In another move following Blackboard’s March 26th announcement (aggregated responses on e-Literate site), yesterday Blackboard announced that Instructors using their CourseSites™ can make their courses available for enrollment by anyone, effectively supporting an open courseware model. It means individuals can set up open teaching initiatives, community outreach and volunteer training, as well as collaborative research programs.
Of course, Sakai Project Sites also support these activities, but Sakai servers are not usually set up outside institutions.
Instructure Canvas is another company that also supports these activities, with their “Free for Teachers” version. I don’t know whether it supports open enrollment. Yet. But it will.
It’s a strange reversal for those of us observing this space. The past few years were those in which options seemed to become more and more limited. Without much of a pause, the pendulum now swings to more and more choices. Still, other than whether social media and mobile are supported, the choices don’t have many functional differentiators.
Instead, a main platform differentiator appears to be in the models for provisioning, reuse and interoperability of content. Our appetites are continually expanding for high quality content. Publishers, it’s your turn.
For further reading: “When it Comes to Content, Say “Yes” to Wrappers But “No” to Containers”