Blackboard's SafeAssign(TM) Used for One Million Student Papers
Plagiarism Prevention Service Hits Milestone Less Than One Year After Launch
WASHINGTON, DC, May 19, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- SafeAssign(TM), the free plagiarism prevention service launched less
than one year ago by Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading
provider of educational enterprise software, has now been used to
evaluate over 1 million student papers, the company announced today.
Part of Blackboard's ongoing effort to deliver innovative tools to
better support and connect Blackboard users in their everyday teaching
and learning, SafeAssign is an interactive tool that enables
instructors to prevent plagiarism by verifying student papers against
billions of source materials. SafeAssign also creates opportunities
to educate students about the importance of academic integrity and
Available at no cost as part of the Blackboard Learning System(TM)
Enterprise License, SafeAssign has been used by hundreds of
"We are thrilled with the response that SafeAssign has received from
the education community," said Michael L. Chasen, president and CEO of
Blackboard. "This milestone represents encouraging news for a growing
number of teachers and students worldwide who are using SafeAssign to
collaboratively prevent plagiarism and protect intellectual material.
As the service grows in popularity, it will only become more accurate
and useful in efforts to address a problem faced by every college,
university and K-12 school."
The proliferation of Web-based "paper mills" and several high profile
instances of cheating have drawn significant attention to the issue
of plagiarism. In 2003, a Rutgers University study found that nearly
four in 10 college students -- 38 percent -- had engaged in online
plagiarism. Many students have also expressed uncertainty over what
exactly constitutes plagiarism.
To confront the problem, SafeAssign checks papers submitted via the
Blackboard Learning System(TM) against a comprehensive set of
databases, including the Internet -- scanning billions of Web pages --
and several other licensed academic databases. A report is then
generated that offers a line-by-line comparison of potentially
unoriginal text by highlighting questionable content and providing
links to corresponding sources.
"SafeAssign is a very powerful tool," said Marvin H. O'Neal III,
Ph.D., undergraduate biology professor at Stony Brook University.
"Because of the size of our laboratories, we have many sections
teaching the same material each week. SafeAssign creates a common
filtering point for all of the assignments, even from students who
have different instructors or who are taking the same course during a
"SafeAssign made grading my research papers so much easier," said
Miranda Gilliam, English teacher at Pearce High School in Richardson,
Texas. "Using SafeAssign proved to the students that plagiarism is a
big deal. Of course, I can tell students not to copy, but when there
is an element in place that checks one's work such as SafeAssign, my
point is proven."
SafeAssign is unique among plagiarism prevention services as it gives
the student control over how their paper is used in broader efforts to
prevent plagiarism. Students can elect to have their paper included in
the Global Reference Database and used to check against others from
institutions around the world that use SafeAssign. Or, students can
elect to have their paper stored and used at their local institution
only. Since its launch in July 2007, more than four in 10
participating students -- over 40 percent -- have opted-into the
Global Reference Database.
For more information about SafeAssign, please visit
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise
software applications and related services to the education industry.
Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations
everywhere by connecting people and technology. Millions of people
use Blackboard solutions everyday at academic institutions around the
globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other
education providers, as well as textbook publishers and
student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their
students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with
offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(TM)
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans
and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words
"believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar
expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning
of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual
results may differ materially from those indicated by such
forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors,
including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our
Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent
the Company's views as of May 19, 2008. The Company anticipates that
subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to
change. However, while the Company may elect to update these
forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company
specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking
statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's
views as of any date subsequent to May 19, 2008.
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SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.