Blackboard Inc, a leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement, has announced that Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, established in association with Sorbonne University in Paris, has become the first university in the UAE to transition its virtual learning environment to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model of Blackboard Learn.
The transition to the cloud will allow over 800 students and 100 educators to experience anywhere-anytime learning with zero downtime updates. The institution will leverage Blackboard Learn SaaS to enhance its digital infrastructure.
“Moving to a cloud-based delivery model is an important first step for us,” said Hamdan Alkalbani, Head of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Department at Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, which specialises in arts, law, humanities, business and science degrees.
“It sets in motion our strategic plan to become the first fully digital campus in the UAE, and zero downtime is critical to achieving this objective. Our students can now benefit from improved stability as well as experience increased mobility and interactive learning.”
Sorbonne Abu Dhabi will further leverage the SaaS deployment to introduce blended learning, scale up its online courses, and better evaluate its students, educators and programmes. Learn SaaS will also be instrumental to the university’s plans to set up a mobile application for its users with a 360-degree view and single sign-on. This will be one of many steps in the university’s shift to a cloud-based infrastructure over the next two years.
Majed Al Khemeiri, Acting Deputy Executive Director for Administrative Affairs at Sorbonne University, said: “We want to better align our programmes to global trends and market needs.
“We want to support continuous, interactive learning opportunities and want to boost digital learning. Our aim is to lead by example and a cloud-based structure is central to our strategy for the future. We are extremely pleased that Blackboard is supporting us on our journey to digitisation.”
Robert Speed, Vice President for the Middle East and Africa at Blackboard, said: “We look forward to working closely with Sorbonne Abu Dhabi as they fully embrace the advantages of a cloud-based approach to teaching and learning and leverage the benefits of Learn SaaS.
“Our goal is to support institutions as they build dynamic growth strategies and drive student success. We are pleased to partner with Sorbonne Abu Dhabi as it transforms its learning environment and are proud they have chosen us as their partner in achieving their institutional goals.”