As the winter approaches, and the prospect of snow increases your chances of not making it into university, you may be considering contingency plans! Enter Blackboard Collaborate.
If you have not heard of Collaborate before, it is an online tool that allows you to set up a virtual classroom. It is linked to Blackboard, so sessions can be scheduled on a module level. However, you can also invite ‘guests’ who may not be linked to the module site.
This post will take you through the process of setting up a Collaborate session from your Blackboard site. It will be demonstrated using a screencast. Written instructions are available below, and timestamps are provided.
- 0:06 Start from the module site you wish to run the session for. Make sure you are in edit mode. You can add a Collaborate link to your main contents list by clicking on ‘+’ (top of list) > ‘tool link’ > rename the link (something like Blackboard Collaborate’) > select: ‘Blackboard Collaborate Scheduling Manager’. Choose whether you would like this link to be available to students of not. Once submitted, you will see the link has been added to the bottom of your main contents list.
- 0:56 Click on the link you created to schedule a session. You can do this by selecting the ‘Create Session’ option.
- 1:06 Now you can adjust the settings: Name your session (e.g. Collaborate Session – Topic 1); give your session a time frame; the session type is likely to be ‘module’; ignore the teleconference options.
- 1:44 Y0u may want to spend sometime thinking about our room attributes. For example, if it’s a virtual lecture, you may just want one speaker and one camera. If you allow for more, you can always turn these permissions off in-session. I will select ‘raise hand on entry’ so I can process who has joined the session, and I would like to allow in-session invitations. I will load content once in the session. Grade Centre integration is unnecessary. I would like users to join as participants.
- 2:35 Select ‘Save’, and you will see the session has been added to the list of ‘Scheduled Sessions’. The set-up of your Collaborate session is now complete!
- 2:50 IF you would like to invite guests (those not enrolled on the module) to the session, you can obtain a shareable URL. Hover over the session name, and select the chevron on the right-hand side. Click on ‘Allow Guests’. In the dialogue box, turn this option ‘ON’ and either copy and paste the link into a new Outlook email and click ‘Done’, or enter an email address to send it to, ‘Add’, and ‘send invitation’.
- To enter your scheduled session, click on the session title from the ‘scheduled sessions’ list, and select ‘Launch’. I will go through this stage of the process in a second post.
The set-up of your session is now complete!