April 2020 by the Numbers: A Deeper Look


The COVID-19 crisis is having a major impact on the global education community as an estimated 91% of the world’s student population — that’s 1.5 billion students — is impacted. Many schools and universities around the world have quickly transitioned to fully remote instruction. It is nothing short of remarkable to look at how the education community has come together to support students, teachers, and faculty during this crisis.

At Blackboard, we are working hand-in-hand with our clients during this difficult time. One part of our role in this partnership is surfacing data and insights that help us as a collective education community make decisions to best support students and faculty. In April we saw a shift in how students were accessing their learning – in new places, on different devices, with increased support, and via alternative content formats.

Below are some of the most insightful highlights from across our portfolio as millions of students across six continents engage with our solutions:

25 Billion weekly interactions in Blackboard Learn SaaS

As the full learning experience has moved online, we’re seeing students use our cloud-based LMS to do more than just submit assignments and check their grades. They are spending more time than ever in the platform and using it as a central hub for accessing course content and asynchronous learning.

37% increase in mobile app downloads & 35% increase in mobile app use year over year
As millions of students are learning entirely from their homes while social distancing, their reliance on mobile devices has increased as a means of accessing course content. This has implications on course design and content formats for educators. Instead of thinking about content that renders well across devices, we all should be thinking mobile-first.

36% increase in inbound questions from students to their institutions

Students need increased support from their institutions while trying to successfully navigate this new normal. They have questions about how to access their courses, how to take care of the “business” of being a student from home, and how to use their institution’s technologies. Due to this we’ve seen a jump in the number of inbound help desk calls with about a third of these calls coming outside of standard business hours.

1.5M downloads of alternative content formats

We have seen huge demand for accessible course content in this transition to fully remote courses. Learners are leveraging alternate formats more than ever, and educators have new possibilities for providing equitable access in the virtual space.

While these data points provide insight into understanding the learner’s experience during the COVID-19 crisis, we also want to hear about what you’re seeing. Join our client Community Site to share your experiences and learn how your peers are adapting to this new normal.

As we continue to serve our clients today and into the future, a key component of success is our highly available SaaS infrastructure. By leveraging Learn SaaS Ultra and Collaborate Ultra, our clients are able to reap the benefits of our latest innovation. Our cloud-based infrastructure has greater than 99.9% uptime and the scalability to meet the unprecedented demand brought on by this crisis in ways that legacy technologies cannot match.

Whether it’s scaling to meet this unprecedented shift in delivery globally, providing convenient and easy to use mobile solutions, or helping ensure access to alternative content formats – we are committed to working together with the education community during this difficult time.

Please visit blackboard.com/remotelearning for more information on our COVID-19 resources.