Blackboard Announces Full Support for Key Open Education Standards

Bb logoBlackboard today announced full support for two key industry standards – Common Cartridge and Basic Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) – that make it easier for instructors and others to share educational content and resources. The announcement, and the growing popularity of the open database initiative for the Blackboard Learn™ platform, mark key milestones in Blackboard’s work to establish a more open platform for teaching and learning.

Conformance for both standards – Common Cartridge 1.0 and Basic LTI – was certified by the IMS Global Learning Consortium in November 2010. Support for the standards was made available to clients in December as part of Service Pack 4 for Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1. The company plans to continue support for each standard going forward to give clients and users greater choice and flexibility in the use of course tools and course content.
“We committed to being a leader in the development of open education standards – not just a participant, and we’ve now delivered on that initiative,” said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn and a member of the IMS board of directors. “This is a big milestone for us and for our clients, and a sign of the maturity of the education technology industry. We thank IMS Global for their partnership and their focus in helping the industry move forward in this important area.”
With Common Cartridge, educators and instructional designers can use learning tools and content across various learning platforms to promote greater sharing of content and resources across the global teaching and learning community. With LTI, clients have more choices for integrating external learning tools within Blackboard Learn courses, and publishers can develop high quality content that can be distributed to the teaching and learning community more easily.
“Blackboard deserves a lot of credit for its significant investment in helping to develop these open standards and making them available to clients,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global. “Educators and institutions using Blackboard Learn are going to realize significant benefits in terms of being able to remix content and access to a wide range of discipline specific learning tools.”
In addition to supporting LTI, Blackboard has adopted the standard in its work with McGraw-Hill Higher Education to develop a new solution that combines the best of the Blackboard Learn and McGraw Hill Connect platforms. Using LTI, the companies are working to achieve a deep, seamless integration of content, tools and platform that will offer a significantly streamlined workflow for instructors and students.

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