Anthology Announces AI-Powered Course Building Tools, New Learner Success Features in Blackboard Learn

Press Release from Anthology

Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, announced a host of new features, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), designed to help instructors create more engaging learning experiences more quickly and provide granular, easy-to-action insight on learners’ progress. The new capabilities – Accessibility Checker powered by Anthology Ally, Holistic Student Overview, Progress Tracking, and course building tools – are key innovations aimed at improving employee success and retention and are the result of significant investment in Learn product development and the user experience.  

“From the beginning, our team has been building a Learning Management System that, as part of a broader Anthology ecosystem, delivers meaningful, data-informed experiences that drive [employee] success,” said Jim Milton, who just recently retired from his role as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Anthology. “This announcement is the next step along that journey, with features that simplify and streamline instructor processes while connecting data from the LMS and across the organization to deliver unprecedented insight.”  

Demonstrating the company’s commitment to ethical and responsible use of AI guided by Anthology’s Trustworthy AI Framework – developed in collaboration with Anthology clients – the new course-building capabilities in Blackboard Learn are designed to provide inspiration to instructors and instructional designers as they develop their courses and allow them to create more engaging learning experiences more quickly. Seamlessly embedded into Blackboard Learn’s workflows, the tools can suggest a possible course structure aligned with its learning outcomes, generate images, suggest test questions and grading rubrics, and drive toward more authentic assessment. The capabilities are opt-in, and the instructor is always in control of the content generated.  

“Traditionally, the LMS has been a static environment, focused on the management of the learning process,” said JD White, Chief Product Officer at Anthology. “With these new AI-powered features, we are fundamentally changing the equation by providing an experience that can deeply inspire in the pedagogical process. It means instructors can build more engaging courses more quickly.”   

In addition to the AI features, Progress Tracking delivers easy-to-action and more granular insight into how a learner is performing, engaging, and progressing in a course, empowering instructors and managers to better understand employee engagement and quickly recognize and reach out to any learner needing help. Coupled with Holistic Overview – a comprehensive picture of a learner’s performance – Blackboard Learn provides an unprecedented level of insight into a learner’s journey.  

All organizations that use Blackboard Learn Ultra will also gain a digital content reviewing tool – Accessibility Checker powered by Anthology Ally. The tool reviews and flags course content with accessibility issues for instructors, allowing them to quickly remediate issues like missing alternative text for images.  

Anthology also launched a new digital adoption solution – Anthology Adopt powered by Pendo – to provide institutions with valuable insights and enables administrators to deploy in-app messaging to guide users on features and functionality to improve their overall experience and help drive and scale adoption.  

Organizations continue to choose the powerful benefits of Blackboard Learn Ultra. The number of courses taught in Learn Ultra has increased by 50 percent since June 2022 and take-up is increasing at an accelerating pace in 2023. It has never been easier to transition to Learn Ultra with new tools such as the Ultra Adoption Toolkit and bulk course conversion. The planning, change management, and conversion tools – built in partnership with Blackboard Learn institutions, their instructors, and users – together are powering the fastest, most efficient conversion process and can also be utilized by clients migrating from other LMSs.  

The AI-powered tools are scheduled to enter testing environments for Blackboard Learn Ultra clients in August and planned for production in September. The features are included for all Learn clients that choose to make them available. Accessibility Checker powered by Anthology Ally, Progress Tracking, and Holistic Overview are now available to Blackboard Learn Ultra institutions globally.

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