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History of Blackboard and the Blackboard Learning System

A brief history of Blackboard. Blackboard LLC was founded in 1997 by two education advisors, Matthew Pittinsky and Michael Chasen, as a consulting firm to provide technical standards for online learning applications. Blackboard LLC was contracted to the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a worldwide non-profit organization within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of Educause. Blackboard’s vision was to provide a user-friendly means by which college professors could put course information, including syllabi, reference sites, and study guides, on the Web. In 1998, Blackboard merged with CourseInfo LLC, a course management software provider and startup company at Cornell University by Stephen Gilfus and Dan Cane, and the merged company soon released their first software product for online learning. Blackboard’s continued growth and the expanding public profile was driven by acquisitions.