Sydney, Australia

The Teaching and Learning Conference for Australia and New Zealand (TLC ANZ)  2016 took place on August 28-31 in Sydney, Australia. With more than 230 attendees and 60 working sessions, the event demonstrated how Blackboard is the leading company for teaching and learning technology solutions. The event gathered the region’s educational thought leaders, providing the ideal venue for deans, heads of educational technology departments, educators, course designers, system administrators, and e-learning project managers to share experiences, exchange ideas, and network with their peers.

Bill_BalhausAt the event’s opening keynote, Dr William (Bill) Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President of Blackboard, shared his vision on developing and delivering high-quality enterprise solutions that are rooted in innovation as their main characteristic, in order to be a vehicle for the success of their users. Speaking at the same keynote, Katie Blot, Blackboard’s Chief Strategy Officer, also made several important announcements focused on improving Blackboard’s teaching and learning solutions:

  • The Moodlerooms 3.0 launch, which will incorporate the latest enhancements by Moodle, also obtained the IMS Global certification for Caliper Analytics™. Moodlerooms 3.0 also improved Snap and X-Ray Learning Analytics features.
  • Blackboard Learn will be available as Software as a Service (SaaS), via the regional data centers of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Once the transition to SaaS is complete, clients will be able to switch over to Learn’s Ultra experience, defined by an easier-to-use interface, simplified workflows, personalized user experiences, among other features.

For open source users in attendance this year, the annual event stood out in particular with an entire day dedicated to Moodlerooms, Blackboard’s open source solution. The four Moodlerooms streams held on August 29 came together for the keynote presentation by Martin Dougiamas, founder and CEO of Moodle, who endorsed Blackboard as the Moodle partner with the largest global presence.  Dougiamas, besides sharing the road ahead for Moodle during his keynote, also co-hosted a Q&A panel session with the attendees.

Martin_DougiamasThe Moodlerooms Client Day, one of the four Moodle streams held, also saw several Moodlerooms team members presenting on the platform’s full potential, for example, its integrations with Microsoft Office 365 and Blackboard Collaborate. Additionally, there was a session on X-Ray Learning Analytics for Moodlerooms, a research-based approach to improving learner engagement and long-term learner success, through Blackboard’s latest predictive analytics technology.

Undoubtedly, events such as TLC ANZ are ideal settings for sharing within the education and trainng community, which constantly works to enrich and optimize the possibilities that today’s educational technologies have to offer.  From Blackboard’s standpoint, the commitment to reimagine education lies in a collective effort of innovation and the feedback of best practices that lead on to better experiences for learning.

*Photos by: AFP Wendell Teodoro