Blackboard Inc. and Moodle Pty Ltd.’s relationship first began in 2012 as a result of the acquisition of Moodlerooms by Blackboard – the world’s largest and most reliable provider of ‘open source’ teaching and learning solutions. This was the beginning of a partnership that would only grow over time, and a new agreement between these two companies has recently been made.
The agreement was initiated on March 29, in Madrid, Spain, by Phillip Miller, International Vicepresident of Open Source Services for Blackboard Inc., and Martin Dougiamas, Founder and CEO of Moodle Pty Ltd. They gave some of their time to talk about the deal with E-Learn Magazine. Blackboard and Moodle have always shared a common goal: to transform the traditional, teacher-based education model and introduce an intense but dynamic change to the field. For almost four years, they have been increasingly aiming their collaborative efforts towards e-learning solutions.
As a result of the recent agreement, Blackboard will undergo an expansion to develop a stronger presence in multiple, different markets in order to directly support Moodle and open source. They have decided to focus on countries such as the US, Australia, UK, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Germany, France, Japan and the Philippines – all places with a significant number of Moodle platform users, with Blackboard now being their official ‘Moodle Partner’ in these territories. “I am very happy to move forward in our partnership with Blackboard; we gain tremendous support from you and, of course, from other ‘Moodle Partners’ and the rest of the community. This partnership makes it possible for Moodle to really focus on the future and be able to provide everything the community needs. It is important that true ‘open source’ remains a strong option, and for this I am happy to have the support that Blackboard provides”, said the Moodle creator.
Meanwhile, the Blackboard team of open source developers continues to grow thanks to ongoing acquisitions of ‘Moodle Partners’, such as those previously made with NetSpot, Remote-Learner UK and Nivel 7. This new deal will bring much more success to the Moodle project and to its ‘open source’ community of over 70 million users.
Phillip Miller appreciates the changes that have been incorporated into Blackboard partly as a result of its partnership with Moodle, and recognizes the importance of being their biggest and most important ‘Moodle Partner’: “We support the academic industry, since Blackboard is a global company and the largest of its kind in the e-learning field. The closer our relationship with Moodle becomes, the more we can support ‘open source’, and therefore academia,” said Miller. But the relationship between the two corporations doesn’t end there. “Blackboard’s business model has changed substantially over recent years; before we only focused on offering proprietary software, but today we have a much broader solutions portfolio and since Moodle has such a robust global presence, it’s important that we connect with their community”.
With the implementation of this new agreement, both parties will clearly benefit. On the one hand, Blackboard continues to grow within its role as the main ‘Moodle Partner’ in many parts of the world, providing support, as Phillip Miller said, to both open source and academia; on the other hand, Moodlerooms and Moodle have together ensured themselves a large amount of resources and contributions that will allow them to focus on the future and to continue to provide its extensive clientele and community with everything they need to make their LMS an increasingly stronger platform.