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Unigranrio Partners With Blackboard To Double Its Distance-Learning Students
Institution to launch hybrid online/offline courses and deliver 20 percent of subjects online in 2017

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Unigranrio, a leading higher education institution in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, has signed a partnership with Blackboard to optimize its undergraduate courses currently delivered through distance learning, and to launch a hybrid approach during 2017. The institution expects the partnership to enable it to double the number of its remote learners by the end of the year.

Founded in 1970, Unigranrio has about 30,000 students enrolled in 49 courses, 14 of which are available exclusively via distance learning. The university is committed to online learning for its students and believes that with the adoption of the Blackboard learning platform, it will be able to offer students and teachers the best teaching and learning experience available.

In addition to fully distance learning programs, the University delivers 7 percent of its traditional curriculum online. With the support of Blackboard as its partner in change, Unigranrio is looking to increase the number of subjects available online to 20 percent, the maximum allowed by the Brazilian Ministry of Education for traditional face-to-face courses.

"We are thrilled to support Unigranrio in this new stage of growth in the use of education technologies," said Pavlos Dias, Grupo A's General Manager for Blackboard Business in Brazil. "At Blackboard we believe that student-centered teaching is a path to excellence. Having the opportunity to work closely with a leading institution like Unigranrio, which shares our vision and is focused on offering the best learning experience to its students, further testifies to the success of our approach to higher education in Brazil and around the world."

Through this investment, Unigranrio will extend access to distance learning to post-graduate and continuing education students, increasing the total number of full online courses. It will also use Blackboard to deliver a complete on-boarding program for newly enrolled students and teachers, helping familiarize them with learning tools and content, and enabling them to leverage the full capabilities of Blackboard solutions.

"Today, only 7 percent of the subjects of traditional courses are taught online," says Jeferson Pandolfo, Academic Director of Unigranrio. "Undergraduate students are familiar with technology but have to access education through a learning model in which the relationship between teacher and student is face-to-face only. We want our students to develop soft skills such as independent working, time management and discipline, typical of online learning."

Pandolfo also stressed that after receiving feedback on their old eLearning platform, the institution saw the need to invest in friendlier, scalable and more interactive solutions. "Our students complained about the absence of features such as video presentations and study guides. We now have Blackboard and its partner, Grupo A, to support us in this improvement project."

Blackboard, the world leader in educational technologies, serves over 230 institutions and more than 1.3 million users in Brazil. The partnership with Unigranrio represents a key step for the growth of Blackboard in the country's education market and further testifies to the company success internationally.

About Blackboard
Our mission is to partner with the global education community to enable learner and institutional success, leveraging innovative technologies and services. With an unmatched understanding of the world of the learner, the most comprehensive student-success solutions, and the greatest capacity for innovation, Blackboard is education's partner in change.

CONTACT
Massimo Morigi, Blackboard Inc.
+44 (0)20 7534 2063 or Massimo.Morigi@blackboard.com

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.


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