Blackboard Presents Content Platform Supporting Multiple LMS Systems

bb.jpgBlackboard Inc. launched xpLor, a platform that helps educators manage content across educational platforms and institutions. xpLor is a cloud-based object repository that supports multiple learning management systems (LMS). So far, the platform supports Blackboard Learn, ANGEL, Joule from Moodlerooms and Sakai.

With the xpLor content platform users can:

  • create and store content

  • share it

  • tag and rate it in order to make it discoverable to other LMS users

  • control who can see and change content

  • apply a variety of rights and permissions, from All Rights Reserved to Creative Commons open sharing

  • enable crowdsourcing collaboration and remixing of content

  •  import any type of content supported by the IMS Common Cartridge standard

  • send grades automatically to LMS gradebook

  • track activity when items are used in a course

The platform appears to be neither a LMS nor a content management system but rather a cross between the two with a taste of social. As Ray Henderson, president, academic platforms, and chief technology officer at Blackboard, states:

"xpLor is the first content management system built with the intention to be used in an LMS independent way. It supports content sharing at a great scale and with greater collaboration. The platform also focuses on the work the community must do to curate the content it shares. This is novel, and an important showcase of how openness is driving product development at Blackboard now and in the future."

While higher education experts are expecting major changes in how degrees will be awarded to students—i.e. students may be allowed to take online courses offered by multiple universities, etc.—Blackboard seems to offer the technology to support that: a collaborative platform that integrates various learning management systems. Or, in other words, xpLor may be able to support learning experiences that unfold across educational institutions.
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