Breaking News: Blackboard Acquires Remote-Learner UK

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Expanding its UK market, Blackboard has purchased Remote-Learner UK which served about 100 clients in the UK and Ireland and all of its support staff. In addition to the clients, it also will now have some control/maintenance obligation over be able continue to offer ELIS (Enterprise Learning Intelligence System), which was released to the community in years past and provides a robust platform for reporting, enrollment management, analytics and outcomes, and perhaps the recently announced Office 365 integration and suite of addons to it’s UK clients

This news comes just three years after the purchase by Blackboard of Moodlerooms and Netspot, two of the largest Moodle Partners at the time. The acquisition has solidified Blackboard as one of the largest LMS and educational server providers worldwide and one of the largest Moodle Partners as well.

Full Release:

Blackboard Acquires Remote-Learner UK
Two Companies Join Forces to Bring More Solutions and Services to the Open Source Community

London, 10 April 2015 – Blackboard today announced the acquisition of Remote-Learner UK, a leading provider of open source solutions to the education industry, primarily in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The acquisition will allow Blackboard to offer more services and solutions to institutions and business that leverage Moodle, one of the most widely used learning management systems (LMS) in the world.

Today’s announcement marks the latest investment and commitment made by Blackboard in open source since the acquisition of Moodlerooms and NetSpot in 2012. Since officially joining the open source community, Blackboard has contributed code, bug fixes, quality assurance and platform integrations to Moodle and provided substantive engagement at important community gatherings.

Remote-Learner UK, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Remote-Learner.Net, Inc., provides hosting, support and consulting services in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other regions around the world. Its Enterprise Learning Intelligence System (ELIS) offers greater management of learning programmes and includes features, such as enrollment management tools, notifications, reports and analytics, and learning outcomes.

“Openness and interoperability are fundamental to Blackboard as online ecosystems expand and evolve to meet the changing demands of learners and faculty,” said Mark Strassman, senior vice president of product management of Blackboard. “The addition of Remote-Learner UK to the Blackboard family expands how we are able to support any organisation, regardless of its LMS, with the right blend of technology, resources and services that meet their unique needs. We couldn’t be more excited to work together to improve the educational experience for students all over the world.”

“As a long standing member of the Moodle community in the United Kingdom and worldwide, we are excited to join forces with Blackboard in helping millions of students and hundreds of institutions and businesses be successful in their unique teaching and learning needs and goals,” said Sean Keogh, founder and managing director of Remote-Learner UK and a leading voice in the expansion of the Moodle community in the United Kingdom. “Blackboard has demonstrated their commitment to open source over the past several years and I am confident the UK Moodle community will benefit from this acquisition. Together, we will be able to better serve our customers and offer new solutions and services that will improve their educational experience.”

Moodlerooms and Remote-Learner UK will co-host a Moodlerooms Teaching and Learning Forum in Liverpool on 14-15 April to bring their communities together for the first time and share best practices around teaching online, assessment, adoption, and outcomes.


6 Responses

  1. Hi Joseph

    Blackboard will not be taking any control or maintenance of ELIS or the Microsoft plugins. Remote-Learner UK will continue to provide ELIS and other services for UK clients as they always have. But the ELIS roadmap, and the Microsoft plugin development, will remain with Remote-Learner US and Canada.

    If you could update your post to reflect this, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you

    Jason Cole
    CEO, Remote-Learner

  2. Jason, got it. So they won’t control the roadmap for ELIS or the o365 plugins but they will be able to offer those to clients. In the case that their clients desire specific improvements or features for those two plugins would they work directly with RM US/CA?

  3. They could definitely work with us. We’ll be coordinating closely with the UK operation for a while and coordinating the development roadmap and custom feature requests.

    But ELIS and all the plugins are fully open source, so they could work with any partner or developer. If they did, we would certainly welcome any submissions or code suggestions.

  4. Agreed. Why cant companies like Blackboard INNOVATE insteaf of ACQUIRE innovation. Sadly this is the Microsoft model at work once again. Dont provide a better product buy market domination and pressure of the competitors.

    Martin. Take notice. ELIS should have come FROM Moodle HQ – and despite the brilliant team at Remote Learner – they have now been acquired by your competitors (and yes, Blackboard in all their awfulness are your competitors)

  5. Hi Dom –

    Thanks for the support of ELIS. But don’t worry, Remote-Learner has not been acquired by Blackboard, only one part of us. We only dropped our UK division allowing us to better focus on everything else.


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