#BbWorld17 – Blackboard Opening Keynote

Session Description: Join us as we kick off BbWorld 2017 with Bill Ballhaus, Blackboard CEO and Katie Blot, Blackboard Chief Strategy Officer. Then, hear from lifelong education advocate, and former Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden.


Bill Ballhaus @billballhaus

  • 4,000 on BbWorldLIVE
  • 36 countries represented
  • Happy 20th anniversary for Blackboard!

  • 66 institutions have been a partner for over 20 years, than you
  • It all began… 1997 – the Palm Pilot was popular, broadband was making it’s way, 1/3 of college courses used email, 1/4 classes used internet and 1/8 used multimedia
  • Now… 73% use an LMS, 35% faculty use primarily digital materials, 95% of colleges agree that digital curricular resources make learning more efficient and effective.

“Blackboard is your partner in change.”

  • The journey starts with educational institutions and students.

Driving learning outcomes

  • Invest in original experience, improve UI, responsiveness for devices, and quality enhancements
  • Learn Ultra is expanding and growing
  • Learn Saas more than 200 have made the migration
  • Listening to YOU – from Bb Community with over 5,000 members
  • Blackboard is now in over 90 countries

Supporting the learner

  • Engage students and communicate with parents in K12
  • Balancing work, school, and family life, students are on th go – delivering a seamless mobile experience (when and where it’s most convenient to for them)
  • Leveraging data and analtyics support students, manage financiers, make purchases, controlled access

Attracting and enrolling the right students

  • Marketing, recruitment and enrollment services is tailored by data and analytics

Keys to Success

  • A compelling, broad portfolio of process and services
  • The best experience for your students, faculty, and advisors
  • Work within your ecosystem

Katie Blot, Chief Strategy Officer, @kcblot

Driving Learning Outcomes

  • Heart of what you do, with the center the LMS
  • Welcome, Moodle Community


  • 1 Learn, 2 Experiences (Original, Ultra), and 3 Deployments (Self-hosted, Managed Hosted, Saas)
  • Blackboard is the ONLY partner giving you the flexibility and choice for what is best for you and your institution.
  • 200 institutions are already on Saas
  • Original experiece focus: quality, responsiveness, and ease of use
  • Ultra experience: a new design philosophy across all products for a seamless experience
  • Over 1,200 clients on Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate Ultra – Continuous Delivery Enhancements

  • 1.1 million users of Blackboard mobile app
  • Keep the focus on the learning instead of the technology

Q3 2016

  • Rubrics, Tests: MC/MS questions, test/activity report, gradebook custom categories, links in rich text editor, due date accommodations

Q4 2016

  • Group discussions, Bb Collaborate integration,, goal alignments, smiplified grading workflow, multiple assignments/test attempts, media in test questions

Q1 2017

  • Tests (T/F questions, timed), unlimited assignment/test attempts, grade categories, 3rd party tool placements in navigation tools panel, discussions additional thread depth, read/unread, localization

Q2 2017

  • Tests: randomize questions, media in rich text editor, discussion insights, LTI links open within Ultra course window, LTI 2.0, Blackboard Open Content in the Content Market, Time zone visibility, numerous performance enhancements

FOCUS: It’s about driving better learning outcomes with thoughtful design. Don’t need to choose between simplicity and power. 

Data everywhere – really powerful for helping someone making a better decisions, getting the data isn’t enough > it needs to be able to be used, surfacing data within the appropriate context. Garner insights from data to drive learning outcomes.

Expanding Capabilities

  • My Grades Predictor for Students with comparison to other student activity in the class
  • Quiz Activity with student activity details

Jim Chalex and John Whitmer

  • Discussion Insights > Automated discussion grading via data science? Out in Ultra in the next few months.

No Boundaries

Blackboard Ally

  • Machine learning algorithms for providing accessible alternatives. “Auto-Magic”
  • Alternative Accessible Versions – Automatically checks for for accessibility issues and generates alteranative accessible formats.
  • Instructor Feedback – Guides instructors on how to improve the accessibility of their course content and alters future behavior
  • Institutional Report -Provides detailed data and insights to help further improve course content accessibility at the institution

Introducing Blackboard Instructor

  • Current features: access content, communicate with students, collaborate with students
  • Next up: tablet optimized grading, complex grading

Openness Commitment

  • Introductions… Openness Innovation Initiative – free development access to system liences for testing.

Supporting the learner along their journey.

Blackboard’s student success strategy

  • Engage – Engage students daily to inform and simplify the most critical activities across their educational journey.
  • Insight – Sufrace meaningful insights – derived from academic, financial, student sentiment data – to the people who can drive the greatest impact.
  • Action – Effect behavioral change through proactive, modern, scalable communication between students, instructors, and advisors.

Advisor Dashboard

  • Bb Predict – Provides student risk summary. Consolidated view of career, financial, and course work.


One thought on “#BbWorld17 – Blackboard Opening Keynote

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Blackboard Conference Highlights #BbWorld17 | eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

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