A statewide contract for an online learning system will save Kentucky’s public colleges and universities $3.3 million over the four-year life of the contract.
The new $3.6 million contract is with BlackBoard, Inc. Prior to this contract, the institutions licensed different versions of the product for Web-enabled instruction.
“The new system is a substantial upgrade for most all of our institutions. We are very pleased that the educational community and state agencies successfully negotiated a contract that will improve teaching and learning, help expand access, while creating cost efficiencies throughout the system,” explained Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Representatives of the Kentucky Virtual University, Kentucky Virtual High School, Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky Department of Education, Education Cabinet and Commonwealth Office of Technology were among those involved in the negotiations.
The system will provide instructors with advanced tools for managing courses and will enable the sharing of course content, training and collaboration across schools and institutions. The common platform will help instructors provide an enriched and seamless online experience for students.
“We are pleased that Kentucky is the only state where multiple agencies and partners have come together to meet the needs of the entire educational system with one seamless online learning system,” said Education Cabinet Secretary Laura E. Owens.
The license for Blackboard's flagship product, Academic Suite, includes the Blackboard Learning System™, the Blackboard Community System™ and the Blackboard Content System™.
Kentucky's postsecondary education system encompasses eight public institutions and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 239,445 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni and 294,896 GED graduates. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.