Skip Navigation

Press Release Archive

University of Johannesburg Selects WebCT Vista to Extend Multimodal Learning to Other Campuses

System Will Support Intense Assessment Activity

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 06, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- The University of Johannesburg (UJ) in South Africa has selected the WebCT Vista(TM) enterprise e-learning system from Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) to extend multimodal learning opportunities across all five of its campuses and meet growing demand for web-supported content, activities and assessment. WebCT recently merged with Blackboard and the combined company continues to provide and support the full range of each organization's product lines to education institutions around the world.

The University of Johannesburg was established one year ago through the merger of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) and Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) to create a five-campus system with a total of approximately 46,000 students and 1,000 lecturers. WebCT Vista will help UJ extend multimodal learning from its Auckland Park Kingsway campus to the other four campuses. As part of this process, UJ has developed new computer labs on two campuses dedicated to its Edulink electronic learning environment, which is driven by WebCT technology. Labs for the other two campuses are being planned.

"We expect to benefit significantly from the advanced capabilities for teaching, learning, assessment and content management of WebCT Vista," said Professor Izak Broere of the university's Centre for Technology Assisted Learning (CenTAL).

"We selected WebCT Vista because of our successful use of the WebCT Campus Edition(TM) course management system, and because WebCT Vista requires less maintenance than the open source solutions we considered. We're very happy to be upgrading to WebCT Vista to anchor UJ's academic enterprise for years to come," added Dr. Marlena Kruger of CenTAL.

The former RAU has used WebCT Campus Edition for nine years with great success, reporting that more than nine out of 10 students rate the university's blended learning packages "useful" and of "high quality."

"Enterprise e-learning brings South Africa and the African continent important higher educational opportunities," said Michael Chasen, Blackboard President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our merger with WebCT represents our unified approach on being the premier partner for educators on a global basis. Together with customers like the University of Johannesburg, we have one of those rare and special opportunities to truly improve the access, quality and efficiency of education."

UJ is just one example of South Africa's leadership in enterprise e-learning management. The University of Pretoria and the University of Stellenbosch, as well as the 32-member African Virtual University consortium, have also adopted Blackboard solutions from WebCT.

University of Johannesburg works with authorized partner Eiffel Corp. for ongoing, local support. Eiffel Corp. and the University of Johannesburg are hosting the 3rd annual WebCT Africa User Conference, April 6-7, 2006.

About the University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg includes five campuses across the City of Johannesburg and nine faculties offering both academic and technological study programmes. The combined facilities available at the University include libraries, micro-laboratories, sports and culture facilities and are among the very best in the country. It is the vision of the University of Johannesburg to be an internationally recognised South African university providing and expanding academic and technological knowledge and skills that promote growth and prosperity. For more information, please visit www.uj.ac.za.

About Eiffel Corp.

Eiffel Corp. delivers a holistic and innovative range of services and products for the WebCT international community and global higher education. Eiffel Corp. services 32 institutions directly in Africa and over 180 internationally. For more information, please visit www.eiffel-corp.co.za.

About Blackboard

Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry. Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere by connecting people and technology. Blackboard solutions are used by millions of people at academic institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. WebCT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard

Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 15, 2006 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of April 6, 2006. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward- looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to April 6, 2006.

Senior Manager Public Relations at Blackboard:
Melissa Chotiner
Blackboard Inc.
202-463-4860 ext. 2404

SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.