Blackboard product teams works closely with clients to build and introduce new versions of our platforms, including Blackboard Learn(™), Blackboard Collaborate(™), and Blackboard Mobile(™). We independently launched major versions that offered improved user experiences and brought us closer to customers in the process.
Recently, we came together to discuss what Blackboard offers as a whole – across all of our platforms and services – to address the problem of student engagement that can result in dropouts, poor test scores, and transfers to other institutions. We put aside talking about cool new features and instead talked about how to effectively break through to today’s “always on” students. We identified how Blackboard’s entire portfolio can help students get engaged and personally invested in their learning for solid outcomes, college readiness, and career success.
We are convinced that Blackboard offers the widest variety of tools to connect and engage learners in a way that each prefers – regardless of time, place, device or learning style. It’s no surprise that this results in increased learning, retention, and institutional growth. One client, Ivy Tech Community College, an educator of over 120,000 students across in 75 locations across Indiana, solved their growing requirement for more robust and resourceful engagement tools by deploying Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Mobile after attaining a solid foundation with Blackboard Learn. Among the benefits of the combined solution are 24×7 service to students, onboarding of 25,000 new students each year, and steady growth in enrollment with a goal of 200,000 students by 2020.
What exactly does Blackboard offer to engage students? First of all, a plethora of learning-focused features – customized online courses and vibrant communities in Blackboard Learn, access to coursework virtually anywhere with Blackboard Mobile, and live classes with breakouts and multi-user whiteboards in Blackboard Collaborate. We also have capabilities that reach these students 24/7 on their own terms, enticing responses and interaction – “anywhere” courses with Blackboard Mobile Learn, faculty messages to mobile devices with Blackboard Connect for Learn(™), and presence and instant messaging in Blackboard Collaborate. There are features for measuring engagement with Blackboard Analytics(™) and taking corrective action. And finally, we work with our clients to help ensure a seamless user experience and optimization for teaching and learning.
As a company, we are quickly realizing that the sum is greater than the parts. That is, with a broad set of integrated platforms, professional services, and education expertise, Blackboard enables institutions to tailor learning to each individual student while reaching and growing the entire academic enterprise. That’s what enables institutions to excel and stay relevant in today’s changing education environment.