Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology, announced today that it has partnered with Iowa State University to develop software that will allow institutions to connect their Blackboard® learning environment with the open source Moodle course management system.
In July, Blackboard announced a similar partnership with Syracuse University to develop an integration for the open source Sakai course management system. Both efforts -- which will be made available at no cost to institutions in the Blackboard community -- are part of Project NG, Blackboard's multi-year, multi-release effort to deliver a next generation teaching and learning solution that enables educators to better customize their educational ecosystems.
With support from Blackboard, Iowa State will develop the Learning Environment Connector for Moodle to seamlessly integrate the two systems and provide faculty and students with access to a full range of educational opportunities and materials in one place. Leveraging Blackboard Building Blocks™ technology, the Connector will allow students and faculty who primarily access their courses through the Blackboard platform-but are part of a program, department or class using Moodle -- to access all of their courses in one place, with a single login.
The Connector will also allow institutions to share information, data, learning tools and resources between the Blackboard learning environment and Moodle, creating a greater level of interoperability and flexibility for faculty and course designers.
"This effort will create new levels of freedom and control for faculty and students," said Michael L. Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "A more open learning platform is something that we have made a priority-and are excited to be delivering-in collaboration with active members of Blackboard's global community."
"We are pleased to partner with Blackboard in this effort that will bring new flexibility and ease of use not just to our own campus but to our peers in the Blackboard community," said Randal Dalhoff, Assistant Director of Academic Technologies for Iowa State University's Information Technology Services.
As a Blackboard Building Block, the Learning Environment Connector for Moodle is made possible by technology that allows institutions or third-parties to create and share enhancements and extensions to the Blackboard learning environment. The Connector will be released as open source and join more than 150 free or open source Blackboard Building Blocks currently available to the Blackboard community.
Iowa State will lead development of the Connector, with design guidance and support from Blackboard. The underlying technology for the Connector is available today and was first developed by Blackboard for version 8 of the Blackboard Learning System™. The Learning Environment Connector makes it possible for students and faculty to use other course management systems within the Blackboard environment.
The announcement was made at the EDUCAUSE 2008 annual conference in Orlando, Fla., where several thousand members of the higher education community have gathered at the industry's premier information technology event.
For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
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