Learning Management Systems

Blackboard Reasserts Commitment to Open Source

In the wake of news of its split from Moodle, Blackboard has reaffirmed its commitment to its Moodle-based Software-as-a-Service product and the open source community. "Our decision to leave the Moodle Certified Partner Program does not affect in any way our unwavering support of open source and open standards," asserted Kathleen Vieira, Blackboard chief portfolio officer, in a blog post today. "We have a very strong admiration for Moodle Pty and its contributions to education and the open source community."

Vieira cited the product's recent growth, with "more than 1,000 clients using our Moodle-based product and 20 percent of them have joined in the last year with a growing pipeline." The company will continue to invest in the product in a number of areas, she said, including:

  • Better support of IMS Global standards;
  • Enhanced in-product help and support features;
  • Continued focus on universal access; and
  • Deeper integration with third-party partners.

Vieira also pointed out that Blackboard has contributed new tools to the open source community, including its Ally accessibility checker and SafeAssign plagiarism detector.

A new name and branding for Blackboard's Moodle-based product is coming soon, according to the company, but in the meantime, Vieira stressed, it's business as usual: "Exiting the Moodle Certified Partner Program will not have any impact on our support of the open source community and there will be no change in our ability to utilize updates and enhancements from the community," she stated. "Additionally, there will be no change in the current user experience for clients and no drop-off in our pace of innovation and development. We will continue to contribute code and features back to the Moodle community — and work to move the community forward together."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].