• Introduction
  • User interface
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Cost
  • Summary

NEO vs. Blackboard


NEO is a word-class, award-winning learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, tracking their results, and promoting communication and collaboration between students and teachers/faculty. NEO is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.

Blackboard is a self-hosted, managed-hosted and cloud-hosted LMS developed by Blackboard Inc.

NEO School portal

User interface

The NEO interface has a modern, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for students, teachers and administrators, a graphical class catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation.

Many features can be enabled or disabled to suit young children through to college students. NEO provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize lesson material. NEO offers native mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows.

The Blackboard interface is not as intuitive as the NEO interface. For example, there are not that many visually engaging elements, no tile-based dashboards, and no graphical class catalog. Users can opt for Blackboard Ultra, a simpler interface that opens different tabs in "layers" and only has a left navigation bar. However, this feature is not available for clients that use the self-hosted version of the platform. The Blackboard app for Windows is only available for students.

NEO Student dashboard

Ease of use

NEO is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. NEO also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.

Blackboard is easy to use and understand, includes online help, support by email, and a customer support portal.

NEO Help center


NEO provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for classes (instructor led, blended, self-paced, and micro learning), twelve kinds of assignments, full-featured gradebook, content authoring, beautiful lesson layouts, gamification, automation, learning paths, drip content, adaptive learning, mastery and competencies (including US common core standards and Next Generation Science Standards), question banks, class templates, rubrics, collaboration tools, resources catalog, a customizable portal, and more.

NEO supports many important industry standards such as SCORM, Common Cartridge Format, LTI, QTI and LDAP. We also integrate with a wide variety of systems, including Google Drive, G Suite, Office 365, OneDrive, Calendars (iCal), Turnitin, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, SIS, Equella, and more.

Blackboard provides a similar feature set, with the main difference being that the main features that an LMS should have are structured in different applications: grading is an application, collaboration tools is another one, and so on. This can make teaching and learning activities more difficult and less efficient by not having all the LMS tools needed in an academic institution in a single, centralized platform.

In addition, here is a list of the features included in NEO that are not supported by Blackboard:

User interface

  • Support for more than 40 languages
  • Graphical dashboards
  • Graphical class catalog
  • Automatic translation of messages and forum posts
  • Graphical resources catalog

Content and assessment

  • Automation
  • Content sync
  • Learning paths
  • Micro learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Printable PDF certificates
  • Prerequisite certificates
  • Class ratings and reviews
  • Waitlists
  • Compliance
  • Personalized assignments
  • Dropbox and debate assignments


  • Integration with your own email server
  • Integration with 1,000+ apps via Zapier
  • Cometchat
  • MathJax
  • Skype for Business
  • GoToMeeting
  • GoToTraining
  • Zoom
  • PayPal
  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • PayUbiz
  • PayU Latam
  • MailChimp


  • Social networking
  • Public blog
  • Teams
  • Organizations


  • Archiving students
  • Terms and conditions
  • Student help desk
  • Trash can for restoring deleted content
  • E-commerce functionality
  • SEO features

NEO Class catalog


NEO has a free plan and costs about $6 per student per year for its Small school plan and $7 per student per year for its Enterprise plan. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.

Blackboard costs about $12 per student per year and there is an implementation fee of about $15,000.

NEO Class page


This presents a comparison of the most important features between NEO and Blackboard.

NEO is a more modern, powerful, and intuitive LMS than Blackboard offering a larger set of features suitable for both K-12 and Higher Education clients. If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us at contact us.


This comparison paper was written in April 2018 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.

Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.