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Northumbria University Implements Blackboard Learn Ultra
Together with the adoption of Blackboard Collaborate and Ally, institution gets the benefits of an integrated edtech platform

LONDON, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Northumbria University, a leading UK Higher Education Institution with a global reputation for academic quality, has implemented the Ultra experience of Blackboard Learn, the next-generation user interface for Blackboard's flagship virtual learning environment (VLE). Blackboard Learn Ultra empowers students and teachers with a mobile-first design, simplified navigation, improved accessibility and streamlined workflows.

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Together with Learn Ultra, Northumbria University is leveraging the benefits of several solutions integrated into the VLE, including Blackboard Collaborate, a simple and reliable online collaborative learning solution, and Blackboard Ally, a proprietary solution that focuses on making digital course content more accessible. The University is also working with Blackboard and key partners to further integrate third-party solutions to support the advancement of its strategic goals around electronic management of assessment.

Northumbria University is internationally renowned for its teaching and learning, and research and innovation, its innovative programmes, its excellent students, and its cultural diversity. To enable its "Vision 2025" and the University Strategy 2018/23, the University has adopted an integrated, student-centred edtech platform, centred on a state-of-the-art VLE that would support on-campus and distance learning, degree apprenticeships and continuing professional development.

After transitioning their VLE to a Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model, Northumbria University opted for a two-step approach and deployed the Ultra base navigation across the entire institution at the start of the 2018/19 academic year, temporarily maintaining the Blackboard Learn Original course view for a more gradual transition. The first programmes with the Ultra course view were launched in January 2019 and by 2019/20 all courses will be on Learn Ultra, making Northumbria University one of the first Higher Education Institutions in Europe with a full Learn Ultra deployment.

"We needed a platform able to fulfil our vision and meet all the requirements our teachers and students deem necessary to succeed; and we needed to implement it without disruption, effectively and with clarity of purpose," Professor Peter Francis, Deputy-Vice Chancellor at Northumbria University said. "We have been partnering with Blackboard for a number of years and felt they were, with their new product and enterprise partnership ambitions, the best positioned to support us in this new phase. They were able to move our VLE to SaaS without issues, and the new Ultra experience feels modern, robust and easy to use."

"We are thrilled about our continued partnership with Northumbria University," said Oleg Figlin, Vice President Europe at Blackboard. "We look forward to working together to deliver the best teaching and learning experience to their teachers and students and help them achieve educational and institutional success."

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