Blackboard backs ed-tech standards

Common standards could save money for campus IT departments.

Common standards for online learning became more likely this week after Blackboard, Inc. announced that it would support an open database initiative that could make educational content usable on any platform.

Blackboard, in a Jan. 10 release, said the leading learning management system (LMS) and dominant market force would have “full support” for ed-tech industry standards known as Common Cartridge and Basic Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI).

The standards have been developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium, a nonprofit organization that advocates for greater use of education technology through interoperability. IMS officials certified Common Cartridge and Basic LTI in November.

Blackboard’s commitment means faculty members could use online exams, for example, on a variety of web platforms, instead of being limited to the LMS their college or university uses. Using Common Cartridge standards would mean professors and their students would be able to log onto several websites through the same account because the platforms will be integrated.