Celebrating Our Clients’ Remote Learning Success


We are so proud of the global education community and their ability to adapt to the changing educational landscape due to the COVID-19 crisis. Millions of learners across the globe have been affected by school closures as a result of the pandemic. While these closures are undoubtedly difficult for all, our clients are rising to the challenge and ensuring the continuity of education through the use of Blackboard products and services. Read their stories to learn about their experiences delivering distance learning and how educators and learners are benefitting from Blackboard tools.

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Charleston Southern University, South Carolina, United States

Charleston Southern University (CSU) in South Carolina significantly scaled their usage of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, allowing educators and learners to connect from various remote locations. Through their use of the tool, CSU increased total minutes in Collaborate by 6,854% in the first six weeks after going to fully-online classes.

6-week percentage change in Blackboard collaborate usage after going fully-online due to COVID-19

Number of meetings4,492%
Number of minutes6,854%
Number of participants15,552%

Dr. Jeffery Gray, assistant professor of psychology, said, “The Collaborate Ultra software has been fantastic in allowing me to give online lectures that replicate the in-class experience. Collaborate allows me to do voice-overs on the PowerPoint presentations that I would normally use in a classroom. In addition, Collaborate gives me the ability to post the recordings of these sessions on my class Blackboard page. This allows my students who are unable to participate during the live session, the option of watching the recording to keep up with the class!”

University of Groningen, Netherlands

The University of Groningen welcomed a special visitor to their Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom in April. Mark Rutte, Netherlands Prime Minister dropped into an intensive care and anesthesia lecture to see how students and educators have adapted to remote instruction.

Tweet in English: And then you have @MinPres a guest in your Intensive care & Anesthesia lecture! Prof. Eric van Roon is a pharmacist in MCL and also extraordinary professor #Farmacie. He and master students Maxime and Frank share their experiences with online education at the #RUG. #connectuniversitiesNL

King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia identified instructor training as a key tool for success in their transition to remote instruction. After training hundreds of faculty members on Blackboard Learn and Collaborate Ultra, KAU saw a massive uptick in online users. From March 9- April 30, 2,048,317 students and faculty attended and participated in Collaborate sessions and 141,278 sessions were created.

Saint Mary’s College, Indiana, United States

Screen grab of Blackboard Collaborate screen

For many nursing schools around the United States, the pinning ceremony is a rite of passage for soon-to-be-graduates. The ceremony is often deeply personal, and graduates can be ‘pinned’ by a beloved teacher or faculty member. Due to the stay-at-home order in Indiana brought on by COVID-19, Saint Mary’s College got creative with its annual tradition. Faculty held the ceremony on Blackboard Collaborate for new graduates to take the Saint Mary’s Nursing Pledge virtually.

During the online event, faculty explained the history of the nursing program, conducted the pinning ceremony, and shared the significance of the pin’s design.

Students at home wore their regalia and had a family member drape the graduation hood over their gown. Nursing department members announced departmental awards, and photos of each winner displayed on the Collaborate screen.

142 people joined the ceremony on May 15, 2020, as 48 nurses were awarded pins.