Blackboard: Driving Learner Success through Engagement

Bill Ballhaus Chairman, CEO & President, BlackboardBill Ballhaus Chairman, CEO & President
Adaptive learning is not a new concept anymore; it is gradually donning a critical role in the education landscape, allowing real time personalization of content, assessment, and delivery. This has materialized in the form of various learning management systems, e-learning platforms, and applications. An integral part of the adaptive learning revolution is collaboration solutions that provide interactive audio/video technology communication platforms for web based conferencing. Washington, DC based Blackboard is a strong contributor in the education technology space that offers a broad range of collaboration solutions leveraging innovative technologies and services to enable student and institutional success. With a mission to be ‘education’s partner in change,’ the company is instrumental in empowering learners, educators, and institutions to be at par with the complex and changing environment. “Blackboard is changing the way the education community thinks about technology and the next generation of teaching and learning tools,” explains William Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President, Blackboard.

The company’s Blackboard Collaborate platform is a browser based web conferencing solution that is specially designed to simplify distance teaching and learning. The solution seamlessly enables virtual classrooms and online professional development. Both learners and educators enjoy a modern user experience with high definition audio and video quality. The solution fosters flipped-classrooms where educators can focus on enhancing the content by recording, sharing, and assessing flipped classes. These recordings can be stored for a long time, offering the convenience of mobile friendly classes to students who can access them whenever and wherever required. The platform is fortified with interactive tools such as real time annotations and text editing that allows content to be added as required.

Blackboard is changing the way the education community thinks about technology and the next generation of teaching and learning tools

This also includes a visual selection menu for sharing a file or choosing the whiteboard option. Blackboard Collaborate can be integrated with any Learning Tools Interoperability compliant LMS, blending synchronous, asynchronous, and mobile capabilities. On the other hand, students have the liberty to instantly chat with other participants or raise queries during a session through the ‘raise your hand’ feature, which can be cleared by the moderator.

Blackboard Collaborate’s rich functionalities are perfectly illustrated in the success story of University of Derby. The University decided to conduct its open day activities online that were previously held on campus, to inform prospective students about its programmes. With Blackboard Collaborate, the University was able to talk, chat, and show PowerPoint presentations and pictures of the campus, creating a rich experience for students. “Our conversion rate from this activity is extremely high and the most powerful conversion strategy to-date at 50 percent of those who attended,” says Julie Stone, Head, the University of Derby.

The company’s Collaborate platform enables institutions to foster collaboration and drive student retention and success. The collaborative learning tools empower educators to meet their instructional goals giving students more options to stay engaged in a mobile friendly manner.

Ballhaus leads Blackboard with his extensive experience as well as desire to drive technology innovation and improve student success. He intends to strengthen the company’s existing product portfolio to continue being the partner that students and educators rely on. “We will continue to progress in helping millions of people around the world find new ways to learn, connect, advance, and improve education outcomes,” he concludes.