Cengage Learning and Blackboard Partner to Streamline Access to Digital Solutions and Content

Partnership will enable enhanced functionality of Cengage Learning Digital Solutions

for users of Blackboard Learn 


LAS VEGAS – July 13, 2011 – Cengage Learning, a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) to create a deeper integration and full interoperability of Cengage Learning’s digital content and solutions with the Blackboard Learn™ platform.


The new partnership plans to provide direct access to Cengage Learning’s digital content, core curriculum solutions and increased functionality for institutions utilizing Blackboard’s Web-based teaching and learning platform. Users of Cengage Learning’s rich digital learning solutions and content will gain seamless access through automatic sign-on and gradebook integration, creating a simpler and more intuitive user experience for both instructors and students using Blackboard Learn.


The effort plans to offer a better experience for users of online homework provided via CourseMaster products such as Aplia and SAM as well as CourseMate and course cartridges. The added level of integration is made possible through Cengage Learning’s standards-based, interoperable, Web-services architecture (MindLinks) and the Blackboard Building Blocks™ program and open APIs of the Blackboard Learn platform. The agreement will also include ongoing interoperability options for Cengage Learning’s MindTap program and future product development.


The announcement was made at BbWorld®, Blackboard’s annual user conference being held this week in Las Vegas.


“Through this partnership, we look forward to combining the best of both worlds for Blackboard Learn and Cengage Learning customers,” said William Rieders, Executive Vice President of New Media, Cengage Learning. “Cengage Learning’s current digital solutions will continue to operate within our highly optimized content delivery environment while being directly linked to the Blackboard Learn solution via our turnkey MindLinks integration. The agreement also sets the stage for the seamless integration of content through the MindTap platform as it continues to roll-out.”


“We are pleased to work even more closely with Cengage Learning to seamlessly integrate their content and tools into the Blackboard Learn platform,” said Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackboard. “This arrangement will provide a much stronger experience for our clients and our users, and it’s part of a larger effort we’re taking to make it easier for them to get the most out of digital content and tools within the learning platform.”


Through the partnership, Cengage Learning becomes a Blackboard Strategic Partner in the Blackboard Partnerships Program. 


For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/learn. For more information about Cengage, please visit www.cengage.com.


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About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. The company’s products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it. Through the company’s unique position within both the library and academic markets, Cengage Learning is providing integrated learning solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom.  Cengage Learning’s brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth, among others. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Stamford, CT.  For more information on Cengage Learning please visit www.cengage.com.


About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.


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 Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of July 13, 2011. 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 July 13, 2011.