Riverside, San Diego Community College Districts Select Blackboard Learn After Competitive Reviews
Over 50 California Community Colleges in Process of Moving to Release 9.1
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that Riverside and San Diego Community College Districts have selected Blackboard Learn(TM), Release 9.1 following separate, extensive reviews of popular commercial and open source course management solutions. At each institution, evaluations were driven primarily by faculty who found that Blackboard Learn offered superior functionality and a feature-rich, user-friendly platform.
The multi-campus community college districts of Riverside and San Diego are among more than 50 California community colleges that have already moved to Blackboard's Next Generation platform in the last year or are planning to move soon. Many are upgrading from Blackboard's WebCT platform and have been impressed with Release 9.1 as well as the opportunity to explore other areas with Blackboard including mobile, outcomes assessment, collaboration technology, and mass notification.
At Riverside, every faculty member teaching one of the 800 online, hybrid or Web-enhanced courses was invited to participate in the review process, and the selection of Blackboard Learn was driven by its improved features, instructor familiarity, and confidence in the product. Faculty were asked to evaluate the software based solely on the merits of the product and not price, although Blackboard's offer also turned out to be the lowest cost option of the group.
"Our faculty led this evaluation effort from start to finish, and they made the decision to go with Blackboard because the changes in Release 9 and Release 9.1 in particular were exactly the direction they wanted to go," said Sylvia Thomas, Riverside's Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services. "We're very pleased with the results of our search and that it was an open, inclusive and transparent process."
At San Diego, which has approximately 500 online and 900 Web-enhanced course sections each semester, the review process included a survey of every faculty member teaching an online course to identify their must-have and wish list of tools and features of a course management system. After demonstrations and hands-on "test drives" for faculty, vendor options were narrowed to seven finalists which were evaluated on a "decision matrix." Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 ranked first in four out of five criteria, including experience and reliability of the vendor; tools and features needed by the faculty; efficient migration from the existing system (WebCT Vista); and support services including accessibility/ADA compliance, training materials and tracking and administrator tools.
"With use of our course management system increasing by about 20 percent each year, this step is a critical one for ensuring the long-term success of our online and distributed learning program, and Blackboard Learn 9.1 is well worth the cost when all the evaluative criteria are taken into account," said Dr. Andrea Henne, San Diego Community College District's Dean of Online and Distributed Learning. "I'm optimistic about our choice and the opportunity for faculty and students to take advantage of the user-friendly interface, new mobile learning capabilities and Web 2.0 tools and features."
Release 9.1 is already being used by more than 1,000 institutions worldwide, and integrates a range of social learning tools like blogs and wikis to drive student engagement. It also features a new Web 2.0 interface and the ability to seamlessly integrate multimedia content from Web sources to create a more visually impactful course experience. Release 9.1 can also be enabled to support mobile learning with Blackboard Mobile(TM) Learn in native applications for the most popular mobile platforms.
"We've invested much in this platform and in enabling clients to upgrade in a way that brings maximum value to their uses with minimal disruption to their daily lives," said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. "I'm encouraged to see Release 9.1 so well received by so many institutions and particularly by WebCT campuses that have responded enthusiastically."
For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com.
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 ourForm 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 January 10, 2011. 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 January 10, 2011.
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.