Jun 15, 2017

Blackboard Collaborate ULTRA - a new way to do web conferencing!

Blackboard Collaborate is a good web conferencing tool built right into Blackboard. It has value, but there were a couple of issues keeping it from being a great web conferencing tool.  The latest iteration of the Collaborate tool is called Ultra!

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows you to schedule or immediately start live web conferencing session, or record something for sharing out.  Not only can all students in your class access the tool on a laptop or desktop, but with the Blackboard Mobile app, can access on a mobile device.  You can actually watch the presentation on a laptop and participate in the audio on your smartphone!

Collaborate Ultra still allows you to have a guest link to share, as well as the ability to share a digital whiteboard, applications and certain types of files (PowerPoint, images, PDFs).  There are also ways to share other file types as an application.  You can allow others in your session to be a presenter for a change. New features are the ability to allow for groups in the session, polling, and the ability to download the recording.

Instructional Strategy: Explicit Teaching, Collaboration, Group Learning, Demonstration

Bloom's Level = 3, 4 (Application, Analysis)

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.  This tutorial is specifically on the BB Collaborate Ultra tool.

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