This section provides details of the available PowerLinks written for WebCT Vista 4 and WebCT Campus Edition 6. A page is also available to document known issues with the WebCT PowerLinks SDK.


This PowerLink allows section and user details to be passed in a secure manner to a script on another web-based application server which may then use this data to perform, for example, a single signon process. The configuration options allow the details to be passed to be selected as well as the parameter names to be used for each value. Additional user-specified parameters may also be defined. The data is passed to the specified URL as a set of name/value pairs in the query string. They are secured by means of a shared secret to generate a message authentication code (MAC) which is also passed to the other application. The technique adopted is identical to that used by Blackboard themselves and as documented in the Automatic Signon Protocol documentation.


This PowerLink allows a web form to be displayed to a student and for the data entered to be forwarded as a WebCT mail message. An acknowledgement page may also be displayed to the student after they have submitted the form and a feedback email sent to them. The data entered may be saved before being submitted and also retained for displaying or updating in subsequent tasks. Values from columns in the grade book may be displayed and updated, thereby allowing forms to control selective release criteria. To make effective use of this tool users should be familiar with HTML and preparing web forms.


This PowerLink allows a Section Designer to automatically create and manager wiki spaces in Confluence, adding links to these spaces within WebCT. Staff and students may be given different permissions within this wiki space and their user accounts are automatically added to the wiki when they connect.


This PowerLink allows an assessment hosted by QuestionMark Perception to be accessed directly from a WebCT section. User details are passed securely to the Perception server so there is no need for users to be pre-registered or for them to log into the Perception server. It is also possible for the assessment results to be saved in the WebCT Grade Book.


This PowerLink provides a framework within which separate tools can be made available to users via a single proxy tool instance. A tool can be any functionality and can be made available to users based on their role within a section. The toolbox is provided with tools which enable section instructors to be added and removed, calendar entries to be imported from a CSV file and for the start date of a section to be changed. Users can add write and add further tools as required.


The SpACE (Spatial Activities in Course Environments) project combines map data using Google Maps with related content and resources. It can be used for a wide range of activities, including walking tours, field trips, locations of distance students. SpACE-w is an implementation of the editor interface for creating such resources within the WebCT environment.


Are you a PowerLinks developer needing to inspect system properties or objects? Are you developing applications using Velocity templates? Then this PowerLink is just what you need for your development server!


This PowerLink is for use by customers of txttools in conjunction with their SMS text service. It allows staff using WebCT to communicate with their students via SMS text messages. The profile area within WebCT allows users to maintain their own mobile phone number allowing staff to send messages to students enrolled in their Section without needing to either collect or know their numbers. Text messages may also be distributed as an announcement and/or an email.


This PowerLink provides a mechanism for connecting WebCT with external tools which support Basic LTI, a subset of the full IMS Learning Tools Interoperability 2 specification. This allows WebCT to act as a tool consumer of Basic LTI-compliant tools. Whilst the full specification has still to be released, Basic LTI provides an important step towards enabling tool producers to support access from multiple platforms, including different flavours of virtual learning environments (or learning management systems). From a tool consumer perspective it also opens up new opportunities for collaborative work between users of different platforms (or just different installations of the same platform).

The following utilities are also available to support the implementation of PowerLinks.


This package provides PowerLinks developers with access to data objects relating to users and learning contexts. It is functionally equivalent to the com.webct.platform.sdkext.authmoduledata available from Blackboard (but with known bugs fixed) and also includes enhancements to include term and user profile data.


This package provides PowerLinks developers with the ability to save and retrieve named values in a database. The values are associated with a particular proxy tool, instance and/or user and allow data for a user to persist between accesses.


This Windows command-line application can be used to connect to a WebCT 8 application server to reload the deployable components. It is useful when developing a PowerLink and can be run automatically from within a build.xml file when using Ant, for example.

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