

Complete the fields in the External Tool form, using the URL, Key, and Secret values from the LMS Configuration in Echo360 created in Step 1 above.

Create a new Remote Plugin dialog box with fields completed as described

The ONLY difference between the External Tool setup and the Remote Plugin setup for Echo360 is that the URL you copy/paste from the Desire2Learn LMS configuration into the URL field of the plugin MUST be appended with /launch/library so that when the Echo360 option from Insert Stuff is clicked, it opens the user's library and lists the embeddable video content contained there. See Adding an Echo360 Remote Plugin for Embedding Echo360 Videos.

Step 4: Link Brightspace Courses to Echo360 Sections/Classes

This is potentially the most complicated set of steps in the process, because there are several different ways to go about it, depending on whether it's the Admin or the Instructor who executes it, whether the instructor is exporting Echo360 analytic data into their Brightspace course gradebook, whether the Echo360 sections already exist for linking or if one-click course provisioning is turned on, and whether or not additional links beyond just a link to the main Echo360 section are needed (such as to individual classes).

See Adding an Echo360 Link to Brightspace courses for information beyond the basic steps provided below.

The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Navigate to a Brightspace course and add a Module to the course content. 
  2. Add an Existing Activity to the module, selecting External Learning Tools, then select the Echo360 External LTI Tool created in Step 2 above.  
    Brightspace course with new module and adding Existing Activity menu open with External Learning Tools option identified as described
     
  3. Click the external tool link you just created and use the screen that appears to select a Term, Course, and Section in Echo360 to link this Brightspace course to. See Linking LMS Courses to Echo360 Sections for additional details. 
    If an Admin performs this step, that user is then enrolled in the Echo360 section as an Instructor; you may wish to unenroll yourself from these sections later.
    Echo360 link in Brightspace Course with term, course, and section selections shown as described

     
  4. ALTERNATELY: If One-Click Course Provisioning is turned on, the initial click-through of this link will auto-create the course and section in Echo360, and you are immediately taken to the main section page. It will be empty (no classes) until an instructor creates one or more classes, launches an ad hoc capture, or an administrator configures a lecture capture schedule for the section.
  5. After selecting and linking the Echo360 section, scroll to the bottom of the frame where the Echo360 section appears and add an Assessment entry for the Echo360 link. This adds a column in the Gradebook to receive exported Echo360 student engagement analytics
    Assessment field for External Tool link to provide column for Echo360 gradebook exports as described
     
  6. We also recommend that you edit the properties of the activity tool link to Echo360 and check the Open as External Resource checkbox. This allows Echo360 to open in a new tab, providing more viewing space for classes and the media contained therein. 
Once the initial Brightspace-to-Echo360 linking is complete, instructors may choose to create multiple module/links and link to individual classes within an Echo360 section

When a student passes through the link from Brightspace into Echo360, they are automatically enrolled into the section as a student. If the student is not yet an Echo360 user, their Echo360 account is automatically created when they pass into Echo360.

Brightspace course instructors are automatically enrolled into the Echo360 section as Instructors, if they are not already enrolled. Instructors may also have their Echo360 account created if it does not already exist when they pass into Echo360 from Brightspace. See also Disabling Automatic Instructor Creation (for LMS users) if this is not appropriate for your institution.

Brightspace Admins who pass into an Echo360 section this way are also enrolled as Instructors into the Echo360 course. See LMS to Echo360 User Role Mappings for additional details.

Step 5: Provide Articles to Instructors and Students as necessary

As noted in Step 3, some or all of those procedures can be done by Instructors or Admins. Once the functionality has been added to Brightspace, let instructors and students know how to take advantage of it.

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