Self-Registration Feature in Blackboard Vista

I’ve always found this kludgey.

The navigation is way too deep… especially for an institution where only certain selections are going to be available for self-registration anyway. In our case we have a Bb Vista “model course” and we have Alcohol and Drug Education courses, and an occasional community site.

The way it works is to click on “Course List” and then click through the hierarchy that you aren’t really going to know. Default Division. Click. Non-Accredited Courses. Click. Special-use Category. Click. Alcohol and Drug Education. Click. “Women and Alcohol.” Click. I’m finally at the self-registration screen.


There’s the problem. (Self-registration is so kludgey that when we branded our LMS a year ago, we didn’t include the Course List java widget on the page, so you can’t actually follow that path on our server).

The solution has been a long time coming but I finally figured it out. Rather than creating a form with hidden glcid, institutionID and name, and TimezoneOffset params, etc, I just added a javascript section to an html header. So, for example, take the model course. Once you click down to the self-registratrion screen your address bar has a URL that looks like this:

Yes, it’s a real link and full of information that you could find out yourself anyway. Click on it (hm, can I trust Laura?). Now press enter *again*. This time you get the self-registration screen. Weird?

So what I did was put a URL as javascript source, into the page header; it passes the glcid and institution parameters as the page loads (which turns out to be the only parameters self-registration needs). Then, when the student clicks on the link for “Model Course” (or whatever), the courseID and sectionID for that class are passed to the application and the self-registration screen opens. 1 click for them.

A piece of code (that doesn’t look too scary) for the community to include on their webpage where their constituents are signing up for the class. I just sent the required snippet for their webpage to our Alcohol and Drug Education Director as an email txt attachment.

A raw example of that kind of thing is here:

You can view the source to see the javascript component …