Blackboard Collaborate webinars
Blackboard Collaborate is a virtual classroom or video conferencing tool, where participants can communicate online in real time by voice or text chat.
In an online session, you can:
- Run a PowerPoint presentation
- Communicate with students by speaking, text chatting, video and emoticons
- Share your screen
- Use the interactive whiteboard
- Split your group into breakout rooms
- Conduct simple polls
Blackboard Collaborate is used for classroom sessions and collaborative activities for work-based or distance learning students. It can also be used for vivas or drop-in advice sessions and ‘office hours’ (see Using Collaborate Ultra for one-to-one sessions). It can be used on both module and programme sites in the Blackboard VLE, and it is possible to invite external guests to participate or facilitate a session. Staff can also use it for online meetings and training sessions, by hosting sessions on their Blackboard Test Course and using guest links.
Blackboard Collaborate works on PCs and Macs in Chrome, Firefox or Safari. It also works on the BB Student app (Blackboard’s own app for students – available for both Android and iOS), though with some limitations to functionality.
Blackboard Collaborate is best used for seminars, tutorials and workshops where there is expected to be interaction between staff and students. For lecturing where you are purely delivering content, it may be best to provide a pre-recorded video using Panopto. Collaborate can also be used for meetings, live student presentations, and as a group working space.
Preparing for a session:
- Upload slides or other files in advance. They may take a while to upload, but once there they will stay in the session to be presented later on.
- Encourage participants to familiarise themselves with the technology in preparation for the session, either by having an open session they can go into in advance, or asking them to read the students’ guide.
- Allow early entry to the session and be ready to welcome participants and assist with any technical issues.
In the session:
- Consider pairing up with another presenter. It can add to the variety of the session, and one of you can keep an eye on the text chat while the other presents.
- Encourage interaction through questions, emoticons or polling for instant feedback, or set up an activity on the whiteboard.
- If presenting, where possible use diagrams or images as too much reading is likely to distract the participants. PowerPoint slides can be presented at a faster pace than in the face-to-face classroom to keep the participants’ attention.
- Have a back-up plan in case the attendance is unusually high or low.
There is a short video from Blackboard on YouTube explaining the main functionalities.
The LDC also offer Collaborate training, and have produced some Webinar introductory slides, which you can download, adapt and include in your Collaborate Ultra sessions to help you and your webinar participants get started.
Panopto and Collaborate can both be used for assessed student presentations – which is best for your scenario?
A guide for teaching in situations where some of your students are in the physical classroom and others are online.
A series of short videos on how to use the new Blackboard Collaborate Assessment tool with your students.
A guide to getting your students onto a Teams meeting if Blackboard Collaborate is unavailable
For teaching staff who have joined the Faculty recently, or existing staff who’d like a reminder…
Why you should avoid enabling guest links, and best practice for when they are necessary.
Understand the different roles in Collaborate webinars and how to assign them.
Get links for your live Collaborate session and recording, for students who can’t enter through the Blackboard module site.
Guidance material (including video guides and a student resource) for delivering webinars using Blackboard Collaborate.
Use shared documents in breakout rooms for students to record the results of collaborative activities.
If you want to edit a recording from Blackboard Collaborate, you will need to download it and upload it into Panopto.
Learn how to use Mentimote to control your Mentimeter presentations remotely from your smartphone.
Options for running a synchronous test or quiz in a classroom or webinar.
This is a list of current TEL-related training events at UWE.
The Interactive Tutorials Report in Collaborate shows you who joined your live sessions.
The LIU’s guide to participating in webinars for students.
Using breakout groups, polling and feedback icons for interaction in Collaborate.
Get students working together in your online sessions by using breakout groups.
An article on using Panopto for desktop recording and running webinars using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
Ways to stay in touch with your students when you are working from home.
The Learning Innovation Unit has pulled together some tips based on recent experience (2017) of supporting the delivery of postgraduate distance learning programmes
The term ‘webinar’ is perhaps mostly associated with meeting with a group of people, however the technology used for webinars…
Encouraging students to use the feedback icons not only keeps them engaged, it gives you feedback too
One way of making webinars more interactive, engaging and useful for learners is to use polling