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City University of New York Adopts New LMS To Expand Online Learning

In an effort to grow its online learning program, a New York university will deploy a new learning management system (LMS) across its 24 colleges and institutions, including its growing continuing education program.

The City University of New York (CUNY) has signed a 10-year agreement with Blackboard for its learning management system, Blackboard Learn.

"The alternatives weren't ready for prime time--they could not scale to meet our needs," said James Haggard, deputy chief information officer at CUNY. "We're trying to structure ourselves so that we can chart a strategy that is flexible and able to change with the industry over time. Blackboard is the partner to help us do that."

The university cited Blackboard Learn's scalability and its long-term product roadmap and online learning vision as reasons for the adoption.

Features of Blackboard Learn include:

  • Grading tools, with color-coding to easily identify students at risk of failing;
  • Tools to embed videos, audio, or mashups onto a page;
  • The option of creating wiki pages;
  • The ability for teachers and administrators to add or remove users on the course homepage and offer a self-enroll choice;
  • A dashboard for students and teachers with a notification system to help prioritize work;
  • Reporting and tracking tools of student progress using graphics, charts, and interactive rubrics;
  • Institutional hierarchy, which allows a school to organize privacy access by school, department, college, and more; and
  • Timed assessments and automatic submission.

The LMS also provides mobile access to students through its native apps.

In addition, CUNY will be using Blackboard Collaborate, a Web conferencing, mobile collaboration, instant messaging, and voice authoring platform that is integrated with Blackboard Learn. It also will use Blackboard Managed Hosting for service and support.

The City University of New York has 540,000 students enrolled in 24 colleges and institutions, which include 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies, and the CUNY School of Public Health. According to the school, it is the largest urban university system in the nation.

For more information about the City University of New York, visit Go to to learn more about Blackboard Learn.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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