According to CEO Bill Ballhaus, Blackboard Learn is “the most complete and robust LMS available on the market today.” The past 20 years of Blackboard are summarized as: a digital environment that has now become second nature, a layer of interaction that guarantees intuitiveness and inclusiveness, so no peer is left out, and continuous pace of features and improvements, from interoperability standards to better communication tools.
There are five highlights Ballhaus considers the main accomplishments of Blackboard throughout his time with the company. (Ballhaus has been in his role since 2016.)
- Ally. The machine learning-powered accessibility solution, available in Moodle since last year, enables users with specific requirements to access the LMS and makes it easier for teachers to assess and modify content in response.
- SaaS (Software as a service). Over 300 customers have accepted Blackboard’s, and evidently the industry’s, push towards the Cloud. Organizations no longer have to manage their own servers or wait too long for updates, and it makes it easier for the corporation to sell their premium features.
- SafeAssign and Collaborate. SafeAssign, a plagiarism tool, was also made available for Moodle (which includes Moodlerooms, a Blackboard product) last year. Besides the Moodle plugin, Blackboard Collaborate now features LTI compatibility.
- Open Innovation Initiative. To encourage software engineers to develop products for Blackboard Learn, the company enabled communication protocols (REST and LTI) to quickly and safely transmit data between the LMS and custom tools.
- Teacher Communication. Debuted in 2012, this helps communicate teachers and parents within Blackboard Learn.