Pilot rounds of Suggestion Squads for Course Delivery, Community Management, and Xythos just concluded voting a few weeks ago.  Now, we are in the middle of recruiting for Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 Service Pack 8 Product Development Partnerships (PDPs).  We also just announced two new programs for ANGEL clients, a Content Conversion PDP and a new Office Hours Cohort program; we are making plans to kickoff another Bug Squad,  we have a SCORM Beta program in progress, as well as the Accessibility Grant program.  And, we have installation and integration testing opportunities coming soon along with the ongoing user experience testing and product surveys that we conduct.

You say you didn’t know about these opportunities to shape the Blackboard products?  Then you must not be a member of the Blackboard Idea Exchange™, or more affectionately known as the BIE.  The BIE is our mini-community of client advisors who help us make informed decisions about what to build and how.  This group represents your voice, your opportunity to communicate with us and with your peers, to talk about best practices and share innovative ideas in the e-Learning community in a variety of ways.

We believe these programs present valuable opportunities for our clients, but Paul Fisher of Seton Hall University says it best when talking about the PDPs.  “Participation in any PDP is quite valuable and worth the time.  Not only does it provide an advance look at a product or specific functionality, but seeing a better product delivered because of the investment of my time or a member of my staffs’ time pays back in dividends.  Probably most important of all, cooperating with others around the world doing the same job with the same challenges is invaluable to me.”

Thanks to all our clients who have participated in the past!  And, now, it’s time for more of you to get involved – the BIE wants you!  You have great ideas – you’re out there using our products every day.  Join the BIE and participate in great programs that empower you, our clients, to shape the future of the products.

If you have any questions about the BIE or any of the programs listed above, please let us know.  We are actively recruiting for more participants and we would be happy to help you find the right program to get involved.  Our team email address is clientprograms@blackboard.com.

And, if you’re a BIE alumni, please comment below and tell us about your past experiences. We’re really excited to work with and learn from you!

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  • http://www.grcc.edu/ekunnen Eric Kunnen

    The Blackboard Idea Exchange (BIE) is a powerful opportunity to engage directly and work closely with Blackboard on focused topics. The BIE allows clients to better communicate their institution’s needs and build a better relationship with Blackboard. If you are not a member, I would encourage you to join today!

    • Bonita Bray

      You’re right on, Eric. From my experience, the Blackboard Idea Exchange (BIE) is an excellent way to work with Blackboard to provide input on the design of new features and the upgrading of existing ones. The BIE is one of the ways you can make your voice – and that of your institution – heard by Blackboard. And, Blackboard is listening.

      Participating in a Product Development Partnership (PDP) is a great case in point. As a frequent participant in these partnerships, I can vouch for the fact that they provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about upcoming developments and influence product development through providing feedback.

      If you are not already a member, I’d encourage you to join and get involved.

  • Kelly Hamilton

    Eric, it’s been great working with you in these programs. Hopefully, we’ll get others to join us in this important work!