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California State University Channel Islands Selects Blackboard Learn 9.1 Ease of Use, Support and Cost Efficiency Drive Decision Over Open Source Alternative

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- California State University Channel Islands (CI) has selected Blackboard Learn™ 9.1 following a comprehensive evaluation of learning management systems (LMS), Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today. After comparing the performance and cost of Release 9.1 and an open source alternative, CI found that Blackboard Learn 9.1 best fit the needs of its faculty and students and was the superior option for training, support and cost savings.

Facing reduced budgets campus-wide, CI formed a Learning Management Evaluation Committee to identify a cost-effective solution to replace CI Learn, powered by Blackboard Learn 8. After narrowing the evaluation to Release 9.1 and one open source system, the committee determined that Release 9.1 represented the most cost-effective approach given the total cost for licensing, hosting, training, course migration, user support and internal staffing.

As part of the evaluation, CI conducted pilot programs for Release 9.1 and the open source option during the spring 2011 semester. During the pilots, a vast majority of students and faculty preferred Release 9.1 to the open source option, finding it to be more intuitive, elegantly designed and easier to navigate. Faculty members also felt that its robust features and capabilities would enhance course instruction, interaction and learning.

"Release 9.1 exceeded our expectations in many ways. Having used past versions of Blackboard Learn, we were familiar with the platform and company, but Release 9.1's unique features, better content organization, ease of use and support – coupled with the actual cost of implementation – made it the best LMS option for our university," said A. Michael Berman, CIO, California State University Channel Islands. "Blackboard proved to be a single-stop shop. We get training, support, and managed hosting on an effective technology that, most importantly, meets the needs of our students and faculty."

During the pilot phase of CI's evaluation, officials found Release 9.1 to be the more reliable, responsive and stable option, and CI staff found it easy to manage technical issues with Blackboard's hosting and support teams. In comparison, the open source pilot suffered a number of outages and service interruptions during which CI staff were provided with limited support response.

As the pilots concluded, CI also determined that moving to an open source system would require a significant amount of new training and course migration work, making it a much harder process overall.

"CSU Channel Islands undertook an impressively comprehensive review, carefully assessing both product performance and the real world economics of delivering an effective learning program," said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. "It's gratifying to see our execution in 9.1 and our strong record of support responsiveness cited in the decision."

More than 1,600 institutions have adopted Blackboard Learn 9.1 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. (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 August 4, 2011 with the SEC.  In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of September 12, 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 September 12, 2011.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.



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