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University of Salford Adds Library Reading Lists to Blackboard Learn, Improving the Learning Experience

AMSTERDAM – 19 January, 2011 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that the University of Salford has integrated over 2,000 real time reading lists from its academic courses into its Blackboard Learn™ virtual learning environment in an effort to improve the overall teaching and learning experience. Students can now access core reading resources and recommended texts at their convenience.

Each item in a student’s reading list is hyperlinked to the university library catalogue, to other libraries in greater Manchester, to electronic books, journals and databases and to any key Web site identified by the lecturer for a course. Digital content can then be accessed within the course environment complete with notes from lecturers and students can also determine whether printed books or journals are available or on loan.

The added capabilities are part of the University of Salford’s recent upgrade to Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, which integrates a range of social learning tools and drives student engagement. The integration of the reading lists will prove invaluable for courses with a high number of distance learners or placement students. The library has digitized book chapters of core texts and journal articles which are in high demand and made them electronically available through Blackboard Learn, so that as many students as possible can access them.

“Our students are absolutely delighted with the new reading list service,” said Julie Berry, Acting Director of the Salford Library, “and the use made of core readings has already increased significantly since the system went live.”

The integration also enables students to have access to their core academic reading well in advance of starting their programme. Academic staff can update their own reading lists for their disciplines and resources so students can access information in the Blackboard system and plan ahead.

“Incorporating reading lists into the virtual learning environment provides the scaffolding that enables an enhanced and productive educational experience,” said Professor Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford. “Online and real time resources look ahead to the ever unfolding opportunities of new educational technologies.”

Hall also noted that “as the traditional categories of residential and distance learning opportunities continue to break down, and as more students work full time or part time to survive in higher education, these sorts of new learning technologies become vital. By enabling more efficient and effective access to books, databases and other resources that students need, we stand more chance of enhancing the small group, face-to-face interactions that make for real learning.”

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 19 January, 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 19 January, 2010.

Geraldine Fernandez/Robert Hickling
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Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
+ 001 202-463-4860 ext.2637 or