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Pearson and Blackboard Announce Partnership to Integrate Pearson's MyLab and Mastering Programs with Blackboard Learn

Students and educators to get greater convenience with access to MyLab and Mastering Programs directly in Blackboard Learn

LAS VEGAS, July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Pearson and Blackboard today announced plans to integrate Pearson's MyLab and Mastering programs with the Blackboard Learn online teaching and learning platform--providing users with a convenient, seamless transition between systems. Pearson's MyLab and Mastering programs this year are projected to have more than 9 million student registrations at higher education institutions, many of whom use Blackboard's learning management system. The announcement was made at BbWorld® 2011, Blackboard's largest user conference taking place this week in Las Vegas.

With the planned integration, faculty and students will gain fast, easy access to digital content and the MyLab and Mastering programs using a single sign-on process and their Blackboard® credentials. Faculty will have quick access from their Blackboard Learn course to MyLab and Mastering tools, assignments and learning analytics, including the transfer of MyLab and Mastering grade information to the Blackboard Learn gradebook. Academic and IT administrators will benefit from the integration's use of industry standards to efficiently scale and manage campus users' access to MyLab and Mastering for improved learning outcomes. A well-established service relationship between Pearson and Blackboard will provide customer service for the integrated products.

"The MyLab and Mastering programs have proven a resounding success at improving student performance and institutional effectiveness around the globe. The integration of the MyLab and Mastering programs at local institutions that use Blackboard gives our customers a more convenient way to access the powerful teaching and learning support these programs offer," said Jim Behnke, Chief Learning Officer at Pearson.

The announcement follows a decade of collaboration between Pearson and Blackboard, starting with the launch in 2001 of Pearson's CourseCompass(TM) and MyMathLab(TM), which now serves more than 3 million higher education mathematics students annually.

"This partnership can deliver a real advancement for instructors and learners by bringing together some of the best in digital content and tools with our learning platform to deliver greater simplicity and opportunity to users," said Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackboard. "We're reducing barriers to wider use of these resources with a streamlined, powerful approach to leveraging publisher tools and content right from the course platform."

Pearson provides institutions with a variety of ways to access its learning technologies and content, including institutional and custom approaches to textbooks, eTexts, and personalized learning systems. In addition to the MyLab and Mastering programs, the partnership developed by Pearson and Blackboard will provide students and faculty with a seamless learning experience via CourseConnect(TM), Pearson's award-winning suite of online courses, available through the Blackboard Extensions program. CourseConnect offers research-based instructional content, assessments and instructor resources with Blackboard's robust set of learning tools.

Pearson's MyLabs and Mastering programs have changed the way millions of students learn and have supported many successful faculty and programs in the redesign of college courses to effectively use technology to improve achievement and manage costs. Students receive a personalized learning experience, with online tutorials, homework, quizzes and tests that are automatically graded for instant feedback--freeing instructors to spend less time grading and more time working with their students. Demand for the MyLab and Mastering programs soared in 2010, with 232 million assignments submitted and more than 750,000 students logging in daily.

As part of the partnership, Pearson becomes a Blackboard Strategic Partner(TM) in the Blackboard Partnerships Program(TM).

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/learn. For more information about Pearson, please visit www.pearsonhighered.com.

About Pearson

Pearson, the world's leading learning company, has global reach and market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO). The company provides innovative print and digital education materials, including personalized learning programs such as MyLab and Mastering; educational services including custom publishing; and content-independent platforms including EQUELLA digital repository and Pearson LearningStudio for online learning programs.

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-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 13, 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 July 13, 2011.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.; Pearson