Blackboard Collaborate is the successor to Live Classroom for synchronous/real time online sessions, and has great features and reliability.
Blackboard Collaborate is a virtual classroom that supports text, audio and video chat, screen and file sharing, slide presentations and breakout rooms. The instructor/moderator can easily grant speaking and presentation privileges. Microphone headsets or a separate phone conferencing provider are required for the best audio experience. Collaborate does not currently include a dial-up audio connection, as Wimba did.
Synchronous experiences, like Collaborate, can be painful to schedule, since they require everyone to be available at the same time, and students have often chosen online courses precisely because of their busy schedules. Nonetheless, sessions where students can converse with you and each other can be exciting morale boosters. Students can also make live presentations to the class in Collaborate. Collaborate can also be handy on a snow day, but not without preparation.
No. While the basic layout looks like Wimba Classroom, and text chat works the same, other controls are quite different. Recommendation: Practice! Become familiar with the controls by trying it out with a friend or the Learn test student as your helper.
Students will not see the Session unless you create a course link, either
The instructor can always see the list of sessions by choosing Blackboard Collaborate from the Tools button at the top of any course page. Hovering over the session name will reveal the context menu and enable the instructor to join a session, edit or delete a session, or create a link for a session on any course page.
Collaborate has a lot of moving parts, and it is quite different from Wimba. Here are a few things you should know before inviting others to a session:
For more information call the Neumann Faculty Resource Center: 484 840-4609 or BFRC@neumann.edu