Jun 27, 2016

Blackboard Collaborate: web conferencing tool built into Blackboard!

Have you ever participated in a web conference using tools like WebEx, GoToMeeting, or Skype Video Call? These are third-party web conferencing providers.  Some have a cost for an account, others are free.  Some have software to access, others have downloads, and still others have Java runtime files that need to be used.

Blackboard has a building block called Blackboard Collaborate built right into the LMS, so there is no downloads, no separate login credentials, and no extra configuration of your machine to use the tool.

Like those other web conferencing tools, you have a participants list, a chat window, can share screens and applications, and can change the moderator responsibilities to others.  

Some of the applications for this tool are:

- Tutoring
- Peer reviews
- Demonstrations

- Example walkthroughs
- Guest speaker access
- Virtual field trips
- Appeals to different learning styles
- Can be live session
- Can be recorded/archived
- Can have multiple moderators
- Mini lectures
- Flipped classroom
- Blended learning
- Absences/"snow days" 

This tutorial will get you started with the basics of holding either a live session or recording a a session and posting it in your class.  More to come on this tool as it rolls out and new functionality gets added!

Students can access recorded Collaborate sessions, as well as participate in live sessions, using a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone.   

To participate in a live session, students need to get the free Blackboard Collaborate app.  Once this is done, the instructor has to provide the URL to the Collaborate session in order for students to join.

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