Education technology company Blackboard has unveiled a new platform dubbed the ‘New Learning Experience,’ designed to bring under one roof all of Blackboard’s products. The redesigned program encourages better interaction and nurtures quality learning by putting more emphasis on the learner’s needs, expectations and desires.
Thanks to integrated technology, new services added and data functionalities, Blackboard hopes that the platform will simplify students’ learning experience. The new Blackboard wants to help both institutions and learners:
“There is a major disconnect between what today’s learners want, and what the educational system is giving them – and it’s about time that we all take a close look at how to change that,” President and CEO of Blackboard Jay Bhatt said.
“In order for learners of all types and ages to be truly successful, we need to be brutally honest about what’s working and what’s not. We need to reimagine how learning can happen, and we’ve taken a major step toward realizing that vision today.”
The New Learning Experience has a more intuitive user interface, is mobile and always on, and has more useful data and analytics capabilities to make the learning experience smoother for students. One of its defining new features is that it streamlines the software’s and users’ workflow.
Blackboard’s new CEO Jay Bhatt said about New Learning Experience’s all-encompassing concept:
“This isn’t just a learning management system. It’s mobile, analytics and collaboration tools, combined and consistently delivered.”
Willie Palmer, an instructional technology coach at McDonogh 35 Senior High School in New Orleans, said about Blackboard that:
“It’s intuitive, sleek and smart. I could walk up to the new interface and know how to work everything right away. And more importantly, I’m confident that my users – teachers and learners of all levels of technical expertise – will experience the new Blackboard and say ‘I like this.’“
The official Blackboard press release also states that the New Learning Experience will be deployed among other options through Blackboard Learn as a SaaS.
Blackboard was a headache for many students and educators, and the new offering will be a major test for the company and its new CEO. The software was often criticized for its lack of concern for students and its emphasis on administrators and educators:
“Blackboard was at turns frustrating, migraine-inducing, and burdensome” Wired’s Issie Lapowski says.
However, the re-invented program claims to be a simplification of all previous offerings seamlessly integrated within a single platform. The New Learning Experience will provide virtual collaboration capability, course management and analytics, learning portfolios and a marketplace for buying and selling textbooks, eCampus says.
This year, the company also released Blackboard Collaborate, an advanced web conferencing solution.