EDUCAUSE 2017 is just around the corner. As the premier convening of higher ed IT professionals, this annual conference is always meaningful for us. But this year, it’s even more special as Blackboard is celebrating our 20th anniversary – that’s two decades of partnering with you, our clients, to help solve your toughest challenges.

For those who are headed to Philly, we’ve put together a roundup of the most important Blackboard activities taking place during the conference. Don’t forget to follow us for news and announcements from the show on Twitter at @Blackboard. And to be a part of the larger EDUCAUSE conversation, follow #EDU17. We’re excited to see you there!

Don’t-miss session

Learning analytics has often focused on identifying at-risk students within a course. But what if we could prevent those students from getting into risk at all? From 11:30-12 on Wednesday, November 1, join Blackboard’s Dr. John Whitmer and UMBC’s John Fritz for an engaging discussion on how learning analytics research can be used for effective course design. The session will take place in Meeting Room 111A/B, 100 Level.

Meet us on the show floor

Join Blackboard at booth #111 for 10-minute “Lightning Talks,” where you’ll gain insights into several hot topics such as accessibility and analytics, and hear the latest updates on Blackboard Learn 9.1 and our new Copia Class integration for collaborative content. And what’s more, we’re giving away an Alexa during every lightning session. Sit in any one of these sessions for your chance to win.  Here’s the lineup for Wednesday and Thursday:


  • 10:00 a.m.: Accessibility matters – how to create an accessible online classroom
  • 11:00 a.m.: Synchronous online classrooms – change every learner’s experience
  • 12:30 p.m.: Creating inclusive classrooms – how to meet ADA requirements online
  • 1:30 p.m.: Predictive analytics – retain more students next semester
  • 2:30 p.m.: Ultra for Blackboard Learn – why now?
  • 3:30 p.m.: Customizing content within Learn – bring courses to life with Copia
  • 4:30 p.m.: Fast track to happy faculty – improve service delivery with text, online chat, bots & social
  • 5:30 p.m.: Blackboard Learn 9.1 – the top 5 things you didn’t know


  • 9:45 a.m.: Synchronous online classrooms – change every learner’s experience
  • 11:00 a.m.: Customizing content within Learn – bring courses to life with Copia
  • 12:00 p.m.: Engaging campus experience – unify security, dining/POS, tuition, payments and more
  • 1:00 p.m.: Analytics schmanalytics – it’s time to get serious about your LMS data
  • 2:00 p.m.: Ultra for Blackboard Learn – why now?
  • 3:30 p.m.: Accessibility matters – how to create an accessible online classroom

We’re also partnering with our friends at IBM to host a series of Q&A sessions with university leaders about how they are using data and analytics to promote student success at scale. Stop by the IBM booth (300) to join the sessions, led by Blackboard Senior Product Marketing Manager, Dr. Timothy Harfield. Bring your questions for the experts, and participate in lively conversations about how proven high-impact practices can be adapted to meet the needs of your institution. Q&A sessions will be live-streamed on YouTube for those who can’t be at EDUCAUSE in person.  Follow us on Twitter and get ready to ask your questions using the hashtag #BbAnalytics.

Here’s the schedule of Q&A sessions:


  • 1:00PM – 1:15PM: Kara Bosch (Director of Financial Information Systems and Business Intelligence Solutions, ‎Central Piedmont Community College)
  • 4:15PM – 4:30PM: Paul O’Brien (Vice President for Institutional Technology/CIO, Indian River State College)
  • 5:15PM – 5:30PM: John Whitmer (‎Director for Analytics and Research, Blackboard) and Van Davis (Associate Vice President of Higher Education Research and Policy, Blackboard)


  • 9:45AM – 10:00AM: Chris Gill (CIO, Drake University)
  • 12:00PM – 12:15PM: Timothy Renick (Vice Provost and Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Georgia State University)
  • 3:45PM – 4:00PM: Rachel Scherer (Senior Product Manager, Blackboard Analytics)

Finally, we’ve got to give a shout out to our network of over 200 integration partners that help make using Blackboard Learn a seamless experience for our clients, while also improving instructor efficiency, engaging learners, and delivering results. Many of these partners will be at EDUCAUSE – click here to learn more about the exciting activities they have going on.

Giveaways and more giveaways!

What’s not to love about getting fun giveaways to take back home? Stop by the Blackboard booth (#111) for some free Blackboard “Flare”, and follow us on Twitter for a chance to win the latest Amazon Echo Dot and Apple Watch Series 3.0.

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