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Blackboard Partners with Quality Matters to Promote Effective Practices in Online Education
Jul 13, 2011 (04:07 PM EDT)


Effort Will Focus on Improving Quality in Instruction, Course Design

LAS VEGAS, July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced a partnership with The Quality Matters™ Program (QM), an independent not-for-profit organization focused on identifying and promoting core principles and effective practices for quality online education.

Recognized as a leading provider of online education quality assurance and evaluation, QM develops research-supported standards, evaluation tools and procedures. Together, Blackboard and QM will work to arm institutions and educators with resources, tools and best practices for online instruction, course design, assessment, student engagement and accessibility. The new offerings are available today and include the QM Program Overview and Applying the QM Rubric training.

Under terms of the deal, Blackboard Consulting(SM) staff will be trained by QM and will offer support in faculty development and course design, specifically structured to help institutions implement sustainable, scalable programs grounded in QM's effective practices and core principles.

"This partnership acknowledges the importance of course quality and the role it plays in creating learning outcomes," said Ray Henderson. "It is another example of how we're broadening our vision about our role in education, and how we're finding new ways to assist our clients in delivering successful student learning programs at scale."

"We're extremely pleased to partner with Blackboard to further the principles for improving the quality of online education," said Ron Legon, Executive Director of Quality Matters. "Working with Blackboard is a natural fit – we're dedicated to providing institutions with the resources they need to design courses and programs that promote student engagement and lead to successful online learning."

Through the exclusive partnership, the resources of the leading provider of learning management systems and the leading provider of design standards for distance learning courses will offer clients a complete solution to their consulting needs for quality online courses to improve the online education experience.

The announcement was made today at BbWorld®, Blackboard's annual user conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information about Blackboard Consulting, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Services/Strategic-Solutions.aspx. For more information about Quality Matters, please visit http://www.qmprogram.org/.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) 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 Quality Matters Program

Quality Matters™ (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach and continuous improvement in online education and student learning. QM subscribers include community and technical colleges, colleges and universities, K-12 schools and systems, and other academic institutions.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 13, 2011. 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 forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to July 13, 2011.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.; Quality Matters