Blackboard Collaborate is the web-based conferencing system that DoIT staff installed on the UMBC Bb servers in December, 2011. It allows faculty to incorporate live, multi-way audio and video, a basic whiteboard with mark-up, application and desktop sharing and other tools for interactivity. It can also be used asynchronously; faculty can narrate a lecture presentation (including Power Point slides), save the recording, and make it available for students to access via Blackboard.
Recently Blackboard Collaborate, Inc. provided 4 two-hour training sessions to staff from DoIT, the AOK Library, and CPS. These sessions were recorded and are now available for anyone to view. The first session is an overview of the basic features of Bb Collaborate. The second session includes advanced features appropriate for faculty interested in running synchronous online sessions with their students. The third session covers the use of the software packages Plan! and Publish! Plan! allows faculty to prepare complex Collaborate sessions with many features (such as slides, interactive white board exercises, and quizzes) ahead of time. Publish! is a tool that allows you to download a recorded presentation in several formats including as an .mp4 video file. The final session focuses on the integration of all of the previously covered features. Links to these sessions are below:
First time Bb Collaborate Users are encouraged to go to the First Time User support page first, to ensure that the computer is equipped appropriately. Bb Collaborate also offers an On Demand Learning Center with many training resources.