August 2012

Fall Events

Southern Mississippi Blackboard Symposium
September 27th & 28th, 2012

Are you in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, or another close-by location? We invite you to “Get in the Game” at the Southern Mississippi Blackboard Symposium, taking place September 27 & 28 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. This free eLearning conference, sponsored by Blackboard Partnerships, will bring together educators interested in innovation and collaboration, and will feature sessions led by faculty and technology leaders from institutions throughout the Southeast. Representatives from Blackboard will be onsite for interactive presentations and Q&A. Additionally, Premier partner, Signature partners ShareStream & ExamSoft, Building Blocks partner Starfish, and Blackboard Mobile™ partner EverTrue will participate and co-present with faculty members.

For more information and to register please visit the event website:

Designing Your Course for the Facebook Generation With Quality Matters, Blackboard and WileyPLUS
Friday, October 19th, 2012 or Friday, October 26th, 2012
12 p.m. EST - 3 p.m. EST

You are invited to attend a special virtual workshop.

Faculty: Looking to teach online or incorporate online resources into your course whether you're teaching face-to-face, online or a hybrid of both? You'll learn the best ways to engage the online learner.
Course Designers: Supporting faculty on your campus faced with the challenge of sustaining student motivation online?  Attend this virtual workshop to review best practices based on the Quality Matters rubric.
Administrators: Wanting to leverage your Blackboard Learn™ investment to ensure a more effective teaching and learning environment? Discover the advantages of integrating all course-specific materials into your Blackboard Learn experience.
Triple-Play: Embedding Writing Assessment in Blackboard Learn
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
11 a.m. EST

Developing strong writing skills is one of the most important outcomes of a college degree, but teaching writing is a challenging pedagogical task. Learning to write is a recursive, lengthy process that requires personalized feedback, self-assessment, and clear evaluation.
We know that writing is more important than ever: for our students’ intellectual development, for the success of our future workforce, and for our assessment and accreditation efforts. What if you could embed some of the most effective writing pedagogy in Blackboard, with a streamlined workflow that included document markup, simple or sophisticated rubrics, and rich data visualizations?
Join Dr. William Carpenter, English Department Chair at High Point University, and Andrew McCann, founder of Waypoint Outcomes, for a lively discussion of pedagogy, assessment, and education technology. You will learn how High Point University has implemented the Analytics Edition of Waypoint2 and how you could bring the free Teaching & Learning Edition of Waypoint2 to your school.

McGraw-Hill Fall Events
It’s back to school time, and McGraw-Hill and Blackboard are excited for what this Fall semester may bring! We’d like to help you get off to a fantastic start using McGraw-Hill’s Connect seamlessly from within your Blackboard Learn course. Join one of our upcoming Connect and Blackboard Learn training events led by your colleagues to learn best practices from instructors using the McGraw-Hill Blackboard Building Block.

NEW! Blackboard Learn/Connect webinar trainings
Aug. 30 @ 4 pm EST

Your McGraw-Hill Digital Success team is offering four Blackboard Learn/Connect faculty training webinars over the next month! Check out the current schedule on the WebEx Event Center and get signed up today!
(Look for DST Blackboard Learn and Connect Integration in the Events by Program listing)

Other Fall Blackboard User Group (BUG) Events
You’ll also find your favorite Blackboard partners at BUG conferences across the country this fall. Whether you’re a loyal BUG member or already or if you’ve never been to one – check out the calendar below and sign up for one near you! These are great opportunities to learn from peers and Blackboard partners!

PalmettoBUG (South Carolina)
When: September 21
Where: Winthrop University
Partners Attending:, WileyPLUS, Kaltura, Respondus, CourseSmart
Cost: Free

VaBUG (Virginia)
When: September 21
Where: George Mason University
Partners Attending: Pearson, McGraw-Hill, WileyPLUS, Atomic Learning, CourseSmart, Software Secure
Cost: Free 

SLATE (MidwestBUG)
When: October 11-12
Where: Northern Illinois University
Partners Attending (more signing up every day!): Atomic Learning, CourseSmart, ShareStream
Cost: $100-$225

T-BUG (Texas)
When: October 25-26
Where: Shilo Inn Suites Hotel in Killeen, TX
Partners Attending (more signing up every day!): Kaltura, WileyPLUS, CourseSmart
Cost: $250-$310

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Blackboard and Ingram Announce Plans to Integrate VitalSource Bookshelf and Blackboard Learn

Effort will Join e-Books With Courses for Online and Mobile Access

Blackboard customers will soon have a powerful new option for delivering e-textbooks on their campuses. On July 11, Blackboard Inc. and Ingram's Vital Source Technologies, Inc. announced a global agreement to give students and faculty one-click access to Vital Source's industry leading e-textbook platform directly within Blackboard Learn™, the market's leading learning management (LMS) system. The planned integration would be available for users both online and for mobile devices.

"With the integration, there would be no extra software for users to install, no separate logins and passwords to remember," said Kent Freeman, chief operating officer of Vital Source. "You get immediate access to the digital copies of your textbooks, and they are an integral part of your Blackboard Learn courses."

With the planned offering, instructors would be able to preview and select textbooks, as well as pieces of content or learning objects and add them to assignments and activities directly in their courses in Blackboard Learn. In addition, faculty and administrators would be able to track e-book usage through analytics reports.

Vital Source's comprehensive e-content platform currently includes over 80,000 titles from the world's leading publishers. Student and faculty users can access their books—online and offline—on a variety of device types including Mac®, Windows®, iPad®, and Android®. Users can make notes, highlights, and annotations in their e-textbooks, all of which automatically sync across devices. Students can even share and subscribe to notes and highlights from their peers. The planned integration would also support viewing e-book content through Blackboard's mobile learning app.

"Our work with Vital Source can deliver great value for educators and students by bringing together the leading e-textbook platform and the leading learning management system to create a more engaging learning experience," said Matthew Small, chief business officer at Blackboard. "We're excited to work with Vital Source to offer our clients and users a more streamlined, more powerful approach to leveraging digital textbooks right within their courses – online and on mobile."

"Developing relevant tools and resources for the education community is at the core of our business," said Freeman. "We believe that accessible, interactive digital content is a big part of the future of education. By expanding our current work with Blackboard, we are able to bring our rich, interactive toolsets closer to the student's day-to-day learning life."

The work with Vital Source is part of Blackboard's ongoing effort to make it easier for teachers and students to find, use and share digital content and tools. The Blackboard Learn platform supports a wide range of integrations for content from leading educational publishers and content providers.

Vital Source, one of Ingram's fastest growing businesses, is the preferred and most used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education today. With longstanding relationships with more than 200 of the best-known publishers, and with over 2.2 million registered users on 6,000 campuses in 200 countries and territories worldwide, the platform was designed to support learning and built to scale for dramatic growth. Combining the education and technology background of the Vital Source team with the book industry resources and leadership of Ingram, Vital Source is firmly positioned as a market leader in the digital learning space.

The announcement was made at BbWorld® 2012, an annual event hosted by Blackboard taking place this week in New Orleans.

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit For more information about Vital Source, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Ingram

Ingram Content Group is a division of Nashville-based Ingram Industries Inc. The company provides books, music and media content to over 38,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners in 195 countries. More than 25,000 publishers use Ingram's fully integrated physical and digital solutions and programs to realize the full business potential of books. Ingram's operating units are Ingram Book Company, Lightning Source Inc., Vital Source Technologies, Inc., Ingram Periodicals Inc., Ingram International Inc., Ingram Library Services Inc., Spring Arbor Distributors Inc., Ingram Publisher Services Inc., Tennessee Book Company LLC, and Coutts Information Services. For more information, visit

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.  Statements regarding Blackboard's product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent Blackboard's current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available.

Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Mac® and iPad® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

Android® is a registered trademark of Google Inc.

SOURCE: Blackboard; Ingram

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Publisher Resources to Help Faculty Get Ready for the Fall Semester

With publisher building blocks, faculty will have the opportunity to integrate digital content from Higher Ed’s leading publishers into their fall courses. Faculty can pick and choose rich digital content from a wide variety of publisher sources, including Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Wiley. All seamlessly integrated into the Blackboard Learn platform.

The first step to enabling your faculty to take advantage of these integrations is to install the publisher building blocks and make these available for use. But if you’ve already installed these building blocks, you may be wondering how you help your faculty get started. We’ve consolidated a number of publisher resources on linking accounts, pairing courses, adding content and more – all within Blackboard Learn.





Additional Blackboard Learn faculty resources can also be found on the On Demand Learning Center.

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BbWorld12 Round-Up

What do a flash mob, a DJ booth and a marching band have in common? They were all part of the magic that made this year’s BbWorld the most entertaining, energizing and inspiring event yet.

Just one month ago, more than 3,500 people joined us in New Orleans for BbWorld, the Connections Summit, and DevCon. Attendees came from 27 countries and nearly every state, making this year's event not just the biggest BbWorld we've ever had, but also one of the largest education technology gatherings in the world. Additionally, over 65 partner organizations attended BbWorld, creating a great Exhibit Hall experience alongside our own booths and presentations.

Outside of the musical entertainment and ambience of New Orleans, there were a few different elements that combined to elevate this year’s event: Motivating Keynotes, VIP Bloggers, and the Partner Up! Campaign (#PartnerUp).

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, delivered incredible keynotes that kept people talking and tweeting all week (recordings will be available soon on the BbWorld homepage). Select VIP bloggers like Melissa Stange, Title System Administrator at Shenandoah University, brought BbWorld to life for people who weren’t able to attend in person while spotlighting some of the best partner sessions and solutions. She continues to blog post-BbWorld and offers her opinions on the Building Blocks to adopt. Rounding out the keynotes, sessions and exhibit hall was a huge push toward social media. The Blackboard Partner Team made their mark as a top-influencer on Twitter through the Partner Up! Campaign, which increased awareness and traffic to partner booths and sessions by engaging attendees with fun facts and driving them to follow/use our partner hash tag, #bbpartners.

If you didn’t get to attend this year’s event, don’t worry – there’s always next year in Vegas, July 7—12.

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Partners in Action

We have several new case studies to share with you.  Take a look below at how other institutions have implemented partner Building Blocks and solutions.

Read just a few examples of how our clients are using partner solutions to transform the teaching and learning experience for the communities they serve.

Albuquerque Public Schools: Leveraging the Power of Video to Stimulate Learning
As a way to further engage students, APS licensed NBC Learn content and installed the NBC Learn Building Block on their Blackboard Learn platform to help support their growing online and traditional curriculum.

Indiana University/Purdue University - Fort Wayne: Where Online Learning is an Interactive Conversation
In an effort to stimulate learning in online classes, the university’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching began providing streaming media technology to faculty.  With faculty demand growing quickly, the university began an official search for a new, user-friendly solution that would support a wide variety of file formats, integrate well with the Blackboard Learn™ platform, and be easy to implement.

Troy University: Helping Students Jumpstart Their Careers
When the Federal Government created new educational regulations stating universities must better prepare students for gainful employment, Troy University saw it as a chance to fine-tune its own efforts. With unemployment at record high levels, Troy decided to make internship placement more readily available to all of its students in an effort to help them gain employment after graduation.

University of Louisville: Keeping it All in One Place - Integrated Course Evaluations And Surveys in Blackboard Learn at UofL
Looking for a more effective and reliable solution, the Office of Institutional Research and Planning began researching different solutions that were available. After much consideration, the university chose the Blue solution from eXplorance. Blue software provides automation of course evaluations and surveys and can access data within a university, no matter the format or location.

Auburn University at Montgomery: Finding Balance for Network Traffic
Auburn University at Montgomery provides undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 5,000 students from its campus near Montgomery, Alabama. Like many universities, AUM has always had a technology presence, but when a new CIO was hired a few years ago, the university made creating an online environment for students a top priority.

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Get the Latest on the Greatest

Our partners play an important role in helping you reach, engage and assess more learners by extending your Blackboard platforms.  The innovative solutions they develop help system administrators and educators:

  • Enhance and customize curriculum using rich digital media and e-texts
  • Integrate mobile applications to enrich the campus experience
  • Seamlessly deliver educational content and tools directly within your learning management system
  • Simplify life through single sign-ons, optimized workflows and integrated features

Sign up to receive our monthly "Spotlight on Partnerships" newsletter highlighting the ways our partners are working with Blackboard to deliver a more effective learning experience.

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