By Jeffrey R. Young
Las Vegas — Blackboard, a company that makes software that many colleges use to run their classroom and online courses, announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its support for MOOCs, though it is relatively late to the much-talked-about trend of massive open online courses.
“We watched really carefully, and we thought about doing something” sooner, said Ray Henderson, president of Blackboard’s teaching and learning division, in an interview this week. “This is one of those times when we said this is a watch and develop, not jump on it.”
The company announced at its annual conference here that it would create a new MOOC platform that colleges could use free if they were existing Blackboard customers. The company has already hosted a couple of dozen MOOCs on a service called CourseSites, but the new platform will be enhanced with features to help colleges run courses for large numbers of students—and it will let colleges make some connections between their on-campus courses and their free open courses, if they choose to.
CourseSites will remain in operation, but in the future it will be reserved for its original purpose—not to offer MOOCs, but to let professors experiment with Blackboard’s software for their traditional courses.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/blackboard-announces-new-mooc-platform/44687 ]