Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reducing the Clicks from User to Content

As the back-to-class season draws closer, a number of course materials systems are hooking up.

At its own BbWorld annual conference in New Orleans, Blackboard announced plans to develop one-click access to Ingram’s Vital Source e-textbook platform directly within the Blackboard Learn learning management system. The integration, intended for both computers and mobile devices, will allow faculty and students already logged into Learn to click into digital course content without messing around with software or additional logins. Vital Source has 80,000 titles.

Blackboard is also getting a little cozier with CourseSmart. Since last November, the two have been working with 20 campuses to pilot integration of CourseSmart’s Building Block digital catalog with Blackboard Learn. Like the Vital Source arrangement, the integration enables users to access the course materials with a single sign-on. The pilot was apparently successful as Blackboard will now make Building Block available at no charge to all schools using Learn 9.1.

For its part, CourseSmart has also been dancing with Desire2Learn. In an enhanced integration announced recently, CourseSmart’s 30,000-title e-textbook catalog will be available through Desire2Learn’s learning management system. Once again, students and instructors will be able to get there via just one click.

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