EBSCO Information Services has developed a new tool, called the Curriculum Builder, which operates as a plug-in for learning management systems. Using the tool, instructors can easily create reading lists of library-provided content, accessible to students on a course page.
The Curriculum Builder is hosted on the EBSCO Discovery Service Platform and requires no additional software to run on an instructor's or student's computer. The tool has been developed using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) framework, which has been adopted by many of the learning management systems, including Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, and Desire2Learn.
An open standard for learning management systems, LTI exposes selected functionality to third-party developers, such as textbook publishers, educational technology companies, libraries, or developers of discovery services. Organizations or individuals wanting to create new tools or content components for students and faculty can expect an LTI-compliant learning management system to provide consistent and predictable interoperability. The administrator of the learning management system configures and enables the tools for extending built-in functionality or content.
Once enabled in this way, EBSCO's Curriculum Builder will be available to instructors from any course page through the menu option that lists external tools, similar to other products they likely already use, such as textbook services and student activity modules. Once launched, the instructor is presented with a search box that addresses the institution's EBSCO Discovery Service. Once the search has been issued, the instructor will see a simplified interface that presents an “Add to Reading List” button along with each result, including the ability to limit by facets. Items can be selected from the result list, annotated as needed, and then then saved with a descriptive title. For items not available through EDS, such as websites, the professor can copy and paste its URL. Once saved, students will see the list on their course page and be able to click through to the full text, either provided directly an embedded PDF delivered through EDS or as a link to an external publisher site.
Dedicated applications for managing student reading lists have become a product of interest especially in the United Kingdom, but have not yet sparked major interest in the United States. Popular reading lists in the UK include Talis Aspire and rebus:list, supported by PTFS Europe.