We have Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP8 and are trying to evaluate the main differences between Merge Enrollments (system Admin>Courses>Create Course) and Course Merge Tool (Blackboard building block)
I've read various threads on the subject already but none which highlight the differences.
We are presuming that the Course Merge Tool building block has additional features.
Can anyone enlighten us?
I'm afraid I've never used the Course Merge Tool building block, so I can't really highlight the differences between in an the Merge Enrollments feature that comes with SP8. I would not necessarily assume that the building block has that many additional features--the only one I'm really aware of is that the building block allows you to decide whether the child courses should be available, unavailable, or disabled after the merge, while the built-in tool automatically makes them unavailable but will not allow you to disable them. However, the built-in merge tool can apparently be managed through the new data integration tools, while I don't think the building block can.
thanks Mike.I'll investigate further.
In my experience the chief benefit of the built in tool over the building block is that the built in tool maintains a connection between the student and their source section.
i.e. the grade center of the merged course contains a column listing the section of origin for each student. The old section merge tool building block doesn't do this.
We ran into a bug with this tool for 9.1 SP8 in August & September of this year (2012). The bug in the section merge tool occurred when a student in a merged course un-enrolled in one section and re-enrolled in another section. Some possibly all students moving between sections of the same course would be made permanently unavailable.
We ended up having to undo all of our merges and re-merge using the building block while Blackboard sorted out the problem. Thankfully Blackboard developed a patch and hotfixed our production server, but by then it didn't make sense to switch merge tools mid semester.
I believe this problem has also been solved in BB learn 9.1 SP9. We're looking forward to testing this before spring of 2013.
Thanks for sharing your experience with both tools, Andrew.
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