Blackboard Introduces Free, Flexible Approach to MOOCs Offer Gives Institutions More Control Over Form & Direction of Large Courses

LAS VEGAS, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. today announced a free, flexible option for running massive open online courses (MOOCs): a hosted instance of Blackboard Learn, the company's flagship learning management system (LMS). With more institutions looking to offer large, open courses, the offer will give institutions a fully functional, flexible platform option complete with social learning capabilities and a wide range of course management and student engagement features.

The platform will be available soon to all Blackboard clients at no extra cost in a non-exclusive, non-binding manner. The option lets schools retain full control over the form and direction of their MOOC courses. In addition, institutions maintain all current and future revenue associated with MOOCs that are offered for-pay or for-credit.

"Institutions need more flexible options for experimenting with MOOCs and running online courses that meet their individual needs," said Katie Blot, president of education services at Blackboard. "As schools better define how they want to experiment with MOOCs, it's becoming clear that the best platform is usually the one they already have. Through our new platform, we are enabling schools to bridge their enterprise LMS and their MOOC platform in key areas such as content and social learning spaces."

Several course management features of Blackboard Learn currently support large courses and will scale for MOOCs. These include rule-based learner identifications to find and take various actions on students at scale, last name searches to quickly filter through hundreds of students and automatic group creation to help large courses "feel smaller" to students.

Mobile applications for Blackboard Learn enable students and instructors to access all MOOC course content from iPhone®, iPad®, or Android devices.

To date, dozens of institutions have partnered with Blackboard to run MOOCs. To see a full list of MOOCs on the company's platforms, visit the Blackboard MOOC Catalog at http://www.coursesites.com/mooccatalog.

For more information about Blackboard's MOOC platforms, please visit www.blackboard.com/moocs or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

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 represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. 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 statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

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SOURCE Blackboard Inc.



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