Blackboard Collaborate Example Scenarios
Listed below are some example scenarios you can explore to stimulate ideas for your own course. Note that while most of these describe synchronous events, you can still use Collaborate in an asynchronous online course for optional sessions, meetings, and recordings.
Take Virtual Field Trips
- Bring in a guest speaker or take a live tour of a remote location that may be difficult for students to visit in person.
- You will need some kind of moderator or facilitator at the remote location, but otherwise this is run the same way as any other live session.
- A relatively portable webcam at the remote location can make it handier for virtual tours. (While we loved the idea of actually moving around in the remote site during the field trip, low wifi frame rates made this impractical. Consider using Google Hangouts for this kind of application.)
- Work with your guest speaker to make sure s/he understands the capabilities of Collaborate. Plan breaks for feedback, employ the whiteboard, and so on – a simple talking head video might not be very engaging.
Hold Breakout Sessions During a Synchronous Class
- When conducting sessions with large groups, you can divide them into groups and teams to work separately in individual “breakout rooms” that are not accessible to other participants. Each breakout room operates as a fully functional Collaborate session, where students can work on problem-solving or other collaboration and then report back to the full session. You can create separate whiteboard slides for each room in advance.
- If you use breakout rooms, it’s even more important to prepare in advance and be well-versed in the operation of Collaborate. You may wish to identify teaching assistants or other facilitators to help monitor the rooms and enable access to tools such as video and audio per room.
- Participants who leave the session and return will have to be reassigned to their breakout rooms in order to re-enter them.
Conduct Coaching/Tutoring/Help Sessions
- Collaborate can also be helpful in small group and individualized sessions when you want to jointly review a document, provide guidance regarding an online resource, or specialized instruction for computer software.
- You can even use application sharing in reverse, to demonstrate a procedure on a student’s own laptop. These sessions are akin to virtual office hours.
Deliver Asynchronous Content
- On your own (without other participants), use Collaborate as a video and screen recorder to provide a course site tour, give an overview of the course syllabus and calendar, previews of websites and software, and so forth. Blackboard itself uses this method for Collaborate demos.
- Try to make your narration extemporaneous (from notes, not a verbatim script). See the resource "Adding Introductory Videos" on the ODL website for guidelines if you're not sure what to cover besides the tour itself.
- Unless it’s completely inappropriate to do so, begin and end the session with the speaker (yourself) on the video feed to establish presence and immediacy.
- Begin and end any application sharing on the same screen to establish closure.
- Note: While you can use Kaltura, Jing, or other tools to create this kind of session, Collaborate makes it easy to incorporate a video component that personalizes the session and enhances connection with your students. Collaborate sessions can’t be edited, however, so for longer, more complex recordings you may be better off with traditional screen recording and video editing tools.