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Blackboard Partners with Major Education Publishers for LMS Integration

Four major education publishers revealed new partnerships with Blackboard Wednesday, including Cengage Learning, John Wiley & Sons, Macmillan, and Pearson.

The partnerships are designed to deliver enhanced integration between Blackboard's flagship learning management system, Blackboard Learn, and the learning resources and tools offered by the four publishers.

The partnership with Cengage Learning, according to Blackboard, will allow Learn users to access Cengage digital materials and curriculum tools, along with gradebook integration and automatic sign-on.

According to Blackboard, "The effort plans to offer a better experience for users of online homework provided via CourseMaster products such as Aplia and SAM as well as CourseMate and course cartridges. The added level of integration is made possible through Cengage Learning's standards-based, interoperable, Web-services architecture (MindLinks) and the Blackboard Building Blocks program and open APIs of the Blackboard Learn platform. The agreement will also include ongoing interoperability options for Cengage Learning's MindTap program and future product development."

A similar agreement with Wiley will provide integration between Learn and Wiley's educational software, including WileyPlus. Integration will include gradebook synchronization and access to Wiley digital materials using Blackboard credentials. "The integration plans to eliminate the need for students and instructors to manage activities and information in separate systems with multiple logins, and it also plans to greatly enhance adoption and workflow for users of Wiley's digital content and tools within Blackboard Learn," according to information released by the two companies.

The partnership with Macmillan will allow users to access all Macmillan digital resources through Blackboard Learn, including materials published by Macmillan subsidiaries Bedford/St. Martin's, Hayden McNeil, W.H. Freeman, and Worth Publishers. The integration will also include grades and other performance data.

Finally, the deal with Pearson will bring integration between Learn and Pearson's CourseConnect and MyLab and Mastering programs, which are in use by 9 million students in higher education, according to Pearson. The integration will include single sign-on; access to Pearson's digital materials, assignments, and learning analytics; and gradebook synchronization.

No anticipated completion dates were announced for the integrations.

Cengage, Pearson, and Wiley are now formally Blackboard Strategic Partners through Blackboard's partner program. Macmillan has become a Blackboard Premier Partner. All of the announcements were made at BbWorld 2011, taking place this week in Las Vegas. Additional details about Blackboard's partnership programs can be found on the company's partner portal.

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