The People tool gives users access to their learning network. The People tool was introduced in Service Pack 10 as part of Cloud Profiles & Tools and enables users to see who is in their courses and organizations with them and view an institution-wide directory. If your institution uses Community Engagement, you have access to the enhanced People tool when you enable Social Profiles & Tools. Enhancements include:
- Ability to search and view Profiles of all users in the global learning network of Blackboard Learn institutions (i.e. cross-institution search)
- Ability to follow and message users in the global learning network to make connections
- Ability to view and manage your connections (who you are following and who is following you)
When you enable the Social Profiles & Tools, you are connecting your institution to a global learning network of Blackboard Learn institutions. Access to this cross-institution global learning network is one of the primary values of the new social learning tools. A key benefit for users lies in the ability to have access to relationships and resources for learning that otherwise would not have been easily accessible. When we conducted user research in developing these features, students told us they do not want to be limited in who they can learn from, as their expectations are driven by their use of worldwide social media tools. Therefore, you can't limit users to interact with only those users within the same Blackboard Learn environment.
Courses and organizations can be excluded from appearing in the People Tool and changing the context of a user's privacy setting.
Example: You have a student orientation course in which you enroll all users at the institution. This institution-wide course would be added to each user's People tool, making the user's profile accessible to all users at the institution. This exposes the user's private Profile to other contexts that they did not actively decide to participate in. Excluding this institution-wide course hides it from the People tool and prevents other users enrolled in the course from discovering and viewing another person's Profile.