There have been a lot of exciting changes at Blackboard lately. From a personal standpoint, I recently had the honor of transitioning into my new role as General Manager of Blackboard’s Professional Education (ProEd) division.  I intend to leverage my eleven years of experience with this company, five of which have been in ProEd, to help make Blackboard an even more effective solution for our professional education clients.

You may have also heard about the recent launch of Service Pack 8, a major update to the Blackboard Learn 9.1 platform. We developed this new release with input from thousands of users at hundreds of different institutions and organizations, and it represents one of our biggest advancements yet. From where I sit, Service Pack 8 presents our clients with the opportunity to increase learner engagement in more ways than ever before. I particularly want to highlight some exciting new developments for those in the professional learning space:

Making things easier for instructors:  Professional trainers and instructors now have more tools at their fingertips to efficiently assess the progress of each learner.  This includes features such as task-based navigation and automated regrading, which help save time when calculating learner outcomes.

Empowering administrators:  SP8’s built-out version of the Institutional Hierarchy feature allows Blackboard administrators to more effectively manage different divisions of their organization.  In addition, new frameworks for integration and authentication provide users with a streamlined interface for various system integrations.

All new user experience:  The sleek, modern design and more intuitive system navigation are some of the most noticeable features of Service Pack 8.  Valuable user feedback informed this design process, and some of the adjectives our usershave chosen to describe SP8 are “easy to use,” “straightforward,” “efficient,” and “valuable.”

Supporting Evaluation and Effectiveness:  Service Pack 8 offers instructors the ability to align training initiatives with organizational objectives, while organization-wide content management supports easier knowledge sharing within your entire learning community.  In addition, administrators can easily update program goals and standards, helping to maintain highly-relevant training environments even in the face of organizational change.

Delivering a Powerful, Cost-Effective Learning Program: As always, Blackboard continues to deliver cost-effective, impactful learning across organizations of all sizes on our dependable platform. Check out our recorded webinar to learn more about Service Pack 8 highlights, and be sure to follow @BlackboardProEd on Twitter for real-time updates on everything that’s next in professional education.

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