Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College among 10 institutions choosing Blackboard for content management, meeting British government guidelines
Washington, DC, – September 21, 2004 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) has achieved significant growth in the United Kingdom, having signed 10 new Blackboard Content System™ clients. The Blackboard Content System is a key product in the Blackboard Academic Suite™, a comprehensive family of integrated applications for teaching, learning, community-building and knowledge-sharing.
The newest UK adopters of the Blackboard Content System include: the Bloomsbury Consortium of the University of London, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC), the University of Cambridge, the University of Dundee, the University of Durham, North Trafford College, Northumbria University, the Peninsula Medical School, Sheffield Hallam University, and the University of Wales Medical School at Swansea.
UK's Progress File Implementation Group, comprised of UK higher education (HE) advisers including the Quality Assurance Group for Higher Education (QAA), an independent HE quality and standards body, have recommended that HE institutions provide a Personal Development Plan (PDP) for students to monitor, build and reflect upon their individual academic development by 2005. The Blackboard Content System offers universities an e-portfolio/PDP feature that provides instant access to the information required by these British government standards.
“The Personal Development Plan promotes a structured process for our students to reflect upon their own learning, performance and achievement, and to plan for their personal, educational and career development,” said Dr. Helen Fletcher, Director of Learning and Information Services for Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. “An integral component is the e-portfolio, which makes it easy for students to manage this process and get more out of their learning experience. We believe the Blackboard Content System is the most effective tool for achieving a solid PDP process, quickly and with minimal administrative hassle.”
As part of their agreement, BCUC has adopted the entire Blackboard Academic Suite™, a comprehensive collection of software creating an integrated e-learning environment.
The Blackboard Content System offers learning institutions a variety of features, including learning content management, e-portfolio management, virtual hard drive management and library digital asset management. As evidenced by the UK requirements, online portfolios are increasingly seen as a critical tool in education. Using the Blackboard Content System, students at BCUC and other institutions can develop online portfolios to enable learning assessment, support career development and meet certification requirements.
“Our primary objective when creating the Blackboard Content System was to make it easy for universities to manage learning data,” said Andrew Rosen, President of Blackboard's international business. “Out of that, we have created an invaluable tool for individuals to manage their own academic careers. The toolsets, modularization and adaptability of our software allow users to construct and customize an environment fit for their individual purposes. This is a powerful resource for students and faculty alike. We are pleased to offer our UK clients a simple road to meeting the recommended standards for providing a Personal Development Plan.”
Blackboard Continues UK Expansion
Blackboard has recently expanded its European and United Kingdom staff with additions to its global services consulting and support teams. “These teams are working locally with our clients to help them significantly increase the reach and capability of their virtual learning environments while reducing costs,” said Mr. Rosen. The Bloomsbury Consortia at the University of London is one such initiative, bringing together multiple schools to share Blackboard resources. Blackboard also offers in-country technical resources in order to provide UK clients specialized and prompt expertise.
In addition to the eleven institutions recently signing on with the Blackboard Content System, approximately 180 UK colleges and universities actively use the Blackboard Learning System™ for their e-Education initiatives.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry. The Company's product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite ™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite ™. Blackboard's clients include colleges, universities, schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.
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 most recent 10-Q filed with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of September 21, 2004. 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 September 21, 2004.
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