More about Blackboard’s “Project XP”

1997

Ahh, now I get it.  XP stands for “Cross Platform”.  Anyways, here’s the full Blackboard keynote from the recent BBWorld event down in New Orleans, Louisiana.  During the keynote Project XP (xpLOR) was announced and explained.  You can catch up on it here (starts at about 13 minutes in): http://youtu.be/GeHQnNHUN8M?hd=1&t=13m3s.

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xpLor started as a project at Moodlerooms, built to be cross platform already its no surprise that Blackboard is embracing it as a bridge between it’s multiple LMS solutions (Angel, Learn, Joule, etc.).

The goal of any content repository, which Michael Chasen, Corporate Keynoter articulated:

We started working on incredible technology to address what we believe to be one of the core and most fundamental issues and challenges institutions face today: the search, creation and management of content at your institution making sure that that content is available across the different platforms that may be implemented not only at your institution; but as well as enabling you, our partner institutions, to better share content among each other.

xpLor gets after that by providing a platform for Learning Objects and Assets that can be tagged, categorized and aligned to any core standard so that its easily searchable and manageable.  All the data is captured and becomes  richer as it’s used, reused, shared and consumed.  xpLor supports LTI and Common Cartridge so there are tons of possibilities to be had in moving content from one LMS to another.  It also provides great meta data for the objects (CC license, reports of usage elsewhere, etc.) and allows for rapid deployment not just to one course, but many if your permissions fit.

One of the coolest parts of the demo in the video is the rollout of the same assessment to Angel, Joule and Sakai.  Since all play nicely with LTI and xpLor is LMS neutral the exam can be used in each with very little look and feel lost.  The grade information is captured as you’d expect (in each LMS) but data is also reported back to xpLor so that if you were the publisher of that assessment you are getting feedback on the questions in your assessment.  A psychometrician’s dream!

If it hits critical mass then this could be a major disruption to how institutions view their Learning Management System as it both represents a rapid course building tool but also a neutral territory for the storage and organization of learning objects in the cloud.

Check out the BBWorld Corporate Keynote in full here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHQnNHUN8M

5 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting that BB does not refer to Moodle in its cross platform initiative, instead uses its brand “Joule”. Is that correct, Joe?

    What does that mean? Is Joule a fork? And how does it affect the larger Moodle community (i.e. will only Joule users benefit?).

  2. There’s not a lot of info out except that I know that current customers are the only ones testing it (and their beta group was over subscribed so they have turned some of the interest away).

    When I first saw it my sense was that this could work on Moodle as a simple plugin but as Blackboard has taken control over it they are using it for the XP project. That said, if there’s a business case that makes it worthwhile to introduce this to non-Blackboard customers (including Moodle users far and wide) I am certain they will do so. The key is getting quality publisher content into the network for distribution. After all, at it’s foundation XPLor, F.K.A “FolkLor” is a distribution network and platform.

  3. Joule is Moodlerooms particular flavour of Moodle, so since they own Moodlerooms, they own Joule. At it’s core it is Moodle, but has some Moodlerooms (and now Bb) addins.
    I am hesitant until I see something about cost to Bb and non-Bb and subsidiary users

  4. It being a “flavour” of Moodle is not quite accurate. Joule is more like a set of addons that are above and beyond the Moodle core. This includes tools like a better grade report, more reporting features in general and some easy to use integration points (called Conduit). If you’re familiar with CLAMP-IT’s LAE it’s kinda similar to that; it’s still core Moodle but there are some major improvements added to the mix.

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