There are a lot of exciting changes taking place with the Blackboard Learn platform. Blackboard Inc., which provides online educational and classroom tools for teachers and students at all levels around the country, is beginning to establish new partnerships with companies such as Macmillan and CourseSmart to make more resources readily available for use in the classroom. Blackboard Learn is an intelligently designed learning management system that easily handles tasks like course and content management, grading and record-keeping, complex metrics and analytics for accurate assessments of student populations, rubric creation, and much more.
The Macmillan company, which announced a new partnership with Blackboard Learn in July 2011, is a global publishing company that serves as a major provider of many textbooks, educational materials, digital media, and online learning tools used by schools around the country. Their partnership with Blackboard Learn will integrate the tools and resources available through Blackboard Inc. and those provided by Macmillan for an easy-to-use online system. This system will improve the educational process for both students and teachers by simplifying and combining course offerings provided by Macmillan and record-keeping, file storage, and grading tools provided by Blackboard Inc.
A similar partnership between Blackboard Inc. and CourseSmart was announced in October 2011. CourseSmart is the world’s largest producer of digital educational materials, and the company has numerous agreements with textbook publishing companies and other presses to provide an alternative online version of many educational materials. The agreement between Blackboard Inc. and CourseSmart has led to the development of the Blackboard Building Block program, which integrates CourseSmart online products with the tools already available from Blackboard Inc. The Blackboard Building Block for CourseSmart materials is available at no cost to institutions of higher education, and offers a wide range of functions including copy/paste, highlighting, annotations, search tools, and sharing options to make the user’s experience as easy as possible.
These partnerships have numerous benefits for both students and faculty at educational institutions. Not only do these integrations save money by requiring only that the institution subscribe to the Blackboard Learn program, but they also save time. Instead of logging into two or more sites to access classroom information and other tools, users now only have to log into Blackboard Learn and they are able to access all of the information and resources they need to complete their course assignments. Since Blackboard is already used by a number of institutes of higher education across the United States, the transition to one platform is an easy one to make. In addition, due to the electronic format of Blackboard Learn, course materials can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection and the proper login information. As more partnerships continue to develop with the Blackboard Learn platform, schools will be able to offer more online coursework opportunities and provide students and faculty with up-to-date information at a level not yet seen.