Using Blackboard Collaborate to Replace a Canceled Class, Feb. 2016

Winter weather has finally made an appearance, and as the snow mounts, it makes sense to plan for class cancellations.  Blackboard Collaborate™ may be the easiest way to do that.  Collaborate is a simple, convenient, and reliable online collaborative learning solution; it’s an excellent vehicle for conducting a virtual class at the last minute (all HuskyCT courses include this tool).

Collaborate has unique in-session tools that enhance engagement and the face-to-face feel of online classes:

  • Online audio/video and dial-in capabilities
  • Recorded lectures
  • Multi-user interactive whiteboard with annotation tools, including text and drawings
  • Real-time application and document sharing with multiple users
  • Real-time polling, hand raising and chat features
  • Web Tour, which allows moderators to launch and navigate an internet browser on participants’ computers
  • Breakout rooms for real-time group/team work
  • Session recording, which allows students who did not attend the virtual session to experience it later

Create a Session—Scheduling and inviting participants to a live session is quick and easy.

  1. Login to HuskyCT (as Instructor)
  2. Under Course Management, navigate to Course Tools -> Blackboard Collaborate
  3. Click the blue Create Session button
  4. Enter the following minimum attributes:
    • Session Name (any name you prefer)
    • Start/End Time (date and time to start/end the session)
  5. Click Save

Students enrolled in the course will automatically be added to the session as participants.

Invite Students—A link to the session can also be added within the course content by accessing the chevron next to the session title (icon is a downward facing arrow inside a gray circle) and clicking Add Link.  The link can also be copied and pasted into a course announcement, email, etc.

Launch the Session—To launch the scheduled session, simply click on the Session Name, then choose Join Room.  For more details, refer to the Collaborate Launcher Quick Reference Guide.

Visit the Blackboard Collaborate™ website for links to documentation, training videos and other helpful information.

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Are you ready to give Collaborate a try?  CETL and UITS are offering two hands-on seminars for instructors who are interested in working with the tool (please bring a laptop):

“Collaborate: End-User Essentials,” Feb. 22nd, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Rowe 331E:  This session offers a hands-on tutorial for first time users.  Participants will learn about and experiment with basic features: Moderator/Participant View, Live Audio/Video Setup, Profiles, Chat, Polling, Whiteboard, Recording, and other high-level tools.  Click Collaborate: End-User Essentials to register.

“Collaborate: Beyond the Basics,” Feb. 24th, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Rowe 331E:  Building on the previous session, this one leads participants through experimenting with more advanced Collaborate tools, including Advanced Whiteboard, Application Sharing, Web Tour, Breakout Rooms, and File Transfer.  Click Collaborate: Beyond the Basics to register.

Seating is limited, so register early!