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McGraw-Hill and Blackboard Launch Combined Course Solution Worldwide

An integrated solution offering students and faculty a single point of access for online courses, content and learning tools is now available worldwide from Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) and McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), the companies announced today.

The solution represents the deepest integration of an education publisher’s content and tools in a learning platform, and is the product of a major partnership announced last year that has been extended to include institutions and educators worldwide. The solution combines McGraw-Hill’s media rich content, assessment engines and industry leading adaptive learning tools with the latest capabilities of Blackboard’s online teaching and learning platform, Blackboard Learn™.

More than 5,000 students at 20 different colleges and universities have already participated in a live pilot for the solution, as have an additional 100 instructors across the U.S. As part of the pilots, faculty and student users have tested the system and have provided feedback to inform the development process.

“This solution is the best blending of content and learning management offerings that I’ve encountered, by far,” said Vickie Fry, Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of Institutional Research at Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania. “Instead of the frustration of managing different files and having my students shuttling between separate systems, this solution is seamless. Instead of busywork, I can spend my time focusing on my students and their development. Being a part of the field trial was a thrill for me because I could share ideas that the development team would use to make the solution even better.”

The combined solution utilises McGraw-Hill’s cutting-edge platforms, Connect® and Create™, within Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 (support for Release 8.0 is planned for later in the year). By offering all course resources in a single environment, the solution significantly improves faculty and student workflows with single sign-on and automatic synchronization of all grades for McGraw-Hill assignments with the Blackboard Learn gradebook.

With the solution, faculty members get the conveniences of high quality publisher content and tools as well as the ability to manage course content, create assignments and track student performance without having to leave the system or import and stage content. They also get access to a range of popular tools in the Connect platform, including adaptive assessment and lecture capture tools and a library of media-rich e-books including over 300 titles across 50 subject areas.

“This work is the most innovative and pleasing re-mix of publisher content and LMS I’ve witnessed in the industry,” said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. “And I’m proud that our work produced a first commercial scale implementation of an open education standard. This is the type of work that’s defining what’s different at Blackboard.”

“McGraw-Hill Education has further strengthened its commitment to improving student and instructor success around the world by providing unprecedented access to the next generation of digital learning solutions through an integrated learning management toolkit,” said Talia Griep, president, McGraw-Hill Education International. “As a worldwide education leader and global corporate citizen, we are striving to improve workflows for professors and students around the world and provide everything they need to succeed in their courses in one Web-based location.”

The combined solution is available for all institutions and instructors regardless of which learning platform is used at their institution, either through a Blackboard Building Block™ that supports Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 or a fully hosted version for institutions and faculty members who don’t have access to the Blackboard Learn platform.

To learn more about the combined solution from McGraw-Hill Education and Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/mcgraw-hill.