Improving the User Enrollment Process with Blackboard Learn Extensions

Training and Development Manager (TDM) leverages Blackboard® Learn for educators’ professional development

Founded in 1901, Trevecca Nazarene University is a Christian community providing education for leadership and service. Trevecca offers classes at its main campus as well as two satellite campuses in Middle Tennessee and online classes worldwide. With students from 47 states and 39 countries, Trevecca offers 20 associate degrees, 81 undergraduate majors, 25 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs, as well as specialist and certificate programs.


Trevecca Nazarene University

Institution Type: 4-Year Private

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Students: 3,000

Faculty: 489

Training and Development Manager (TDM)

Anthology Products

Over 94% of the participants rated satisfaction with the ease of registration using TDM

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The Challenges

During the pandemic, Trevecca was offering free online learning resources for educators but did not have an efficient process to enroll external users to register and access Blackboard Learn. “The demand for skills-based and professional development possibilities continue to rise based on the result from our professional development resource offered in 2020,” said LaMetrius Daniels, associate vice president, dean of the graduate school at Trevecca Nazarene University. Participants who did not have a university email address had to be manually enrolled in the training by Trevecca, which created extra work for the LMS administrator. Credit account authentication was also an issue. It became a real crisis when enrollment numbers multiplied. While the university welcomed an increased number of registrants, the management of such enrollments was not an efficient process.

Trevecca Nazarene University required a solution that not only improved the way both internal and external users sign up but was affordable, easy to navigate, and sustainable in the long term.

Training and Development Manager has been one of the most cost-effective solutions for our university, as now we have a catalog for our skills-based training and professional development by using our Blackboard Learn instance.

LaMetrius Daniels, Associate Vice President, Dean of the Graduate School, Trevecca Nazarene University

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The Solutions

The university explored a variety of solutions to improve its external user enrollment process. They soon discovered that Blackboard Learn offered an extension that could meet their goals. Part of Blackboard Learn’s extensions suite (SaaS), Anthology Training and Development Manager (TDM) provides a self-service learner journey from course choice and enrollment through to payment and certification. With TDM, there is no need for additional infrastructure or integrations, expensive customized solutions, or third-party providers. “TDM is an excellent solution for non-credit, skills-based training online registration and payment software for SaaS Blackboard users. It's easy to use, and the implementation was fast and seamless,” said Daniels.

While Trevecca considered other solutions for self-registration, the most crucial part of the decision-making was understanding their use cases and goals. "The transition has created opportunities for us to work closely with the developers to ensure that we have a product that aligns with our mission, use cases, and goals. It's been a great experience providing feedback to product development to include features to improve our user experience,” said Daniels.

The benefits of TDM were especially realized in 2021 when Trevecca Nazarene University was awarded a $1 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Education to provide teacher endorsements in special education (SPED) and English as a Second Language (ESL). The grant gives up to 2,400 educators the opportunity to earn an endorsement in one of these two areas for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. TDM enables Trevecca to manage users and offer self-paced, fully online professional development training to help fill the demand for Tennessee teachers statewide in the two specialty areas. Teachers accepted in the program work at their own pace in earning the endorsement and preparing for roles as special education or ESL classroom teachers.

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Insights Delivered

TDM has enabled Trevecca to offer 30 sections with 40 participants in each online professional development program. Furthermore, more than 1,200 individuals are enrolled in SPED and ESL endorsement through their school of education. Over 94% of the participants rated satisfaction with the ease of registration using TDM. As a result, Trevecca Nazarene University has grown its skills-based training for course credit and continuing education units. “The benefit of using TDM has allowed us to expand on our prior learning credit options for prospective students and provide a cheaper and faster model for gaining skills without compromising the quality of the content or the user experience,” said Daniels.

A total of 925 participants have completed the training and benefitted from the self-paced model that allowed them the flexibility to work at their own pace. Trevecca has added 200 more participants for this academic year and will be adding more.

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“The value that TDM has allowed us is that now we can support our educators a little bit easier, and it also allowed us new opportunities to expand how we are currently gaining interest from prospective students,” said Daniels. Trevecca plans to broaden its offerings to include self-paced training modules that enable external users to experience some of the content and curriculum available at the university.

The implementation of TDM provided additional benefits to the university, including branding of programs and categorization of courses, while creating an opportunity to extend their programs to new audiences.