Blackboard and Moodle are the two leading players in the learning management system sector, and by maintaining strong links with the Moodle community Blackboard has placed a bet each way by continuing to invest in its own proprietary system and also in the open source learning management community.
Mark Drechsler, director of consulting for NetSpot, said that the announcement was a “very significant landmark” and represented the largest piece of work contributed back to the Moodle community by NetSpot. For Blackboard he said it; “Demonstrates their commitment to contributing code back to the Moodle community.”
He said that the universities which were involved were Canberra, Flinders, La Trobe, New England, Southern Queensland and Massey in New Zealand. Mr Drechsler acknowledged however that the initiative was underway prior to the Blackboard purchase in March.
Mr Drechsler said that the earlier Moodle assignment module dated back to the early 2000s and its structure was hampering the efficiency of teachers and lecturers. He said that the new administrative functions which were available in the completely new assignment module which is part of the core Moodle 2.3 would streamline assignment handling.
Meanwhile Blackboard’s Moodlerooms team has made Flexpage, a tool for organising the layout of materials and content on a course page, available as open source code to the Moodle community. Previously available as part of its joule cloud based Moodle system, Flexpage has now been made generally available to the Moodle community.