The Blackboard Collaborate 11 Platform

Annie Chechitelli, Senior Director, Collaborate Operations, Blackboard and Valerie Schreiner, Senior Director, Collaborate Product Management, Blackboard

The presentation highlighted enhanced video communication, more options for informal communications and a new user interface. Valerie walked us through a Bb Collaborate 11 demonstration. One example was drag-and-drop elements like video. The modules snapped back into the interface. She also showed us some robust polling options.

The drag and drop functionality includes the ability to move attendees up in the cue, giving them different priorities. There’s a lot of control over chat (e.g. private, supervised chat). You can even restrict one student’s ability to chat. Version 11 also has a tab for the moderator “back channel.”

During the slide presentation, the presenter is able to survey the students and determine if other students see their answers. There are a lot of tools for navigating and notating slides. There are also three large buttons for application sharing, whiteboard or browser. There are also more advanced features in the menu (e.g. showing video).

Some of the advanced features include the ability to break students into groups and give them content to work on (e.g. copy a slide to one or several breakout rooms). The presenter/facilitator can see the students working in each room and send themselves to a specific room to intervene. While in groups, students can send questions to the presenter. The rooms can have timers.

At the end of the presentation, the presenter can send homework (e.g. PDF document) to all students. Those who watch the recording also have access to the files that were distributed. Later, students can meet with the instructor during office hours through Bb IM. The drag-and-drop IM has a similar interface. In the IM client, you can launch to a full web-conferencing experience with individuals or groups.

Bb World participants can access more information at https://bbcollaborate11.coursesites.com.

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