Skip Navigation

Press Release Archive

NPower Builds Employees’ Skills Online with Blackboard

Blackboard and College of Sunderland Help to Bridge the Skills Gap for Employees

AMSTERDAM – August 6, 2009 – Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced that City of Sunderland College has partnered with Blackboard to deliver an online course in advanced project management to NPower employees. The course will help bridge the skills gap between employee and employer, and will focus on planning, organizing and managing resources to increase efficiency.

The online, bespoke 15 week Advanced Project Management course has been created for employees in the Continuing Service Improvement (CSI) department at NPower and demonstrates the energy company’s continued commitment to developing local talent to meet the demands of its business. The CSI team at NPower supports over 4,000 advisors in the company handling a range of different projects at any given time.

With CSI team members located at five different sites across northeast England, traditional classroom based training would have been impractical and costly. Blackboard’s dynamic approach to training allowed course designers to integrate real life examples into the curriculum to create a holistic learning experience and enabled employees to attain key project management skills without the need to leave their own workplaces.

City of Sunderland College’s School of Leadership and Management was chosen by NPower to develop and deploy the course using the Blackboard Learn™ platform. The course provides a blended learning approach which allows students to share experiences with tutors and fellow learners face to face while allowing them to complete the majority of their assignments online at a time and place convenient to them.

“What impressed me most about Blackboard Learn was how flexible the course is,” said Amanda Smith, a former student in the course. “I could work online when it suited me rather than having to make sure I attended class at a certain time, which made it much easier to balance my workload. Also, if something relevant to the course happened in my daily work, I could log in and instantly share it with my tutor to discuss at a later date.”

The course uses examples from employees’ day to day roles to enable staff to develop their skills while identifying real world solutions to NPower’s current business problems, and initiates a dialogue between employees and NPower during the course. The result is a rich learning experience with a high level of student engagement and course completion. The real time collaborative approach to learning also enables course leaders to develop and improve course content and delivery over time and accelerate the delivery of important skills to course students.

“NPower is serious about its corporate social responsibility commitments,” said Michelle Todd, People Development Manager at NPower, “both in the wider context by recognising the impact that our activities may have on the environment and also closer to home, by ensuring our employees are given the training they need to develop and excel in their day to day roles. With our dispersed workforce, it isn’t practical to take a classroom only approach to employee learning. Blended learning with Blackboard Learn offers an ideal solution. With the support and advice of Blackboard and City of Sunderland College, we can deliver a targeted and cohesive course across multiple sites.”

For more information about Blackboard Learn solutions, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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 7, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of August 6, 2009. 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 August 6, 2009.