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Free Online Course System Expands to 6 Languages

Blackboard has released an upgrade to CourseSites, a free online course system, which includes support for six languages, and other new features.

CourseSites, designed for kindergarten through college levels, can now be used in Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, and English languages.

The service allows teachers, professors, and community educators to add a Web-based component to their courses, or host an entire course online.

New features of CourseSites include:

  • Access to media from NBC Learn for Higher Education, and McGraw-Hill Connect;
  • Enhanced interactive rubrics that use percentages, points, a point range, or no points, and weight categories;
  • The Needs Grading tool in the Grade Center, which provides instructors visibility and access to all items that need to be graded, including blogs, journals, wikis, and discussion board activity;
  • Blackboard Connect for Learn, which allows teachers to send students course-related text-message notifications; and
  • Timed assessment enhancement, which lets the instructor set time limits on tests and quizzes, and auto-submit.

Other capabilities of CourseSites include: collaborating with students in a live, online classroom, using chat, audio, video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, and breakout rooms; course structure templates, such as lecture, guided discussion, or social learning; mash-ups, which integrate youtube.com, slideshare.com and flickr.com; the ability to create five course Web sites for free; functionality to select a personalized URL; themes that let teachers customize the look and feel of courses; and the option to log in through Facebook or Twitter.

CourseSites is powered by Blackboard Learn 9.1, and Blackboard Collaborate.

For more information, visit coursesites.com.

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