Blackboard Open Enrollment Announcement

In another move following Blackboard’s March 26th announcement (aggregated responses on e-Literate site), yesterday Blackboard announced that Instructors using their CourseSitescan 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


5 thoughts on “Blackboard Open Enrollment Announcement

    1. As you mention, institutions can and do use commercial hosts, such as rSmart. – The institution I work for is in fact an rSmart client. The point I was making is that the commercial provider, although usually offering course sites for limited time or evaluation, haven’t been offering a long term service, apart from those hosted for a particular client, for hosting course sites. The coming Sakai OAE is of course, another example of the trend towards more choices and better support for collaborative efforts. I’m looking forward to it. Is your institution currently running Sakai OAE? I haven’t had time to investigate it yet. By the way, MusicForDeckChairs leads one to believe Australia is entirely populated by Moodle and Blackboard users. Would you see if you can do something about that? )

  1. Hi Laura, rSmart does actually support public environments that are used by faculty to teach courses. While it’s true that these environments are primarily designed for evaluation. They aren’t time-limited and they do get used as public teaching environments. What better way to evaluate right? 🙂

    MySakai is the mature, full-featured LMS:

    … and rSmart Academic is the new learning platform:

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