Blackboard Inc. has partnered with Syracuse University to develop software that will allow institutions to connect their Blackboard learning environment with the open-source Sakai course management system, MarketWatch reports. The effort is part of Project NG, Blackboard’s multi-year, multi-release project to deliver a next-generation teaching and learning solution. With Project NG, Blackboard is working to create a more open, flexible platform that allows educators to better personalize, customize, and integrate their educational ecosystem, the company says. As part of Project NG, Blackboard developed the Learning Environment Connector, which makes it possible for students and faculty to use other course management systems within the Blackboard environment and is available now on version 8 of the Blackboard Learning System. Building on that technology, Syracuse will develop the Blackboard-Sakai Connector to allow for seamless integration between the two systems. Blackboard is planning to develop a similar connector for the open-source Moodle course management system. "Students should not have to worry about whether different technology is powering their online learning environments for different classes," said Michael L. Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard. "With a single login, users should have access to all of their courses and course material. There should be one place they can go to get all of their course information."

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