[we are in the process of moving to a better solution for virtual classes; this document is here for reference only] This tool provides a means for real-time lessons and discussions, integrated in your Blackboard course. It can be used to hold real-time, online classroom discussions, teaching assistant sessions, and office hour type question and answer forums. Here is an overview of some of the tools that you can expect:
- High-quality audio and video: Engage learners with HD audio, video, and webcam support. You can display up to 5 HD videos at once, with dynamic adjustment for bandwidth/network constraints.
- Simple, fast file sharing: Share content with drag-and-drop ease. PowerPoint and PDF files can be shared without additional software. Supports real-time annotation and text entry.
- Polling: Interact with your students and get real time feedback with polling.
- Recordings: You can record your sessions in MP4 format and it will include audio, content shared, and active speaker video. Participants can stream shared recordings from any device and can view the recordings as often as they would like.
- Attendance Reporting: Track when participants have joined your session and when they left the session. This attendance report gives you an idea of how long participants were present in your session.
- Please watch this video to see the most important features of Collaborate Ultra.
Real-time class sessions are a convenient medium for collaborative, interactive, and mobile learning. They provide space for faculty and students to replicate many elements of face-to-face instruction while online. They also provide an alternative venue for student group work. And by using the sessions for office hours and student consultations, they can involve each student on an individual level. Interactive presentations and the use of Collaborate’s polling feature assist with student engagement.
First, you have to activate Collaborate Ultra in your Blackboard course:
- Go to Control panel > Customisation > Tool Availability.
- Select the checkbox next to ‘Blackboard Collaborate Ultra’.
- Click Submit. Now the tool is activated.
To access Collaborate: Go to Control panel > Course tools > Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
To make the Collaborate tool available for your students:
- From a content area select Tools and More Tools.
- Select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
- By default the link name is Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. When you add Blackboard Collaborate to your course content, it links to the tool, not a specific session. Help your students find the session you want them to join. Tell them the session name in the link name or content editor.
- Click Submit.
Ellen Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org)