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Dudley College Deploys State of the Art Learning Technology with Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 Platform

AMSTERDAM – December 7, 2010 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that Dudley College has deployed Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1 to dramatically improve the college’s learning environment, increase educator efficiency and better position Dudley to achieve its key academic objectives.

The selection of Release 9.1 follows Dudley’s extensive review of popular commercial and open source solutions. Release 9.1 was selected because it gave staff and learners all the functionality they needed and because Dudley saw in Blackboard a company that it could fully partner with to better leverage technology to engage its community.

Located in the West Midlands, Dudley is an FE college serving over 15,000 students at a traditional campus offering almost exclusively blended or hybrid courses which include both a face-to-face and an online component. Recognising that more effective use of the VLE (virtual learning environment) led to better feedback from its students, Dudley saw the importance of having a state of the art online learning solution capable of meeting the demands of today’s marketplace.

“Student engagement is a result of two things; staff buy-in and courses that are built with engaging content,” comments Neil Thomas, Performance Systems Manager at Dudley College. “Release 9.1 is easy to use and provides ways to add collaborative tools and valuable Web content, so it addresses both aspects of student engagement.”

With improved central grading, tracking and plagiarism detection enabled through Release 9.1’s Gradebook and SafeAssign™ solutions, Dudley’s instructors are spending less time managing information in the VLE and more time ensuring that students are engaged in their day to day learning.

Released earlier this year, Release 9.1 is already being used by more than 1,000 institutions worldwide. Release 9.1 integrates a range of social learning tools like blogs and wikis to drive student engagement. It also features a new Web 2.0 interface and the ability to seamlessly integrate multimedia content from Web sources to create a more visually impactful course experience. Release 9.1 can also be enabled to support mobile learning with Blackboard Mobile™ Learn in native applications for the most popular mobile platforms.

“Working side by side with Dudley’s staff to support their planning, training and rollout, this partnership reflects the strength of our global organization and the seriousness of our commitment to U.K. institutions,” said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. “We’ve invested much in our ability to support U.K. institutions with development efforts, on the ground consulting and deployment assistance and an improved global support organization. I’m pleased to see Dudley gain positive return on these investments in the form of an improved experience for their instructors and students.”

For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com.