Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education Launches Collaborative e-Learning Platform with Blackboard
Online platform complements vision for Welsh language academic community
AMSTERDAM – 1 October, 2010 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education has implemented Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1 to establish Y Porth – Welsh for “the gateway” – a collaborative e-learning platform enabling universities across Wales to share Welsh medium resources.
Blackboard Learn was an obvious choice as the platform for Y Porth, as its online learning solutions are already used by the majority of the Welsh Universities, all of which contribute to the development of resources and modules on Y Porth. In direct response to feedback from Blackboard clients, Blackboard worked in partnership with the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education and the wider sector to develop a Welsh language pack for Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 which will be supported for subsequent updates and versions.
“We did consider open source alternatives to Blackboard Learn but would have had to develop and maintain our own language pack with every update and new version,” said Owain Huw, Digital Technologies and eLearning Manager for the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education. “Blackboard’s willingness to partner with us to create an online solution means we can devote our time to supporting the development of high quality materials and resources, safe in the knowledge that the underlying infrastructure is in place.”
Y Porth is central to the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education’s academic development programme, and complements the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision for Coleg Ffederal (Welsh medium Federal College) to create a Welsh medium academic community by 2011 in which students can study high quality degree level courses in the Welsh language. Five thousand students currently study a proportion of their degrees in Welsh, many of whom use the resources and collaborative modules on Y Porth. The number is expected to rise significantly with the development of the Coleg Ffederal.
“We’re delighted to help the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education enhance the experience of Welsh medium students by enabling them to study effectively using cross-institutional materials,” said Barrie Hoban, Regional Vice President at Blackboard. “This is a perfect example of the power of collaborative learning that our solutions are designed to facilitate.”
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.
About the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education
Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education leads the way in facilitating Welsh medium study opportunities at Welsh universities, supporting the Welsh Assembly Government’s policy commitment to create a Coleg Ffederal (Welsh medium Federal College). The Centre works closely with higher education institutions across Wales and is responsible, through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, for funding and administering a range of Welsh medium academic resources for the sector.
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