Blackboard Inc. (ticker: BBBB, exchange: NASDAQ Global Market (.O))
News Release -
Nation's Largest Community College System Brings Classes Online with Blackboard Inc.9/1/1999
, Washington, D.C.
Blackboard Inc., the leading online education company, which provides one of the world's most popular and effective platforms for teaching and learning over the Internet, today announced an agreement with Maricopa Community College District in Arizona that will enable its instructors to provide Web-based learning over a single platform for its 165,000 students.
Ron Bleed, vice chancellor for instructional technology, said, "We decided to go with Blackboard because we realized there were too many boutique decisions being made. We wanted to build a community of common users and we liked the features and functionality of CourseInfo." He added that interest in using CourseInfo grew as increasing numbers of Maricopa faculty added online content to their courses using Blackboard's first tier-product, Blackboard.comSM.
Maricopa, the largest two-year college system in the country, is a recognized leader in distance education. For more than 20 years, Maricopa's ten campuses have provided distance education though correspondence, televised and online classes. The system-wide license purchase of Blackboard CourseInfo continues Maricopa's tradition of offering flexible learning options to every student.
Like many two-year colleges, the schools that make up the Maricopa Community College District serve a diverse group of learners. Many students work full-time jobs or run households. Not everyone can attend a traditional course taught on campus during normal business hours. Using the Internet to deliver classes online solves scheduling problems for non-traditional and continuing-education learners. Courseinfo allows for "asynchronous" communication, the ability for multiple learners to access the course, study the materials, interact with each other and take tests when schedules allow.
Donna Rebadow, a professor at Maricopa, was one of the early users of Blackboard.com and a major proponent for using CourseInfo. She said, "Blackboard.com is a very good course management tool for educators. The interface is easy to use. Novice users and/or faculty techno-phobes can get up and running in an hour."
CourseInfo, a multiple-course solution for Web-based learning, is part of Blackboard's "Universal Learning Solutions" suite of products designed for teaching and learning online. In addition to CourseInfo, the suite includes Blackboard.com, a Web-site that allows instructors to create and control the contents of their own Course Web-sites on the Internet free of charge, and BlackboardCampusTM, an enterprise-level solution to bringing entire campuses online.
Blackboard products are proving to be the most popular Web-based learning products on the market. Blackboard has enrolled more than 300 leading institutions internationally and is adding about 40 institutions per month, making Blackboard also the fastest-growing platform in the industry. Around the world, more than 7,000 instructors teach with Blackboard products.
"Blackboard's online learning platforms are designed to provide one standard system to enhance on-campus courses and deliver distance learning," said Blackboard co-founder and chairman Matthew Pittinsky. "What is especially exciting about the Maricopa adoption is that the college is leveraging the Internet in two ways, helping to broaden access and improve the quality of student learning."