How to start using xpLor in Open LMS

Have you ever wished to create learning objects in one place and use them in multiple online courses? What about applying the same quiz in courses created in different Learning Management Systems? Or finding reliable content authored by other teachers who are giving you permission to reuse their content in your own course? Open LMS clients have now access to a system that allows teachers to accomplish these tasks and much more. It’s called Blackboard xpLor.

xpLor is an advanced learning object repository that empowers teachers to author store search and share rich educational materials that can be used in multiple LMSs such as Joule Bb Learn and Angel. This integration is possible because xpLor is hosted on the cloud and relies on Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standards that provide a seamless experience for users. When teachers create xpLor resources they can decide whether the learning objects will be private or open to other teachers. This sharing functionality works with Custom and Creative Commons copyright controls so teachers can decide how to protect the intellectual property of their learning objects.

xpLor is a revolutionary solution that is currently available for all Open LMS clients at no additional cost. Site administrators can connect their Joule 2 sites to the basic model of xpLor by navigating to the Settings block and selecting Site administration > Cloud services > xpLor. The basic model requires acceptance of the xpLor license in order to be used but it does not require any additional charges.

When using the basic license teachers have access to a restricted subset of xpLor functions. But those restrictions do not stop them to take advantage of the system. In fact there are a lot of good resources available in the basic model. If your site is already connected to xpLor I recommend you to experiment with the following features:

  • Accessing xpLor: In order to experience xpLor teachers have to enter the xpLor system via a link on the Settings block or byturning editing on and selectingAdd from xpLorUpon entering the system you’re directed to the xpLor Dashboard. The xpLor Dashboard is your central place to discovering content channels create content and review student submission.
  • Discover content: There are multiple ways to search and discover existing xpLor resources. The quickest way to find an xpLor resource is by using the search bar located at the top of the screen. After performing a search the left pane displays individual resources that match the search criteria and the right pane displays matching collections. Click the name of the resources displayed on the left pane to preview it.
  • Add resources to courses: Once you find a resource that meets the needs of your courseclick the Add button. Once you return to your course the xpLor resource will display in Joule courses as LTI activities. You may then update the settings of the LTI activity to modify navigational settings or enable completion tracking.
  • Create and share content: One of the most beneficial aspects of xpLor is when teachers share educational content with each other. You can also participate in this process by creating your content and sharing with other teachers via xpLor. The basic model of xpLor allows you to create Pages Links and limited forms of Assessments Assignments and Discussions. Experiment creating these resources and once you are done select a Creative Common license to define how other teachers can use your content.

These suggestions are just few things that you can do to start taking advantage of xpLor today. You can learn more details on how to use all features of the system by enrolling in the online course Using xpLor in Moodle™ and Joule.

Happy Moodling!

~Marcelo Mendes



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