Blackboard announces integrated virtual classroom

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blackboard Inc. has announced the release of an integrated virtual classroom that allows instructors to create and use Web conferencing tools such as video recording, instant messaging and voice discussion boards, all seamlessly integrated into Blackboard Learn™, the company’s flagship learning management system (LMS).

The integration marks the latest step in the company’s efforts to increase its investment in core products, drive greater industry innovation, take full advantage of its broad portfolio of products, and build an easy-to-use, unified workflow that will allow for greater efficiency and cohesive user experience.

By leveraging tools within Blackboard Collaborate™, the leading online collaboration platform built for education, the virtual classroom will have the same native look and feel as the core, built-in platform features.

“The integrated virtual classroom helps provide our customers with a seamless teaching and learning environment that leverages the strength of our portfolio and builds on our world-class LMS,” said Jay Bhatt, CEO of Blackboard. “We are committed to continue delivering tools to our customers for learning management, collaboration, analysis, and more, all in one unified environment.”

Instructors can use the integrated Web conferencing tools to hold online office hours and connect with students that need extra help. Faculty can record classes for students who were unable to attend or pre-record class materials when taking a “flipped classroom” teaching approach. Integrated mobile applications also enable students and instructors to join live sessions and access all course content, including recordings, from their iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ device, including Kindle Fire™ HD devices.

“Our students, faculty, and staff rely on Blackboard every day and with the enhanced Blackboard Learn and Collaborate integration, we provide them with an increased range of flexibility and functionality, all in a seamless environment,” said Marshall Edison, CIO of the University of the Incarnate Word. “Using both platforms simultaneously helps us get the most out of our technology investments and create a wonderful experience for our students.”

The integration is available to Blackboard Learn clients who purchase an enterprise or departmental Blackboard Collaborate license.

For more information visit http://www.blackboard.com/ or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.