Blackboard to offer Moodle and Sakai services in the race for student data

Yesterday a slew of major announcements from Blackboard sent shock waves through the open source learning technologies community. The first was that Blackboard is to acquire two major Moodle Partners – Moodlerooms in North America and Netspot in Australia. The second was that Blackboard is hiring Sakai founder Chuck Severance in an effort to extend its service offering to Sakai as well as Moodle. And as if this weren’t enough, Blackboard also announced its decision to continue supporting Angel VLE, a product it acquired some years ago and was set to discontinue. All of this under the umbrella of the Blackboard Education Open Source Services. Open letters and quotes were published by all involved: Blackboard, BB Learn President Ray Henderson, Sakai’s Chuck Severance, Moodlerooms CEO Lou Pugliese and Netspot Director Mark Dreschler.

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Experiments with Moodle multi-tenancy

Multi SitesWe should see native support for multi-tenancy in Moodle 2.3 which is due out in June and I’m keen to see how this will work. UPDATE 19/03: thanks to Gavin Henrick and Tim Hunt who pointed out that this feature was dropped from the Moodle 2.3 roadmap last month. I have removed a few references this release below.

A few months ago I came across this excellent post over on Dan Poltawski’s blog:  Multi-tenant Moodle without the 2.2 feature where he expands on the multi-tenancy Moodle setup they have at LUNS which scales to over 1,000 Moodle sites from a single codebase. I think this method will be hard to beat but we shall see with the release of 2.3.

I’ve been meaning to have a play with Dan’s setup for a while and never got round to it, but one our lovely Systems lads at Epic kindly had a go and we got this working, with some tweaks to the setup which we had to work out for ourselves. So if you’re interested, here’s what we did. Thanks ever so much to the brilliant Steve Avey for getting this working!

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