Learning Management Systems | News

Blackboard To Expand Content Options

Blackboard has teamed up with textbook providers McGraw-Hill, Follett, and Barnes & Noble to enhance the availability of educational content in Blackboard Learn, the company's flagship online learning management platform. The new partnership extends Learn's development trend toward content incorporation from outside sources on the Internet, such as wiki pages, news archives, and multimedia social networking sites Flickr and YouTube, all examples of content accessible in Learn 9.1.

Browser-based Blackboard Learn combines course lesson structure, assessment, and content management modules with community support features including discussion boards, chat, and student-editable course content modules. The announced partnership will integrate the McGraw-Hill Connect, Follett CaféScribe, and Barnes & Noble Nookstudy platforms directly within Blackboard Learn.

McGraw-Hill Connect brings together the company's textbook content with lecture capture and online assignments which are automatically graded with results exported to Blackboard Learn. While Connect is currently available separately, the integration with Learn will not be complete until "early 2011," Blackboard said in a press statement.

Meanwhile the completed Follett CaféScribe integration, incorporated through Blackboard's Building Blocks open architecture scheme, is presently available for download. With CaféScribe, members can browse titles by various criteria, purchase selections through the online store or participating campus bookstore, and organize texts with provided thumbnail and listing tools. The latest version includes expanded search options for people or groups, plus support for sharing of notes, ideas, and documents between students, instructors, and the CaféScribe community. Other features include text highlighting, taking of notes (which can be shared with other users), and an auto-summary.

Another Blackboard Building Block offering will facilitate online textbook purchases through Barnes & Noble and allow access to Nookstudy, the company's planned content management application with highlighting and note-taking, simultaneous textbook view, and course material organization features. This integration is expected to be available in conjunction with the release of Nookstudy later this year

Further information about Blackboard Learn can be found here. More about Follett CaféScribe can be found here, the upcoming McGraw-Hill Connect here, and Barnes & Noble Nookstudy here.

About the Author

Evan Tassistro is a freelance writer based in San Diego, CA.

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