Blackboard Wins University of Melbourne e-Learning Bid
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today that the University of Melbourne, one of Australia’s leading research universities, has signed an agreement to adopt the Blackboard Learning System(TM) for its e-Learning initiatives. The Blackboard Learning System will replace Melbourne’s existing learning management systems throughout the University.
The move to Blackboard will streamline access to learning data for the University community of more than 40,000 students and faculty. Installation has begun with system-wide productivity anticipated by July 2005.
Through the agreement, Melbourne also purchased the Blackboard Content System(TM), a curriculum-driven content management and sharing system, and Blackboard(R) Professional Services. The Blackboard Content System provides students and faculty with better ways to track and navigate learning resources and to showcase the work products and milestones of their educational careers through e-Portfolios.
“We are delighted Melbourne selected Blackboard to provide a robust and cost-effective solution to online learning,” said Andrew H. Rosen, President of Blackboard’s international business. “Our emphasis on integrated systems allows Blackboard to transition clients such as Melbourne to the most current solution without dismissing their existing investment in previous technology,” continued Rosen. “It is that flexibility and stewardship of our clients’ fiscal responsibilities that has won Blackboard multiple converts in recent months.”
Blackboard’s Global Services team will partner with the Melbourne University team to integrate Blackboard into their environment, share deployment best practices and support strategic change management activities at the University. The collaborative approach facilitates a smooth rollout while leveraging opportunities the new Blackboard platform provides.
“We appreciate Blackboard’s position within the e-Learning community and are eager to begin the transition to the Blackboard platform throughout the entire University,” said Linda O’Brien, Vice-Principal, Information, at Melbourne. “Critical factors in our choice of Blackboard over other systems were their understanding, commitment and success in lowering the total cost of ownership in deploying and expanding a networked learning environment, the stability of Blackboard’s Building Blocks architecture, and the experience, commitment and responsiveness of Blackboard’s local team.”
The Blackboard Building Blocks(R) open architecture initiative, which helps Blackboard clients integrate third-party applications, expand the functionality of Blackboard applications and build and launch applications on top of the Blackboard platform, is a key factor in the Company’s growth. Blackboard Building Blocks, and its affiliate Blackboard Developer Network(TM), allows institutions to integrate existing systems and technology with Blackboard. The Blackboard Developer Network offers developers access to documentation, developer forums, code and other assistance for creators of new Blackboard Building Block applications.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related 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.
About The University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne marked its 150th anniversary in 2003. The University was established in 1853, making it older than all the universities in England except Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and London, and older than most in the British Empire. In the early twenty-first century, Melbourne maintains its pre-eminent position among Australian universities and is increasingly international in its outlook and its reputation. With a current annual enrollment of approximately 40,000, Melbourne continues to follow its motto “to grow in the esteem of future generations.” Learn more at: http://www.unimelb.edu.au
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Corporate and Investor Contact:
Michael J. Stanton of Blackboard Inc.
+1-202-463-4860 ext. 2305