Ingram and Blackboard announced an integration of the Ingram Vital Source platform onto the Blackboard learning management system. From their press release:
Blackboard Inc. and Vital Source Technologies, Inc., an Ingram Content Group company, have launched pilot programs with a number of colleges and universities to test-drive an integrated offering that makes the VitalSource Bookshelf® platform and its hundreds of thousands of e-Textbooks available directly within Blackboard Learn™, the company's flagship learning management system (LMS).
Indiana University—Fort Wayne, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Fayetteville Technical Community College are among the institutions participating in the field trial. With the integration instructors can preview and select e-textbooks, content and learning objects from the VitalSource Bookshelf platform that students can then access through a single sign-on.
Participants in the field trial will provide ongoing feedback to the companies about their experience to strengthen the offering. Participating instructors have expressed satisfaction with the ability to annotate e-textbooks, link to content from anywhere within a course or assignment and assess how students are progressing through content. Students have been enthusiastic about using e-textbooks on mobile devices through native iOS® and Android™ applications, including deep linking that makes pages and features such as notes, highlights and annotations look the same on e-textbooks as they do in printed textbooks.
"My students read more because with this technology, you can assign the reading, and they'll know that I'm checking closely on whether they've read it or not," said Minnie Wagner, business and healthcare management program chair at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville. "So it has helped students to be more proactive and make sure that they're prepared for the class."
The integrated solution, expected to be available this summer, would offer two purchase models. Institutions that include textbooks as part of tuition could place e-textbooks directly into Blackboard Learn courses for immediate student access. Alternatively, a student-purchase option would give instructors the opportunity to make e-textbooks available for students to purchase or rent from within their Blackboard Learn course environment.