WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
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SOURCE Blackboard Inc.