Blackboard Launches Enterprise Learning Object Repository

August 18, 2004

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today that it has released an enterprise Learning Object Catalog as part of the newest release of its Blackboard Content System(TM) (Release 2.0). The Blackboard Content System is part of the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM), a comprehensive family of integrated applications for teaching, learning, community-building and knowledge-sharing.

Educational institutions throughout the world are developing educationally valuable “learning objects” — often with great investment — and seek to share and re-use these resources among a broader audience. Learning objects are instructionally useful curriculum resources that can be experienced independently, or combined to form a larger resource. For example, learning objects can be individual pieces of content (such as documents, images or multi-media assets), or standards-based self-paced learning modules (such as SCORM objects).

As part of Release 2.0 of the Blackboard Content System, institutions can now store and describe learning objects in a central open repository. Through the Blackboard Learning Object Catalog, faculty will be able to locate and import high quality education content for use across course sections, departments and even institutions. Content developers can share their Learning Objects with the public and institutions can share learning objects with other institutions. With the release of the Learning Object Catalog, Blackboard is introducing advanced cataloging and workflow features to support a more automated and scalable process for reviewing and publishing learning objects.

“In our traditional model of managing course content, our instructors build courses using their own content,” stated Terrence Verity, CIO of Seneca College. “The Blackboard Content System expands this model through the use of the Learning Objects Catalog. Now our instructors can improve the quality of their courses by tapping into the wealth of materials that their colleagues have created.”

“I am excited to see Blackboard making significant headway toward giving faculty an effective way to share the resources they have developed into a repository where others can discover, review, and reuse them,” said Gerard Hanley, Executive Director of MERLOT, an international consortium of higher education institutions that has been building a shared digital library of learning objects since 1997. “With this new release of the Blackboard Content System, Blackboard joins MERLOT in the vision of improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning by increasing the number of easily available, high quality learning resources.”

“Soon Blackboard will be releasing a service that will enable our clients to publish their learning objects to multiple search engines and educational repositories as well as a centralized public Learning Object Catalog hosted by Blackboard,” said Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. “Our entire client base of more than 2,000 institutions will be able to contribute to this centralized repository, as well as identify valuable learning content and easily import it into their online courses.”

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry. The Company’s product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) and the Blackboard Commerce Suite(TM). Blackboard’s clients include colleges, universities, 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 and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.

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 stated in the “Risk Factors” section of our most recent 10-Q filed with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of August 17, 2004. 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 August 17, 2004.

Michael J. Stanton of Blackboard Inc.
202-463-4860, ext. 305

Kris Coratti of DBC Public Relations Experts
866-774-4720, for Blackboard Inc.