Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blackboard in agreements with Cengage, Wiley, Pearson and Macmillan

From press releases with links to the full texts a raft of agreements out of the Blackboard user group meeting in Las Vegas this week.

Cengage Learning, a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) to create a deeper integration and full interoperability of Cengage Learning's digital content and solutions with the Blackboard Learn™ platform.

The new partnership plans to provide direct access to Cengage Learning's digital content, core curriculum solutions and increased functionality for institutions utilizing Blackboard's Web-based teaching and learning platform. Users of Cengage Learning's rich digital learning solutions and content will gain seamless access through automatic sign-on and gradebook integration, creating a simpler and more intuitive user experience for both instructors and students using Blackboard Learn.

The effort plans to offer a better experience for users of online homework provided via CourseMaster products such as Aplia and SAM as well as CourseMate and course cartridges. The added level of integration is made possible through Cengage Learning's standards-based, interoperable, Web-services architecture (MindLinks) and the Blackboard Building Blocks™ program and open APIs of the Blackboard Learn platform. The agreement will also include ongoing interoperability options for Cengage Learning's MindTap program and future product development.


John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa, JWb) and Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today a new global partnership that will enable institutions running the Blackboard Learn platform to seamlessly access Wiley’s rich collection of learning content and tools – including the popular online teaching and learning environment, WileyPLUS.

As part of the partnership, the companies plan to integrate the content and capabilities of WileyPLUS and Blackboard Learn to simplify and strengthen the process for adding digital content and tools to courses. The integration plans to enable users of WileyPLUS to access the system with their Blackboard® credentials and automatically synchronize grades and other data with the Blackboard Learn gradebook.

The integration plans to eliminate the need for students and instructors to manage activities and information in separate systems with multiple logins, and it also plans to greatly enhance adoption and workflow for users of Wiley’s digital content and tools within Blackboard Learn, the most popular learning management platform in higher education.

WileyPLUS is a research-based, online environment for effective teaching and learning that includes the entire digital textbook. With WileyPLUS, students will always know what to do, how to do it, and if they are doing it right through instant feedback, personalized learning plans, and self-evaluation tools that are available 24/7. Available for over 225 Wiley titles and used in over 20 countries globally, WileyPLUS builds student confidence because it takes the guesswork out of studying and is proven to improve student outcomes.

“With this partnership we are extending our mission to ‘Help teachers to teach, and students to learn’, said Joseph Heider, Senior Vice President for Wiley’s Global Education. “We are confident that combining Blackboard’s market leadership with the proven ability of WileyPLUS to help instructors and students succeed, more students will have access to affordable and effective online educational solutions.”


Pearson and Blackboard today announced plans to integrate Pearson's MyLab and Mastering programs with the Blackboard Learn online teaching and learning platform--providing users with a convenient, seamless transition between systems. Pearson's MyLab and Mastering programs this year are projected to have more than 9 million student registrations at higher education institutions, many of whom use Blackboard's learning management system. The announcement was made at BbWorld® 2011, Blackboard's largest user conference taking place this week in Las Vegas.

With the planned integration, faculty and students will gain fast, easy access to digital content and the MyLab and Mastering programs using a single sign-on process and their Blackboard® credentials. Faculty will have quick access from their Blackboard Learn course to MyLab and Mastering tools, assignments and learning analytics, including the transfer of MyLab and Mastering grade information to the Blackboard Learn gradebook. Academic and IT administrators will benefit from the integration's use of industry standards to efficiently scale and manage campus users' access to MyLab and Mastering for improved learning outcomes. A well-established service relationship between Pearson and Blackboard will provide customer service for the integrated products.


Macmillan and Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today a new partnership that plans to enable seamless integration between Macmillan's digital learning offerings and the Blackboard Learn(TM) platform. The partnership responds to strong demand from faculty and administrators to access learning tools and content provided by Macmillan's publishers - which include Bedford/St. Martin's, WH Freeman, Worth Publishers, and Hayden McNeil - directly within the Blackboard Learn platform.

The partnership will allow Macmillan to deeply integrate its products with Blackboard's teaching and learning platform to provide a seamless user experience and to take full advantage of the capabilities of Macmillan's products and the Blackboard learning ecosystem. The integration plans to enable faculty and students at educational institutions to easily sign on and access Macmillan's digital content and course offerings with their Blackboard® credentials and to automate upload of grades and performance data into the Blackboard Learn gradebook. The net result plans to be a more user friendly, engaging, and effective teaching and learning experience.

"Blackboard has become the platform of choice for the management of teaching and learning in thousands of schools and universities, and our collaboration will allow us to fully leverage the capabilities of Blackboard Learn to deliver all of our digital content and learning systems to our instructors and students in ways that are simple and powerful," said Brian Napack, President of Macmillan. "Long term, we expect that this partnership will yield exciting innovations that will leverage the skills and assets of both companies."

The announcement was made at BbWorld®, Blackboard's annual user conference being held in Las Vegas this week. As part of the partnership, Macmillan becomes a Blackboard Premier Partner(TM) in the Blackboard Partnerships Program(TM).


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