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Blackboard Scholar discontinued

January 16, 2012

The Blackboard Scholar service was shut down on Friday January 13. I’m not aware of any staff at West London using this tool (basically a Blackboard version of social bookmarking sites like delicious.com) and it would appear that take-up worldwide was not what Blackboard had hoped. This follows the ending of the Blackboard Facebook Sync tool in the autumn.

The following extract from their most recent support bulletin gives an indication of their future plans:

The Scholar product never achieved broad usage among clients. Client feedback indicated social bookmarking was too narrow of a social activity and difficult to integrate in instructional practices.

Based on the low usage of this solution, we feel our focus and development resources are better spent on other key areas of the application suite. Blackboard is fully committed to social learning and is working on several development projects that will improve the close connection and integration of social learning and the classroom. Blackboard learned important insights from Scholar. These observations, among others, have informed the vision for social learning that Blackboard shared with our clients this past July at BbWorld 2011 in Las Vegas. (For more information on this vision, see the video of the BbWorld 2011 keynote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlGA9_p_–c ).

Enabling Blackboard students and faculty to connect with each other through Blackboard Learn and through other social media applications remains a key component of the Blackboard vision, and we look forward to sharing more with you about this in coming months.

At the recent Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference among the plans which Blackboard revealed (although not, as I recall, with a more concrete timescale than “possibly late 2012”) was My Stream – a social space for users within Blackboard, bringing aspects of Facebook and other social networking tools, but for educational purposes and not an attempt to replace or compete with Facebook. Watch this space!

 

 

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