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Bridgwater College Overcomes CPD Submission Challenges with Blackboard

Initiative Allows FE College to Tailor Continuous Professional Development

Courses to Individual Staff Requirements


AMSTERDAM – May 18, 2010 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that Bridgwater College has incorporated its Continuous Professional Development (CPD) plans into Blackboard Learn, greatly easing the burden on instructors to meet new reporting requirements from the Institute for Learning (IFL) and enabling the college to tailor their CPD courses to the needs of individual staff.  


At a time when approximately 70,000 FE teachers and trainers nationally must declare 30 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to the IFL, Bridgwater’s initiative dramatically cuts the amount of time staff must spend collating the documents required to complete their submission. Consequently it enables staff to complete the online form with minimal effort and has led to a submission rate well above the national average.


“Truly effective CPD training drives consistent improvement for both the college and its staff,” said Andy Epps, eLearning Developer Trainer at Bridgwater College. “Blackboard allows us to survey staff on the training courses that they feel will be valuable to them and to quiz them afterwards to ascertain the effectiveness of the training. In so doing we can ensure that CPD at Bridgwater genuinely benefits teaching staff and is not a mere box-ticking exercise designed to fulfill administrative requirements.”


All members of the Institute for Learning are required to undertake and declare 30 hours of CPD each academic year. As part of the submission, members must provide evidence of how they have reflected on the learning they have gained from these activities and show evidence of the difference and impact this has had on learners, colleagues or the institution as a whole. People are able to declare their 30 hour CPD record from June each year and are expected to do so by August 31st.  


One area in which Bridgwater is offering CPD courses is in the effective use of learning technologies. By looking at the usage reports supplied by Blackboard, the college is able to identify relatively high and low level users and to offer tailored training to those staff that would benefit most from further training. Following these sessions the college is also using Blackboard Learn’s survey and testing facilities to measure the effectiveness of CPD courses that staff complete, helping the college to further improve future sessions and providing staff with a formalized method of reflecting on their learning and fulfilling the IFL’s conditions.


“The declaration of CPD hours has created significant extra work for a number of Further Education staff who have had to think back over an extended period of time to complete their submissions,” said Demetra Katsifli, Director of Academic Innovation at Blackboard. “We’re delighted to see our solution being used by Bridgwater to remove this burden on staff and enable them to receive effective training that is of use within their day to day roles.”


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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 17, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of May 18, 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 May 18, 2010.