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Babson Upgrades LMS

Babson College, a Boston area school with about 3,300 students, will be upgrading its learning management system to the newest version of Blackboard Learn. The college, which specializes in business programs, also uses the company's mobile apps and Web conferencing applications.

Nearly all of Babson's faculty--98 percent--use Blackboard in their courses. In a statement, Babson said faculty appreciated the clean user interface, tools, and simplified navigation introduced in Blackboard Learn 9.1.

The campus community is already using Blackboard Mobile Learn, which delivers campus apps to BabsonMobile, the school's mobile app for iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices. Apps include lightweight versions of the college's Web site, Blackboard course materials, as well as a directory of school contacts, course scheduling, maps, videos, news, the library catalogs, and other features.

Faculty is also learning how to integrate Web conferencing and social networking into their courses with the use of Blackboard's Collaborate platform, which has functionality for two-way audio, multi-point video, whiteboarding, desktop sharing, and session recording. In its first three months of use at Babson, users have created 600 live sessions with Collaborate primarily between students and faculty.

Tova Duby, senior manager for Curriculum Innovation and Technology Group, said the integration of Blackboard technologies pertaining to teaching and learning has shifted the college to "the next level." "Blackboard provides small company support in all areas of campus technology," she noted. "We have been working with Blackboard since 2001 as both a client and as part of its product advisory council, and we have experienced continuous, targeted support throughout our adoption and deployment of Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, and Blackboard Mobile Central."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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