WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lindsey Wilson College will become one of the first institutions to move from the ANGEL platform to Blackboard Learn™ 9.1, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today. The decision was driven by Blackboard's overall commitment to product and service quality, and the company's ability to consistently meet and exceed high service levels and support standards set by ANGEL Learning.
The decision follows an evaluation of several commercial and open source options, in which students and faculty found Release 9.1 to have a much more intuitive user interface and more polished look and feel than other LMS options. Users also found that while most of the systems offered similar capabilities, Release 9.1 offered greater usability overall. College officials were also pleased with Blackboard's commitment to enhancing the Blackboard Learn platform with the needs of ANGEL users in mind.
"Like many other institutions using ANGEL, we had our own questions about Blackboard, but our experience since the acquisition has been nothing short of exceptional," said Jeff Parsons, Director of Teaching and Technology Effectiveness at Lindsey Wilson. "There were a number of promises and commitments made to ANGEL institutions, and we're seeing Blackboard follow through on those. That has meant a great deal to us in thinking about the decision we wanted to make for the long term."
A small liberal arts college in central Kentucky, Lindsey Wilson has seen growing adoption of online learning on campus. As part of its review, college officials placed a high priority on the ability to easily transfer course content between systems, and Blackboard's full support for key open education standards including Common Cartridge clearly set Release 9.1 apart. Several competing systems were effectively eliminated from the college's review process after officials determined they couldn't easily import and export content using Common Cartridge."We've focused a great deal on maintaining an excellent experience for ANGEL institutions, and I'm pleased to see that those efforts have given confidence to a number of clients that want to leverage our latest release," said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. "As more ANGEL institutions recognize how serious we are about product quality and service excellence, I hope they'll be motivated to consider what we can offer them with the Blackboard Learn platform." Lindsey Wilson found pricing for Release 9.1 to be very competitive with alternative options, and similar to their existing ANGEL investment. In addition, because Release 9.1 supports integrations for a range of popular third-party applications used heavily at the college, officials did not have to consider making additional investments to change its other priority technology tools. "We're excited about all of the built-in social learning tools and multimedia integrations in Release 9.l, and we expect them to re-energize our students and faculty to use the LMS to create an even more engaging and interactive education experience," said Parsons. "And with many of our faculty and staff working at other institutions in the area, it was important for us to chose a platform that they are familiar with and comfortable using. Since Blackboard Learn is the most popular platform in the state, we knew training and transition would be a smoother process."