The Blackboard Sprint

It's time for our first-ever Feature Focus, a series of insights deep diving into the new elements of AppsAnywhere 3.0. We're extremely proud of this release as it’s packed full of new features; all of which were asked for by customers. A highly requested one that we can finally chalk off the wish list is integration with Blackboard Learn.

You should know... we always add our development sprint goals on the blackboard above our office bar. The irony was not lost on us this sprint!

Blackboard Learn Integration

Blackboard Learn is a Learning Management System (LMS) where you can create courses, enroll students, and also add external applications related to the course. This is where AppsAnywhere comes in.

When we integrated with Canvas in AppsAnywhere 2.10, we created a special view of the portal specifically intended for integration with Learning Management Systems, and we've improved it in 3.0.

Adding Blackboard to the list of Learning Management Systems that we support, with the ambition to add more in future releases, is all part of our commitment to Higher Education. It's our mission to provide students with access to their applications anywhere, anytime, on any device.

So by integrating with Learning Management Systems we're increasing the coverage of the where, the time, and the how.

Once AppsAnywhere has been configured, the administrator creates a bespoke app list and links it to their course in Blackboard so their students can launch any of the intended apps, right where they're doing their work.

Who launched the app? Professor Plum, with Blackboard, in the classroom!

So, How Does it Work?

AppsAnywhere makes use of a technology standard called Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) which allows learning systems to communicate with external tools. To use it, first, you create an LTI application in AppsAnywhere from the connectors section in the admin menu. Then you add the LTI application within the LMS.

Course administrators use the app list feature to create a list for their courses and add the necessary applications to it. The list is then associated with the course from within the AppsAnywhere app in Blackboard.

They can also choose or change the list associated with a course directly on Blackboard. Whilst performing an action such as editing a list, AppsAnywhere will check for updates within Blackboard, which means we can reflect those changes immediately.

Try it today!

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Students can visit their course, see the apps in the app list, and then launch an application directly from Blackboard. It's as simple as that. This ability to launch an app directly from the LMS is brand new to 3.0 and also applies to the Canvas integration too.

If your university is not a Blackboard user, fear not as we have plans to integrate with more systems in future releases. But for those that are, we hope you’re looking forward to making use of this new integration.

Got an idea for a new product feature?

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