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Blackboard - Introduction to Collaborate

Introduction to Collaborate

This page give you a basic introduction in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

Norwegien version - bli kjent med Collaborate

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What is Collaborate Ultra?

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a easy way to participate or manage a video conference. It is designed for education and training. Collaborate Ultra works as a virtual classroom, and gives the opportunity to share applications and use digital collaboration tools to facilitate student-based learning.

Note: Blackboard Collaborate is not a suitable tool for streaming between physical rooms on campus.

Benefits With Collaborate

  • Collaborate Ultra supports all browsers, that means you do not have to download your own software. Read more about browser support here: Browser support for Collaborate Ultra. We will recommend you to use Firefox or Chrome.
  • It is easy to share a link with internal and external users, for example: it is possible to invite external guest lecturers or partisipants.

Access to collaborate

It is possible to access to Collaborate in the following ways: Browsers support.

External users

All sessions in Collaborate will have a unique URL, which can easily be shared as a link with external participants. The one who creates a session can decide which privileges that will be default role for guests: participant, presenter or moderator. It is also possible to change the role for each individual guest during a session. In this way a guest acting as a lecturer can be given the presenter role.

Access for NTNU users

Lecturers will find the tool in the Course Management / Course Tools in their course

Open access for students:

1. Lecturers has the opportunity to add a link in the content area: Tools/More Tools/Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or by adding Collaborate as a separate tool in the course menu: Add Menu Item/ Add tool Link / Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

2. Access for groups: it is also possible to have Collaborate Ultra as a tool when you create a group or a group set in Blackboard. Then each of the groups will have their own Collaborate-room.

3. Time-limited open sessions: lecturers will also have the opportunity to create sessions in Collaborate and share links to time-limited or open sessions with the students.

Access for groups :

It is also possible to use Collaborate Ultra as a tool when you create groups/group sets in Blackboard. Then each of the groups will have their own Collaborate-room which they can use themselves.

Group’s access for students

If the lecturer doesn’t decide to make Collaborate Ultra available for the students it is possible for the students themselves to create a group in a course and then add Collaborate as a tool in groups for self-enrollment.

1.Choose Groups from shortcuts/Quick-links on course page. From the course Front Page, select Groups from the Quick links.

2.Click Create group and follow the instructions for creating a group for self-enrollment

User interface

Collaborate Ultra has three different areas: Media space (1), Collaborate panel (2) and Session menu (3).

The Media space

The Media space in Collaborate is where you find the presentation. The content you share is automatically the main focus on the screen. The Picture-in-picture feature shows at all times who is talking. If no content is shared, the focus will be on the participant pictures and video. It is possible to switch between grid view and a view that follows the speaker.

Tools in the Media space

Here can you see the available tools:

1) It is possible to activate the microphone for a participant to talk. The same tool can be used to configure the microphone settings.

2) The participants can activate their own web camera. Use this tool to configure the camera with the correct settings.

3) Raise your hand to answer questions or to get attention from the presenter. The hand can be taken down by pressing the tool again.

NB! Notice that the moderator has the privilege to “take down hands” and also override the microphone and camera sharing from participants.

Collaborate panel

In the lower right corner you see the Collaborate panel:

NB! The content of the menus will depend upon which role you have in the session: moderator, presenter or participant.

Chat: everyone have accsses to the common-chat, and it can also opens for private chat between paticipants when you create a session. The moderators have also a chat with other moderators.

Notice: The moderators have the option to see all the privates chats. The chats will also be recorded and the moderators have accsess to it afterwards. All the participants must be informed about this before the session starts.

Participants:

The Participant Panel gives an overview of all the current participants of the session

It shows the participant's status along the way. It is possible to drag and drop the Participant panel to the media space. Than you have overview over the chat and status in one and the same picture. This is recommended for everyone who will moderate a session in Collaborate. You will also see these features in the Participant panel:

  • The participant has raised his or her hand.  
  • Status and the quality of the connection. 
  • Participant settings which is available for moderators.    

Share the content menu in the Collaborate- panel gives following options for the moderators and the presenters.  

  • A Whiteboard where the participants can write and draw on a digital blackboard.
  • Share Application/Screen which is the recommended way to share files from your own computer, for example, Powerpoint, PDF, installed software etc.
  • Share files – This feature uploads and converts a variety of files (PDF, Powerpoint, GIF, JPEG and PNG) to Collaborate format

    NB! The files are converted to a “flat” format, the font is changed and animation, transitions etc will be lost in the presentation. We recommend you to share screen applications instead.
  • The Polling tool makes it possible to create polls during a session. You can activate the students by posting tasks during a presentation. Where appropriate, you can use your own slide with a question along with up to 5 answer options. Then enable the poll so that students can respond.

    A pop-up window will show up at the bottom of the Media space. Participants can choose between YES/NO, or up to 5 alternatives indicated by numbers.
  • NB! If you are doing polls, we recommend having the question and answer options on the same slide, positioned so that both questions and answer options are displayed in the area around the poll box.

    Also note that the result of the poll is a layer on top of the Media space and therefore will not be included in the recording. We therefore recommend summarizing the result of the poll.
  • Timer gives a clock countdown, making it easier to keep track of time along the way. Only moderators can start the timer in a session
  • Breakout Groups is a tool to distribute the participants in group collaboration rooms. The lecturer distributes the participants into different groups. Here the students can collaborate using the whiteboard, audio and video. The lecturer can self enrol into each of the groups to take part in the collaboration, answer questions and so on. The lecturer is also the one to terminate the breakout groups. Participants are then taken back to the default Media space.

Session Menu #

On the top to the left in media space you find the session menu:  

  1. The moderator can start and stop recording from the session menu.e
  2. Participants can choose to use their phone for audio. Be aware of the costs can occure depending upon which mobile srvice you have. 
  3. Report problems to Blackboard. 
  4. In "Tell me about Collaborate" can you find short training resources for: 
    • Introduction to Collaborate. 
    • Information about private chats. 
  5. Blackboard Collaborate help takes you to  Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Help
  6. Privacy policy takes you to Blackboard Privacy Statement
  7. Leave session is where the participants can leave the session.   

See also # #

Blackboard's own help resources:  

Contact # #

Orakeltjenesten can help you if you have any problems. 

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