Blackboard Collaborate is our supported webinar (“web seminar”) platform that can be used both for synchronous teaching or student collaborations within VLE sites, and for external speakers to present without any VLE log in required. The ELDT are interested in working with those who wish to use the tool – just Contact Us.
Webinars are one of the ELDT’s key areas of support. To learn more about webinars / webconferencing in general visit our webinar pages:
- Webinars Homepage
- Webinars – Introductory FAQs
- Webinars – Why Run Webinars?
- Webinars – Choosing a Suitable Platform
- Webinars – Incorporating Webinars into Learning Design
- Webinars – Organising, Designing and Running – Coming Soon
About Webinars with Collaborate
To summarise the above video, Blackboard Collaborate allows you to:
- Deliver presentations to remote attendees over the internet
- Share your desktop (for example, remote software demonstrations)
- Text-chat, audio-chat and video-chat with small or large groups
- Use polling tools and gain real-time emoticon reactions from audience
- Utilise full moderation options, if required
- Use a PC or Mac for full participation, or mobile app for limited participation
- Record sessions, including chat logs.
Bringing Professional Expertise Into The Virtual Classroom
An exploration of Health Sciences’ use of Collaborate to enable distance learners to interact with module tutors working in professional contexts.
View Case Study
Facilitating “Hybrid” Workshops via Webinar
An exploration of Education’s use of Collaborate Ultra to enable a remote presenter and remote participants to attend a physical, on-campus workshop.
View Case Study
Collaborate Classic vs. Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard’s Collaborate platform has two main versions: Collaborate Classic and Collaborate Ultra. Classic is the older offering and Ultra the newer.
- Comparison: Collaborate Classic vs. Collaborate Ultra [Google Sheet]
Ultra offers a smoother user experience in comparison to Classic (simpler interface, runs in-browser and works without needing to install anything) and so should be used over Classic, unless the organiser needs:
- >250 concurrent users in a session
- To share audio files (or video files with audio)
- To use webtours (Ultra has “share application” feature, but not quite comparable)
- To capture polls in recordings
- Have persistent, multipage whiteboards
The above features are road-mapped to come to Ultra in 2018/19, except the sharing of audio files.
- Learn more about the differences between Classic and Ultra here [help.blackboard.com]
More About Collaborate Classic
Collaborate Classic Guides
- Video: Introduction to Collaborate Classic (Unofficial) [YouTube]
- Guide for participants [PDF]
- Brief overview of the interface [PDF]
- Step-by-step set up guide for instructors (creating rooms and sessions) [PDF]
- Common problems [Google Doc]
- Complete session guide for instructors (running sessions) [PDF]
More About Collaborate Ultra
The Collaborate Ultra interface works well for delivering presentations or having web chats with large numbers of participants (up to 250).
Collaborate Ultra Guides
- Collaborate Ultra – Participant – “Attending a Session” One Pager [GDoc]
- Collaborate Ultra – Moderator – “Day of the Session” Two Pager [GDoc]
- Ultra – Full Participant Guide [GDoc]
- Ultra – Full Moderator Guide [GDoc]
- Ultra – Mobile App Support for Staff [help.blackboard.com]
- Ultra – Mobile App Support for Students [help.blackboard.com]
- Blackboard’s Own Ultra Help Videos [YouTube]
Both versions of Collaborate offer a number of features to help increase inclusivity for users with differing visual, auditory or mobility needs.
- Accessibility in Blackboard Collaborate with the Original Experience [help.blackboard.com]
Supporting Visual Impairments:
- Screen reader support for most in-webinar tasks, via JAWS with Firefox on Windows or VoiceOver with Safari on Macs
- PowerPoints and PDFs shared through Collaborate are screen-reader-accessible as of January 2018.
Supporting Auditory Impairments:
- Closed captioning options are available in Collaborate Ultra webinars [help.blackboard.com] – captions will appear in recordings and transcripts can be downloaded post-event
- In development 2018/2019:
- Dedicated webcam display for sign language interpreters
- Option to attach closed captions to recordings post-event
Supporting Motor Impairments:
- Navigating Collaborate Ultra via keyboard shortcuts [help.blackboard.com]
- Navigating Collaboate Ultra via screen reader commands [help.blackboard.com]
Learn more: Collaborate Ultra’s Own Accessibility Pages [help.blackboard.com]
Blackboard Collaborate is a cloud service, meaning that data it collects or generates is stored remotely, rather than on UoY servers here on campus. Blackboard house all EU Collaborate recordings and uploaded files on Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers in Dublin, Ireland.
- Ultra Experience – File and Recording Storage FAQ [blackboard.secure.force.com]
- How Blackboard Approaches Data Privacy and Security [community.blackboard.com]
The AWS infrastructure provides very robust security, complying with numerous related accreditation schemes:
- AWS Cloud Security Home [aws.amazon.com]
- AWS EU Data Protection Materials [aws.amazon.com]
- Specific certifications:
- ISO 27001 – General information security standard [aws.amazon.com]
- ISO 27017 – Security controls for cloud services [aws.amazon.com]
- ISO 27018 – Protection of personally identifiable information [aws.amazon.com]