Representatives from German Schools and Universities Meet with Blackboard to Share Ideas and Discuss Best Practices in e-Education

June 3, 2002

“Teaching and learning online is no longer a local phenomenon, but rather an increasingly international affair,” said Helmut Brammerts, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, Leiter des Selbstlernzentrums. “We greatly appreciate Blackboard’s thoughtful approach in addressing the specific needs of the German market and look forward to the international version of the Blackboard Learning System.”

Meeting the Needs of the German e-Education Market

Like most education markets around the world, German academic institutions have very specific needs that must be met for an e-Education implementation to be successful:

“Ease-of-use” Clients demand that their e-Education platform be easy to use for students, faculty and administrators while continuing to provide a feature-rich environment.

“Multiple Languages” To meet the needs of Germany’s colleges and universities, e-Education providers must offer a software platform able to support the German language as well as multiple languages, all within one installation.

“Open System” Clients require an e-Education platform that allows for third-party applications and content to be easily connected to the core platform, so as to protect current and future technology investments. It is also essential that an e-Education platform allow for different pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning online.

“International Standards” Clients recognise that they are part of a larger global network of institutions and therefore require an e-Education platform that supports standards. “Our meetings throughout Germany were a tremendous opportunity to spend time with clients and non-clients alike and share ideas about e-Education and better understand specific market needs,” said Stephen Hoffman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Blackboard Inc. “In each meeting, we learned a great deal from representatives of both academia, as well as the government.”

Blackboard serves a number of German and German-speaking institutions of higher learning including Virtuelle Fachhochschule (VFH), University of Innsbruck, Fachhochschule Hamburg, and University of Bielefeld. Blackboard will launch the Blackboard Learning System MLTM (Multi Language) including German in mid-year 2002.