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Online Classrooms (Blackboard Collaborate)

Blackboard Collaborate

Josh Lund and his colleagues in FITS have some useful advice for those of you using Online Classrooms (Blackboard Collaborate) in Desire2Learn:

When you are running an Online Classrooms session, there is a command to copy breakout whiteboards to the main room. This will bring them in as separate areas under the pull-down box that usually says "public room" in the upper righthand corner of your screen.

For example, you might create three rooms, and the participants each drew on the whiteboard. When copied them back in, they showed up in the menu as Room 1-1, Room 2-1 and Room 3-1. This also means that if they had created additional pages in the whiteboard, they would have been copied in as 2-2, 2-3, etc.

It may be that you have to copy the stuff back in before you close the rooms and bring participants back, so here's the order FITS suggests:

  1. When participants are ready to return, copy the breakout whiteboards to the main room.
  2. Then bring back the participants to the main room.
  3. Finally, close the empty breakout rooms. You should have access to all the whiteboards now.

Josh Lund and his colleagues had an interesting experience trying to get recording files from Online Rooms, as they had assumed that it would generate a downloadable, playable video file like Wimba does. This is not the case, however. The upside is that the archives can be viewed online through a native player by anyone who has access to the room, so they can't be downloaded, which might be good for students viewing group presentations, etc.

There is software available to download that will let you generate a video file and transcripts of text chat, etc. if you do need to. It's available for download free

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