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Morehead State University Moves to Blackboard Learn 9.1

University Chooses Blackboard Over Open Source

WASHINGTON – October 18, 2011 – Morehead State University has moved to Blackboard Learn™ 9.1 following an evaluation of an open source alternative, Blackboard Inc. announced today. Morehead selected Release 9.1 for its seamless transition, ease-of use for students and faculty and reliability of the system. In addition, with most of the other public universities in Kentucky also using the Blackboard Learn platform, university officials feel that Blackboard’s newest system can help students taking courses at more than one institution transition more easily.

The decision was driven by an evaluation committee’s determination that Release 9.1 was the best fit for the university following a pilot of an open source system, in which faculty provided feedback on the usability of the system. Users found that Release 9.1 offered the most intuitive experience, a core requirement since 28 percent of the university’s credits are delivered online.

Officials at Morehead State also concluded that the technical transition and faculty training on Release 9.1 would be much easier than a move to the open source option. Considering both the technology and total cost of maintaining the system, university officials did not feel the open source option would be as reliable as Blackboard Learn. They also did not feel as confident in the kind of around the clock support and continued development they would see with a move to open source compared to what Blackboard Learn provides in each area.

“Release 9.1 was the best decision for our students and faculty and their online learning needs,” said Misty Hanks, Coordinator of Instructional Design at Morehead State University. “The transition went smoothly, it is easy to use and we were able to move to the new system quickly, without problems. The on-demand resources that accompany Release 9.1 are critical to our staff and we are impressed with the responsiveness of Blackboard for any support we may need – something we weren’t confident we would get from the open source option we considered.”

Morehead State successfully launched Release 9.1 this fall during the back-to-school season. The transition was smooth and the university reported a significant drop in helpdesk call volume – just one-third the normal rate – which university officials attribute to the new features and overall simplicity of the new Blackboard Learn interface.
Faculty at Morehead State expressed excitement about the new social learning tools in Release 9.1, including blogs, wikis and journals, as well as the built in plagiarism prevention tool, SafeAssign™, a capability that the university would have had to purchase separately with the open source alternative.

More than 1,700 institutions have adopted Blackboard’s next generation learning management system to take advantage of the platform’s improved stability, social learning tools to drive student engagement, digital content integrations and greater workflow efficiencies for instructors and administrators.

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Overview.aspx.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. 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 August 4, 2011 with the SEC.  In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of October 18, 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 October 18, 2011.

CONTACT
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637 or matthew.maurer@blackboard.com