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About Blackboard Open Content

About Blackboard Open Content (formerly xpLor)

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Blackboard Open Content (formerly xpLor) is a cloud-based learning object repository (LOR) that is designed to work with multiple Learning Management Systems (LMS). It is built on open standards and allows for the creation, discovery, and sharing of rich learning objects. A learning object is a resource, usually digital and web-based, that can be used and re-used to support learning. It might be a webpage, file, simulation, video, podcast, audio file, assessment, etc.

You can share learning objects beyond the confines of a single LMS. Shared objects work in any supported system without alteration. You can move existing content from the LMS platform to Blackboard Open Content, making it accessible in multiple courses on multiple platforms.

To learn about using Blackboard Open Content, see Authoring, Sharing, Discovery, Copyright, and Delivery.

To learn about the system requirements and supported technologies, see Blackboard Open Content Technical Details.

Basic and Premium Blackboard Open Content

There are two models of Blackboard Open Content: basic and premium.

The basic model requires acceptance of the Blackboard Open Content license, but does not require any additional charges.

In the basic model, users are given access to a restricted subset of Blackboard Open Content functions and are limited to Open Educational Resources (OER) sharing and discovery.

The premium model allows full access to all Blackboard Open Content functions.

The following table illustrates the difference between the basic and premium models.

Basic vs. Premium
Feature Basic Premium
Content Creation
  • Pages
  • Links
  • Assessments (limited)
  • Assignments (limited)
  • Discussions (limited)
  • Pages
  • Links
  • Assessments (full)
  • Assignments (full)
  • Discussions (full)
  • Files
  • LTI Tools
  • Collections
Content Search, Discovery, and Delivery Yes Yes
LMS Gradebook Integration Yes Yes
Personal LOR Yes Yes
Institutional LOR No Yes
Upload Files and Images No Yes
Discussion Scope Management No Yes
Assignment Submissions No Yes
Channel Management No Yes
Institutional Administration No Yes
Copyright Management No Yes

The best way to visually determine which license Blackboard Open Content is operating under is to look at the application itself.  For example, on the Create page, basic users have certain sections disabled. A rollover pop-up will alert you that the feature is not available in the basic version.

Blackboard Open Content and the Content Collection

Together, Blackboard Open Content and the Content Collection provide users with a complete learning content solution.  These two solutions complement one another and together provide personal, course, institutional, and global content management capabilities for all of an instructor's learning content.

  • Content Collection: File management system for personal, course, and institutional document management, sharing, and reuse.
  • Blackboard Open Content: Cloud-based, global learning object repository for authoring, copyright, sharing, and discovery of rich educational materials and Open Educational Resources.

To learn more, see A Complete Learning Content Solution.

Moving Between Blackboard Open Content and Blackboard Learn

You can only access Blackboard Open Content through the LMS. You cannot access it directly. 

To access Blackboard Open Content from the LMS:

  1. Navigate to the System Admin panel and click Blackboard Open Content Settings.
  2. Click Administration.

To return to Blackboard Learn from Blackboard Open Content, click the Return to LMS link.

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Instructors access Blackboard Open Content through their Blackboard Learn course.


Copyright and Digital Rights Management (DRM) is an integral piece of the Blackboard Open Content application. There are two main types of DRM within Blackboard Open Content: Creative Commons licenses and custom institutional or organizational licenses.

  1. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that develops licenses and licensing structures for digital content, specifically open and freely distributable content. There are currently six types of Creative Commons licenses. Descriptions of the types of licenses are available on the Creative Commons website,
  2. Custom licenses can be developed and maintained by the institutions and organizations that require them. These custom licenses are only available to the creators of the licenses.

After you publish a resource, the copyright applied cannot be changed through Blackboard Open Content.

To learn more, see Copyright.