Blackboard has undergone a tremendous amount of change since I’ve joined the company nearly three years ago; and I’ve talked a lot about that change. It includes the reorganization of our company to work better with the markets we serve; acquisitions of companies and technologies that we’ve integrated into our core offerings to put forth some of the best technology in the industry; and perhaps most importantly, a transformative shift in focus that places a much greater emphasis on the learner.

But the biggest change is happening today. Today on the main stage at BbWorld, I’m sharing a new approach to education that will firmly ground our company moving forward, and I anticipate will spark a new way of thinking in our educational ecosystem. We’re calling it the New Learning Experience: a transformative way to create better engagement, interaction and quality learning through integrated technology, services and data capabilities. Let me tell you more about it.

It starts with an examination of the current educational system. We need to be brutally honest about what works and what doesn’t. And it all starts with the learner.

There is a critical disconnect between what today’s learners want, and how the educational system is serving them. The industry hasn’t changed in years. Today’s learners have a drastically different set of wants, needs and consumer preferences. Learners of all ages and at all points in their learning lifecycle today require something different. They want and expect technology to play a major role in their education. And they want education technology that is as convenient as what they’ve become accustomed to from companies like Apple and Amazon. They want mobile. They want to be able to connect with their peers. They want fast, simple, and intuitive.

Additionally, learners are simply learning differently than ever before. One statistic I frequently cite is that 85 percent of higher education students in North America are ‘non-traditional.’ These are learners who are not in 4-year, on-campus, physical class environments. They are distance learners. They are part-time learners earning a certificate or competency rather than a degree. They are adult learners pursuing a new career through an online Master’s program.

Beginning with this acute focus on the new learner, the New Learning Experience will also be tightly integrated into connected and sensible workflows — packaged in a totally new, intuitive and delightful user experience — accessible, mobile and always-on, and layered with data and analytics capabilities. We are beginning our journey toward the New Learning Experience with beautiful new versions of our flagship learning management system Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate and the new Bb Student App.

This is the time for us as an education company to ensure that we put the learner first, reimagine how education happens, and inspire the world to learn. At Blackboard, it starts today.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE as the New Learning Experience comes to life.

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  • James

    Be interested in how you reshape the way a non-traditional student shops, selects and enrolls in courses at your partner institutions. Using the metric of 85% doesn’t get to the problem of creating non-credit registration workflow that is fit-for-purpose to the adult learner’s unique needs to enroll in specific courses to master a competency or achieve a certificate. These aren’t degree-seekers. They’re aiming to build a competency and validate it with a credential in hope of converting that new knowledge into prosperity.