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Blackboard Harnesses Student Data to Flag At-Risk Learners

Solution Uses Risk Factors to Identify Students That May Need Help

LAS VEGAS, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. today announced a new analytics feature that harnesses a range of student information to identify learners in danger of falling behind or dropping out. The new capability of the Blackboard Analytics platform leverages more than 25 different factors to build a risk profile based on a student's academic background and focus, test scores and changes in performance.

The new capability complements a recent update to the Blackboard Learn course platform that gives instructors insight into at-risk student behavior. While that feature focuses on activity within a single course, the new analytics functionality looks across the full range of a student's courses and performance history to determine whether a heavy course load, a sudden drop in GPA, low high school GPA or low incoming SAT scores could signal bigger problems.

Institutions can use these factors and customize their own to identify students that exhibit high, moderate or low risk profiles. Armed with this information they can determine what needs to be done to help students remain engaged and on track.

"The ability to take a holistic look at a student– their course activity, background and performance characteristics– in an efficient streamlined fashion is an exciting capability for Drake," said Kevin Saunders, director of institutional research and assessment at Drake University. "We look forward to exploring how this tool supplements Drake's ongoing efforts to be proactive in supporting student success."

Blackboard also announced new functionality to help institutions track and measure student success in developmental education programs based on a set of criteria defined by the institution. Officials can track the performance of students who are currently taking, previously took or never needed development education classes, helping them evaluate the overall effectiveness of development education programs and initiatives.

"Education leaders are under pressure to grow programs and improve student outcomes with far greater predictability than in the past," said Jim Hermens, general manager of Blackboard Analytics. "As a company, we are focused on partnering with institutional leaders and enabling them to leverage technology to tackle these big problems in education and overcome the challenges they face in this changing education landscape." 

Other upgrades to Blackboard's analytics offering include functionality for tracking student and course-level enrollment data over time for comparative and trend analysis and course sequence grade correlation reporting that allows officials to determine the effectiveness of introductory courses in preparing students for higher-level classes.

These new features are enhancements to the Blackboard Analytics Suite, which leverages student data from leading enterprise resource planning systems and provides higher education leaders on-demand access to metrics and data to support the student information lifecycle. The Blackboard Analytics Suite also offers solutions to support finance, advancement, learning analytics and human resources.

For more information about Blackboard Analytics, please visit:

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Inc.