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Blackboard Announces Moodle Code Contributions from NetSpot and Moodlerooms

All-New Assignment Module Included in Latest Release of Moodle Core Code

Jul 2, 2012

GOLD COAST, Australia, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. today announced two separate open source contributions of Moodle code from Moodle Partners NetSpot and Moodlerooms, including a completely redesigned assignment module which updates one of the most commonly used tools in the Moodle system.

The new assignment module, developed by Australia-based NetSpot, has been included in the newest release of the Moodle's "core" software, Moodle 2.3, released globally to users in June. NetSpot developed the module in close partnership with the Moodle HQ development team and a consortium of Australian universities, greatly enhancing Moodle's ability to manage electronic submissions and simplifying its use for educators and students.

The Baltimore-based Moodlerooms team has made Flexpage, a tool for organizing the layout of materials and content on a course page, available as open source code to the Moodle community. The tool helps educators and instructional designers create more engaging and visually appealing courses by streamlining the organization and presentation of their content.

The releases continue longstanding efforts at both companies, now part of Blackboard Education Open Source Services, to contribute free and open contributions that add value to the Moodle community. Both contributions are available to Moodle users globally under Moodle's GPL license.

"We're pleased to make a significant contribution to the Moodle project with this effort, and to do our part to ensure that Moodle continues to support the changing needs of educators and education institutions," said NetSpot Chief Executive Allan Christie. "This release is a great example of how collaboration within an engaged open source community can leverage the right talent and insight to benefit millions of users globally."

The University of Canberra and Flinders University were among the institutions that helped to direct NetSpot's development efforts by identifying functionality needed to help support assignment management, particularly at larger institutions. NetSpot will continue to develop new enhancements for the module that will be available in Moodle 2.4, expected later this year.

Designed for Moodle 2.x, the new Flexpage allows an instructor to manipulate and streamline the way that course information, content and activities are displayed on screen. The update has been available for six months within joule, the Moodle-based cloud offering from Moodlerooms, but is now available to any Moodle site that installs the component.

"When a course page is designed towards a purpose, the learning experience is richer for the student," said Tom Murdock, Chief Architect and Vice President of Marketing at Moodlerooms. "Flexpage gives instructors the power to design the kind of layout that will drive their course goals and draw in students. We're pleased to be able to share this module with the Moodle community and expect to make several additional contributions this summer and beyond that enhance core Moodle functionality."

The announcement was made at the Moodlemoot in Queensland, Australia. The event, coordinated by NetSpot, is one of the largest Moodle events in the world. The assignment module will be demonstrated at the Moodlemoot by the NetSpot team who will also actively contribute to the Moodle Hackfest in Perth, Australia, in October.

Flexpage is available for download from the Moodle community plugin database. Users around the world can install the components and review documentation at the Moodle documentation site.

For more information about Blackboard Education Open Source Services, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/opensource

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.


SOURCE Blackboard Inc.