Learning Management Systems | News

Maryland Switches to New LMS for High School Courses, Teacher Development

The state of Maryland will deploy a new learning management system (LMS) to offer high school online courses and professional development opportunities to teachers.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has selected Blackboard Learn, which will be implemented for the Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities program. The state program provides online courses for high school credit in consultation with local school districts. However, it does not offer a diploma program. In addition, districts will be able to use the LMS for "blending learning and instructional delivery," according to information released by Blackboard.

"MSDE officials selected Blackboard Learn following a competitive evaluation, finding the system's advanced features ideal to help increase student engagement, collaboration and learning outcomes. The company was also able to offer state officials extended technical support and seamless migration of all legacy courses," according to a news release.

Blackboard Learn features include:

  • Grading tools, with color-coding to easily identify students at risk of failing;
  • The ability to embed videos, audio, or mashups onto a page;
  • The option of creating wiki pages;
  • The ability for teachers and administrators to add or remove users on the course homepage and offer a self-enroll choice;
  • A dashboard for students and teachers with a notification system to help prioritize work;
  • Reporting and tracking tools of student progress using graphics, charts, and interactive rubrics;
  • Institutional hierarchy, which allows a school to organize privacy access by school, department, college, and more; and
  • Timed assessments for tests, and automatic submission.

In addition, GoSignMeUp, through a partnership with Blackboard, will provide online software for class registration and professional development. The software will include transcripts, reports, course editing, and enrollment statistics.

The Maryland State Department of Education includes 60,000 teachers in 24 school districts.

For more information about Blackboard Learn, visit blackboard.com Go to marylandpublicschools.org to learn more about the Maryland State Department of Education.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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