BbWorld Europe, Nice, France – February 26, 2007 – Blackboard Inc.
(NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise technology to the
education industry, today unveiled, at the Annual BbWorld Europe 2007
Users Conference in Nice, its latest and most significant product
offering, the Blackboard Outcomes System(tm) in front of 400 European
and International e-Learning leaders. The new solution facilitates the
continuous improvement of academic and administrative processes with a
focus on student learning, academic programs and co-curricular
The Blackboard Outcomes System is a comprehensive, flexible platform to
guide institutional effectiveness across the entire higher education
institution or system- from classrooms to the President´s Office. It was
developed with guidance from national assessment experts and dozens of
academic institutions including private teaching colleges, research
universities, systems, and community colleges. The Blackboard Outcomes
System leverages the capabilities and familiar user experience of the
Blackboard Academic Suite(tm) to help institutions make evidence-based
decisions, streamline assessment processes, and engage students in their
A Comprehensive, Flexible Platform
"Educational assessment is driven by the standards and culture specific
to the discipline and school; one size does not fit all," said Michael
Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "The Blackboard Outcomes System
is a flexible, customizable solution with tools that can be tailored to
meet the needs of each individual course, program, department, college,
system or administrator."
The platform is organised around the stages of assessment, ´Plan,´
´Measure,´ and ´Improve;´ with specific tools to help users meet the
challenges in each stage. Tools enable building rubrics; documenting
curriculum maps; managing standards; collecting and evaluating artifacts
of student learning; surveying attitudes and interests, running online
course evaluations; managing departmental improvement projects; analytic
and operational reporting, and other key activities. Such a diverse set
of tools in one system dramatically simplifies the work for faculty and
administrators trying to improve learning at their institutions.
"Higher education has moved from collecting and reporting data to
analysing and acting upon it," said Mary Allen, Ph.D., Professor
Emeritus of Psychology at California State University-Bakersfield, a
national expert on assessment, and one of several Blackboard advisors
who influenced the design of the new system. "At the center of this new
platform is the fact that it fosters visibility into the various
assessment activities taking place, enabling people to see, interpret,
and use data that have been collected to improve learning."
Accountability Cited as Top Priority for Academic Leaders:
In recent years a number of factors have contributed to an increasing
demand for accountability in education, including changes in accrediting
requirements and the creation of a Federal Commission on the Future of
Higher Education by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
A recent third party survey of higher education leaders across the
country commissioned by Blackboard found accountability and assessment
to be their second highest priority, following student experience.
Chasen added, "Before we began developing the technology for this new
platform, we traveled around the country to meet with our education
partners to learn about their critical institutional challenges. We
worked very closely with them and others across the education industry
to create the Blackboard Outcomes System, which we believe will enable
institutions to meet increased demands for accountability and streamline
their assessment processes. Most fundamentally, however, this solution
will give our clients clear new visibility into their effectiveness and
insight to drive improvement."
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise
software applications and related services to the education industry.
Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere
by connecting people and technology. With two product suites, the
Blackboard Academic Suite ™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite ™,
Blackboard is used by millions of people at academic institutions around
the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 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 in North America,
Europe and Asia. Blackboard is the parent company and owner of WebCT.