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Bristol University Puts Student Provision at the Heart of its Online Strategy with Blackboard

Bristol Upgrades Learning Platform, Launches New Online Degree Program

AMSTERDAM – 15 December, 2010 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that Bristol University will enhance its e-learning strategy and investment with an upgraded learning platform that will give Bristol’s 23,000 students better access to in demand course materials while reducing the institution’s library expenditures. Meanwhile, Bristol will also launch a new online degree program to create new opportunities for growth and revenue.
 
One of the U.K.’s top universities and a member of the prestigious Russell Group, Bristol has been using the Blackboard Learn™ platform for over seven years. The institution has made the decision to further invest in e-learning and upgrade its current solution to Blackboard Learn Release 9.0, the next generation teaching and learning platform, and with Blackboard’s Content Community and Assessment Handler applications. The new features will enable students to upload their assignments to an online portal for assessment and gain greater access to articles relevant to their course of study that were previously available in limited quantities of expensive texts.

“Here is a common situation within Bristol University – you’ve got a book in the library and you want to share it with a number of students, but you have to be mindful of the copyright regulation,” said Tim Phillips, Director of Information Systems and Computing at Bristol. “Now we can take a particular chapter from the book, digitise it, upload it to Blackboard Learn, allow the students access to it whilst they’re doing a particular piece of coursework and then remove it afterwards. This ensures that our students have access to key texts at key times, while ensuring the university stays in line with relevant copyright regulations.”

Bristol’s significant investment in online learning has also enabled the university to attract new students from around the world through a new online master’s degree programme in translation which it could previously not deliver via traditional means. The programme, available to both full and part time professionals and taught by professional academics, is delivered through a combination of virtual seminars and online portals. Students can use the Blackboard forums like any social discussion page, creating a sense of learning community that helps bridge the distance between learners and their tutors.

“We are delighted that Bristol University is using Blackboard to improve access to key course materials for its students and to improve the overall learning experience” commented Demetra Katsifli, Director of Strategy and Research for Blackboard. “Bristol University is a great example of a forward thinking institution using technology to deliver innovative degree programmes online.”

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://blackboard.com/Teaching-Learning/Learn-Platform.aspx.

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 November 5, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of December 15, 2010. 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 December 15, 2010.