Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Blackboard Open Content

We're breaking down the walls.

Over the last 15 years, Learning Management Systems (LMS) have transformed education enabling you to create rich interactive learning materials, effective online assessments, and interactive discussions. But the LMS can build walls between you and your peers, making it difficult to share content you create or use content others have shared.

Blackboard Open Content (formerly xpLor) removes these restrictions by allowing you to use the same learning materials in various LMS environments with unprecedented ease. Blackboard Open Content leverages the strengths of your LMS and moves content to the cloud.

Blackboard Open Content houses shareable, reusable content that is accessible to courses within several LMS platforms. You can:

  • Create or upload content. To learn more, see Authoring.
  • Protect your content. To learn more, see Copyright.
  • Share your content with other users and institutions as determined by specific parameters and sharing filters. To learn more, see Sharing.
  • Search for content according to grade level, subject matter, standards, and other criteria. To learn more, see Discovery.
  • Deliver your content seamlessly across multiple courses and systems simultaneously. To learn more, see Delivery.

A complete learning content solution

Together, Blackboard Open Content and the Content Collection create a complete learning content solution that provides personal, course, institutional, and global content management capabilities for all of your 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.

The following table outlines best practices of when to use the Content Collection and when to use Blackboard Open Content.

Content Collection vs. xpLor
When do you put content into the Content Collection? When do you put content into Blackboard Open Content?
When you want to...
  • Reuse a file across multiple courses that you teach
  • Make a file available to students for authoring, editing, collaborating, and sharing
  • Share and/or collaborate on a file with colleagues at your institution
  • Share and/or collaborate on a file with others who are outside of your institution, using a pass
  • Manage a file or folder straight from my desktop using Blackboard Drive
  • Provide granular permissions (read, write, manage, remove)
  • Share a file with others based on Blackboard Learn Institution Roles
  • Manage a file using eReserves
  • Create custom metadata schemas
  • Create workflows
When you want to...
  • Reuse a learning object
  • Share a learning object with others who are outside your institution
  • Share a learning object across multiple LMSs
  • Collaborate with others on a learning object
  • Put a Creative Commons license on a learning object
  • Create an Open Educational Resource (OER)
  • Add a learning object to an existing Blackboard Open Content Collection
  • Publish a learning object to an Blackboard Open Content Channel

How to turn Blackboard Open Content on and off

You can turn Blackboard Open Content on and off using the Customization section in your course Control Panel.