Blackboard is branching out, testing a virtual bookstore within its learning management system that allows faculty to choose content and students to buy online. Content offered will run the gamut of new, used, rental, e-text, open source, and material faculty members produce themselves.
The store is designed to provide students with the required content for all their classes in a shopping cart ready for checkout. Blackboard is working with MBS Direct to provide the content.
The bookstore service is being tested on about a dozen campuses this spring and will expand in the summer, according to a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“We simply thought there was room for something different: A convenient, student-focused option designed specifically to support the educational experience,” Blackboard CEO Jay Bhatt told The Washington Post. “Students already use their learning platform to find out which materials they will need for their courses. It just makes sense that they should be able to buy or rent the materials in the same environment without having to go somewhere else or having to worry about whether they are getting the right items.”