This is the "Overview" page of the "Blackboard Collaborate - Web Conferencing" guide.
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Blackboard Collaborate - Web Conferencing  

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Wimba to Collaborate

 Key Blackboard Collaborate Features For Former Wimba Participants:

  • Built-in audio conferencing
  • Object-oriented whiteboard
  • Multi-point video
  • Tabbed, private, and supervised chat
  • Mobile collaboration from iPad, iPhone, or Android (including Kindle Fire HD)
  • Easy conversion & distribution of MP4 files
  • Stream recordings to any mobile device
  • Lesson plan creation

*Blackboard Collaborate contains the same tools as Wimba (along with brand new features). However, Collaborate’s simplified and intuitive interface creates a user-friendlier environment for both instructors and students.

Key Feature Differences:

  • Interface – With Blackboard Collaborate, there are many similarities but also many differences when compared to Wimba Classroom. Perhaps one of the biggest, most noticeable, differences is the interface. It features a more sleek, modern look and has a number of configurable options to enhance the individual participant experience. Several windows are movable and re-sizable such as the chat box, audio & video box and the participant box which allows the participants to take full advantage of their computer’s screen real estate.
  • Audio and Video – Moderators can setup a session to allow between 1 and 6 talkers at a time while Wimba did not have a talker limit. This function really empowers the moderator to control the flow of conversation better. The session can also allow between 1 and 6 participants to show video at once, while Wimba was limited to only one participant video at a time.
  • Whiteboard – The Whiteboard features in Blackboard Collaborate are also much refined compared to that of Wimba Classroom. The tool allows participants to create text, shapes, built in and customizable clip art, and an animated cursor display. More than that, the whiteboard is object-oriented, which means you can move, resize and manipulate the various objects after they are created.
  • Room and Content Permanence – In Wimba, rooms are created, content is added and then it remain there permanently. Blackboard Collaborate sessions are scheduled with a start and end time and the content is only available during the session. Sessions can be scheduled to be open continuously for up to one year however. Settings may also need to be tweaked for each session. Collaborate also creates a Course Room, which is open for the duration of the course, and an Instructor Room, which remains open for as long as the instructor has a Blackboard account through Iona.
  • Browser Based – In Wimba, the session is based inside of your web browser. In Blackboard Collaborate, the session is completely Java based and runs outside of your web browser.
  • Configuration Wizard – In Wimba, the wizard must be run outside of the session. In Blackboard Collaborate, the wizard can be run inside the session at any time.
  • Audio Buffering – In Wimba, if your connection is poor you may miss some of the audio. In Blackboard Collaborate, the audio is buffered and allows participants to “catch up” from a slow or poor connection issue.
  • Network Speed – In Wimba, the session tends to cater to the lowest common denominator regarding connection speed. In Blackboard Collaborate, each participant selects their own connection speed and the server pushes content accordingly.


New Features

  • Web tour – Allows the moderator to push out and browse particular websites while participants follow along.
  • File Transfer – Upload files and easily push the files to participants during the session
  • Multimedia – Upload video, audio or flash files and push live during the session
  • Quizzes – Create quizzes to push out to participants during the session. Results are graded immediately and can be saved.
  • Moderated Chat – Participants can chat privately with each other but moderators can view if desired
  • Activity Indicators – In the participant window, you can see whether someone is typing, talking, annotating, etc.
  • Advanced Polling – Participants can respond to polls such as Yes/No or A,B,C,D,E
  • Publish – A separate application that allows moderators to convert archives into various formats for distribution (AVI, FLV, H.264, MOV, MP4, WMV, MP3, M4A, WAV)

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