Mississippi College System Adopts Blackboard

A statewide initiative launched in Mississippi will bring Blackboard's CMS and LOM systems to 15 community and junior colleges. The program was initiated by the Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges.

Through a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment, the 15-campus Mississippi Community College System, which serves about 65,000 students, will deploy a fully hosted version of the Blackboard Academic Suite and the Blackboard Outcomes System. These will provide Web-based learning for Mississippi's students and will allow the state to assess the performance of its online programs.

"The Blackboard Academic Suite will provide an industry leading educational tool to every instructor, every workforce trainer, and every student," said Audra Kimble, director of distance Education of the Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, in a prepared statement. "Also, the Blackboard Outcomes System and supporting strategic and technical services will provide us with an enterprise system designed for our specific program and institutional assessment needs. It will provide us greater insight into our institutional effectiveness, guide us in improvement initiatives, and assist us in meeting ever-increasing accountability standards."

The Blackboard Academic Suite comprises the following:
  • Blackboard Learning System, a suite of applications for creating, developing, facilitating, and assessing e-learning programs;
  • Blackboard Content System, an application for managing media, sharing files, and evaluating student development through e-portfolios;
  • Blackboard Community System, a tool for building online communities, including electronic commerce capabilities;
  • Blackboard Portfolio, which is used to create and share portfolios;
  • Blackboard Backpack, for accessing course materials offline; and
  • Blackboard K-12 Starter Edition, designed for K-12 institutions.
The Blackboard Outcomes System is also part of the package. Launched in January, it's a learning outcomes management system for classroom, online, and blended programs that provides assessments, enterprise surveys, course evaluations, institutional research, and e-portfolios.

Through the new initiative, Mississippi will also expand its Virtual Community College (MSVCC), which is operated by the 15 campuses in the system to provide distance learning. MSVCC, launched in 2000, currently has about 36,000 course enrollments.

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About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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