Jul 16, 2014
WASHINGTON, July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard has created a customized learning and analytics offering available to the 259 higher education Internet2 members, the company and Internet2 announced today. The Internet2 NET+ offer will not only provide access to the company's market-leading solutions for teaching, learning and collaboration, but also includes robust analytic and learning outcomes tools, a cloud-based, cross-institutional content repository that supports most learning management systems (LMSs), and helpdesk and adoption services.
Technology leaders from Cornell University, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Texas at Arlington; and Virginia Commonwealth University, guided and shaped the Internet2 NET+ certified solution.
At the core of the offer, which is fully deployable now, is Blackboard's Learning Insight solution, which is a fully-featured online and mobile version of the company's flagship LMS and synchronous collaboration environment. The solution also includes a rich, LMS-fed analytic data warehouse with dashboard and reporting tools that provide on-demand access to data to demonstrate achievement, quantify student outcomes, and benchmark user activity and course design.
Also included in the offer is xpLor™, Blackboard's content sharing and discovery platform, which enables the collaborative development and sharing of course materials within and across institutions and all standards-compliant LMSs. Already being used by nearly 500 institutions all over the world, xpLor allows faculty to create or import any type of content, which can be tagged, rated, and aligned to competencies and standards for easy searching and organizing. xpLor will be offered free of charge to all Internet2 members, even if they do not license the Blackboard NET+ offer.
"Student success is critically important today in higher education and we need innovative, standards-based tools so when we identify approaches that work, they can be easily replicated in other institutions," said Jack Suess, vice president of information technology and chief information officer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "Blackboard's innovative teaching and learning solutions are designed to do just that. By focusing on student outcomes, first and foremost, this unique offer won't just help individual Internet2 institutions like us, but it will also help foster a more collaborative industry."
In August, Blackboard and Internet2 will establish an advisory board comprised of leaders from Internet2 member universities who will regularly meet to discuss the roadmap for this offer, as well as joint initiatives and research opportunities. This will include the governance of a portion of the Blackboard NET+ offering proceeds used to support the Internet2 community to spur the further development of content sharing among Internet2 members.
"We are dedicated to reducing the complexity, cost and time for higher education to benefit from advanced cloud services," said Shelton Waggener, senior vice president at Internet2. "The collaborative benefits from utilizing these new tools both within the traditional classroom setting and beyond are impressive. I couldn't be more pleased with the great work of Blackboard in working with the community service validation process. They leveraged their industry expertise, innovative best practices and commitment to interoperability in a true partnership, resulting in a very welcome addition to the Internet2 services portfolio."
"Today's announcement is one part of a larger, sustained effort to better support institutions and help them deliver comprehensive and cost-effective education technology solutions," said Mark Strassman, senior vice president of product management at Blackboard. "Students and faculty need to have access to tools that allow them to work collaboratively, across institutions, to create the best learning programs. As leading Internet2 institutions expand their online educational solutions, they will need proven ways to measure, analyze, and share the results of these efforts. We are excited to be able to offer just that."
Blackboard and Internet2 will host a webinar for Internet2 higher education members on Wednesday, August 20 at 1:00 pm ET to provide more details on the offer. Internet2 members can learn more about the offering by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Internet2, please visit www.internet2.edu or follow @Internet2 on Twitter. For more information about Blackboard, please visit www.blackboard.com or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.
Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.
Internet2 also operates the nation's largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, in which the Network Operations Center is powered by Indiana University. Internet2 serves more than 93,000 community anchor institutions, 250 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks, 80 leading corporations working with our community and more than 65 national research and education networking partners representing more than 100 countries.
Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.
About Blackboard Inc.
Source: Blackboard Inc.