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Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaborative learning platform with both screen sharing and application sharing, web conferencing, and integration with Blackboard Learn, the primary learning management offering.Blackboard Collaborate- a big step up from SkypeThis program is used in academic support services for online tutoring and academic coaching, which are increasingly needed as more and more degree programs are offering online-only options and the number of students outside a commuting radius increases. While Skype and Google Hangouts are useful for video chat, they aren't designed for academic purposes and lack many of the tools available in Bb Collaborate.,Training,The Whiteboard feature is perfect for tutoring. We use it to write out formulas, draw diagrams, etc while in video chat to enhance explanations. The file attachment feature is also very handy. This means we don't have to do a follow-up with a student using their email to send files of handouts, etc. It's great that we only have to share a classroom access link for a student to enter a session. With other products, they had to set up a username and log-in with an account. Link access means 1 less hassle. We are currently beginning to use the "record session" feature video sessions to use as training for new employees.,I recently tried to use the Share Screen feature, which would be extremely valuable for online tutoring, but despite installing the additional Blackboard Screensharing app, it won't work. I have not yet contacted support to get help with it, but it seems this should work when one follows the instructions. It's not incredibly intuitive in its setup. For example, to get the "share video" icon to appear (the only way you can activate the camera to start video feed), you have to do a sound and video test first.,7,Our implementation has been gradual over the last 2 semesters. Students who have used it to access live academic support despite being unable to drive in for face to face sessions have been extremely happy. It is gradually boosting student morale for offsite students, who have long felt they were unable to access services that were paid through fees with their tuition. Multiple support services who have wanted to provide online support but were unsure how they could are more empowered to do so now. The current mood is "what else can we offer online through this, workshops, advising, live broadcast of student org meetings"?,Google Hangouts and Skype,BlackboardCollaborate in Education with Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra)We've been using Blackboard Collaborate since back when it was Elluminate (then Blackboard Collaborate, and now Blackboard Collaborate Ultra). The Ultra version is browser-based and very simple to use. It is typically used for office hours for our online instructors, handling virtual training sessions our team administers to our faculty, and other times people on our campus may want to meet virtually. Collaborate is also an easy way to have a guest speaker join a classroom remotely. Collaborate Ultra is integrated with our LMS (Blackboard, though they support other integrations), so essentially there is no setup involved for the faculty member. Students just click a link, type in their name, and they are able to join the session, simple as that. Smartphones and tablets are also supported. The Collaborate team has been aggressively working on making the tool more and more accessible.,Internal communications Lead generation Training,Very simple to use. While not overbearingly rich with features, there are a lot of features available to get workflows done. Allows for several options to make a session accessible, while the developers are working on even more ways. Mobile friendly.,Takes advantage of features available in Firefox and Google Chrome browsers for application sharing; these features are not yet available in Safari or Microsoft Edge.,10,Collaborate Ultra has been the most effective for us for training faculty virtually. Faculty have been excited that they can have a remote guest speaker in their classroom, and all they need to do for set up is to e-mail that guest speaker a link to join the session. Collaborate Ultra is beyond useful for faculty to meet with online students who are either across the country, or even in other countries, with tools that really help to focus on course work.,Google Hangouts and Skype,Ubuntu Linux, Oracle VM VirtualBox, IntelliJ IDEA, Blackboard, Docker, Microsoft Office 2016, LibreOfficeGreat for small groups of online studentsBlackboard Collaborate is generally used across our e-school. Teachers use the software to present live and recorded lessons to our students across the state of Florida. It allows us to deliver instruction in a more interactive method, reaching all types of learners and incorporating audio, video, and interaction.,Internal communications Training,Enables teachers to upload PowerPoint presentations and display them for the class Allows multiple people to be present at one time Has adequate tools for teachers to be able to engage class in interaction (polling, raising hand, allowing microphone and video camera sharing),Blackboard Collaborate frequently causes us to see "Exception errors" Students and teachers regularly get "kicked out" of the online classroom/lose connectivity PowerPoints are static. Does not support animations unless using another program to upload.,7,We've been better able to engage students in their learning opportunities We can host reviews, allowing students to prepare better for exams, and thus boosting test scores We can get to know our online students in a personal way,Elluminate,Snagit, Mozy Pro, Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe PhotoshopBlackboard Collaborate for Optimal Company Communications!Blackboard Collaborate is utilized by my company for teachers to hold office hours for students within the online courses provided by the company. It is also used to hold virtual department meetings. This addresses our need for communication between teachers and students, teachers and other teachers, and teacher and management staff.,The ability to host a number of people in a meeting and manage their participation via text and audio. The screen sharing features allows presenters to demonstrate procedures exactly as instructed on the screen. This also allows the presenter to permit others to share their screens if they need clarification of something or to share further ideas. The software gives you the freedom to use a whiteboard to draw/demonstrate concepts to students and other employees.,Some of the newest computer high resolution screens are not as compatible with the interface. The font and windows are much smaller and the user is not able to increase the size of the windows to make it easier to read/navigate. The audio can sometimes be inconsistent and tune in and out when someone is speaking. This is not every time though and many times the audio is clear. The login process takes a bit longer to get into the program. You have to go through a few step process and loading time to get into the application.,8,The program has allowed enhanced communications between teachers and students so that students can get real time tutoring and not rely on back and forth emails. The program gives teachers a platform to come together and participate in professional development activities together and ask questions/make suggestions in real time. Has created an "office" like atmosphere online to help simulate a brick and mortar classroom teacher office where students can feel comfortable communicating with teachers about their concerns.,,Skype, Google Drive, Adobe Acrobat DCBlackboard Collborate: Best for Online classesBlackboard Collaborate (Classic and Ultra) is being used by our university for professors to conduct online classes and to hold office hours for the distant students. It provides lots of interactive features like Whiteboard, create groups, share documents, share desktop and many more. Blackboard Collaborate is bit difficult to understand for non-technical faculties. So we have to provide training on how to use Blackboard Collaborate.,Whiteboard: Professors use this feature to explain topics by drawing some diagrams on the Whiteboard. Share Documents: This feature is widely used by the professors to share their notes with the class. Breakout Groups: Professor use this feature to create groups in the class for some tasks.,Complexity: Some non-technical professors find it difficult to use different features of Blackboard Collaborate. Video Quality: Some times Blackboard Collaborate provides very poor quality videos even if there is a good internet connection. Audio-Video Synchronization: In the recordings, the video does not keep up with the audio and you will sometimes see that they are out of sync.,9,The positive impact of Blackboard Collaborate is that distant students can also attend classes. Opens communication to outside world. For example, a professor conducts a guest lecture but somehow a guest can't be physically present in the class so he/she gives the lecture through Collaborate.,Zoom
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Blackboard Collaborate
81 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101
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Blackboard Collaborate Reviews

Blackboard Collaborate
81 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101
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Becca Guler profile photo
April 23, 2018

"Blackboard Collaborate- a big step up from Skype"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
This program is used in academic support services for online tutoring and academic coaching, which are increasingly needed as more and more degree programs are offering online-only options and the number of students outside a commuting radius increases.
While Skype and Google Hangouts are useful for video chat, they aren't designed for academic purposes and lack many of the tools available in Bb Collaborate.
  • The Whiteboard feature is perfect for tutoring. We use it to write out formulas, draw diagrams, etc while in video chat to enhance explanations.
  • The file attachment feature is also very handy. This means we don't have to do a follow-up with a student using their email to send files of handouts, etc.
  • It's great that we only have to share a classroom access link for a student to enter a session. With other products, they had to set up a username and log-in with an account. Link access means 1 less hassle.
  • We are currently beginning to use the "record session" feature video sessions to use as training for new employees.
  • I recently tried to use the Share Screen feature, which would be extremely valuable for online tutoring, but despite installing the additional Blackboard Screensharing app, it won't work. I have not yet contacted support to get help with it, but it seems this should work when one follows the instructions.
  • It's not incredibly intuitive in its setup. For example, to get the "share video" icon to appear (the only way you can activate the camera to start video feed), you have to do a sound and video test first.
It's useful for a classroom video session with a professor, as multiple students can access it at once (it will stream better if only the instructor uses video and others just use chat) and both lecture or answer questions, employing the Whiteboard feature as necessary. There is a hand raising option students can use to signal that they have a question, or they can just put a question in on the chat section.
It is not as interactive as some video tutoring platforms I have seen, but it is something that our support services at school have access to with a site license, so it's ideal for us.
Read Becca Guler's full review
Joseph Axenroth profile photo
December 18, 2017

"Collaborate in Education with Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra)"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We've been using Blackboard Collaborate since back when it was Elluminate (then Blackboard Collaborate, and now Blackboard Collaborate Ultra). The Ultra version is browser-based and very simple to use. It is typically used for office hours for our online instructors, handling virtual training sessions our team administers to our faculty, and other times people on our campus may want to meet virtually. Collaborate is also an easy way to have a guest speaker join a classroom remotely.

Collaborate Ultra is integrated with our LMS (Blackboard, though they support other integrations), so essentially there is no setup involved for the faculty member. Students just click a link, type in their name, and they are able to join the session, simple as that. Smartphones and tablets are also supported.

The Collaborate team has been aggressively working on making the tool more and more accessible.
  • Very simple to use. While not overbearingly rich with features, there are a lot of features available to get workflows done.
  • Allows for several options to make a session accessible, while the developers are working on even more ways.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • Takes advantage of features available in Firefox and Google Chrome browsers for application sharing; these features are not yet available in Safari or Microsoft Edge.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is great for office hours, virtual training, virtual guest speakers, virtual lectures, and more. While it has a focus for pedagogical needs, its use is not limited to just that. It also supports up to 500 people in the session at one time (with the option to request support up to 1,000).
Read Joseph Axenroth's full review
No photo available
February 01, 2018

Blackboard Collaborate Review: "Great for small groups of online students"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate is generally used across our e-school. Teachers use the software to present live and recorded lessons to our students across the state of Florida. It allows us to deliver instruction in a more interactive method, reaching all types of learners and incorporating audio, video, and interaction.
  • Enables teachers to upload PowerPoint presentations and display them for the class
  • Allows multiple people to be present at one time
  • Has adequate tools for teachers to be able to engage class in interaction (polling, raising hand, allowing microphone and video camera sharing)
  • Blackboard Collaborate frequently causes us to see "Exception errors"
  • Students and teachers regularly get "kicked out" of the online classroom/lose connectivity
  • PowerPoints are static. Does not support animations unless using another program to upload.
I think it's great for online instruction in groups less than 100. I do not feel it is the best option to support a large group. I have seen issues with the software freezing in large groups of 500+.
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Carly Pietrzyk, PhD profile photo
September 29, 2016

"Blackboard Collaborate for Optimal Company Communications!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate is utilized by my company for teachers to hold office hours for students within the online courses provided by the company. It is also used to hold virtual department meetings. This addresses our need for communication between teachers and students, teachers and other teachers, and teacher and management staff.
  • The ability to host a number of people in a meeting and manage their participation via text and audio.
  • The screen sharing features allows presenters to demonstrate procedures exactly as instructed on the screen. This also allows the presenter to permit others to share their screens if they need clarification of something or to share further ideas.
  • The software gives you the freedom to use a whiteboard to draw/demonstrate concepts to students and other employees.
  • Some of the newest computer high resolution screens are not as compatible with the interface. The font and windows are much smaller and the user is not able to increase the size of the windows to make it easier to read/navigate.
  • The audio can sometimes be inconsistent and tune in and out when someone is speaking. This is not every time though and many times the audio is clear.
  • The login process takes a bit longer to get into the program. You have to go through a few step process and loading time to get into the application.
It definitely is well suited for department meetings and communication between students and teachers for online tutoring. I actually think it could be useful for a variety of companies, especially for employee training purposes. It may be a bit too complicated for generic communications with clients.
Read Carly Pietrzyk, PhD's full review
Rahul Shinde profile photo
November 07, 2016

Blackboard Collaborate: "Blackboard Collborate: Best for Online classes"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate (Classic and Ultra) is being used by our university for professors to conduct online classes and to hold office hours for the distant students. It provides lots of interactive features like Whiteboard, create groups, share documents, share desktop and many more. Blackboard Collaborate is bit difficult to understand for non-technical faculties. So we have to provide training on how to use Blackboard Collaborate.
  • Whiteboard: Professors use this feature to explain topics by drawing some diagrams on the Whiteboard.
  • Share Documents: This feature is widely used by the professors to share their notes with the class.
  • Breakout Groups: Professor use this feature to create groups in the class for some tasks.
  • Complexity: Some non-technical professors find it difficult to use different features of Blackboard Collaborate.
  • Video Quality: Some times Blackboard Collaborate provides very poor quality videos even if there is a good internet connection.
  • Audio-Video Synchronization: In the recordings, the video does not keep up with the audio and you will sometimes see that they are out of sync.
Blackboard Collaborate is well suited for online classes, to set-up virtual office hours and/or to provide online training.
Read Rahul Shinde's full review
Laura Abercrombie profile photo
February 05, 2016

Blackboard Collaborate: "Stop! COLLABORATE and Listen!"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Currently at Polk State College, Blackboard Collaborate is used as a synchronous learning environment in online and hybrid courses. Students are able to interact with professors while they (the students and/or the professors) are off campus and at odd hours. Students participate in guided online course orientations, study sessions, and workshops via Blackboard Collaborate.
  • The synchronous environment is great for online and hybrid courses. Students are able to ask questions and receive feedback in real time.
  • The video option is great, especially for 100% online courses. It gives a face to the professors name--humanizes us a little bit for the students.
  • The record option is wonderful for students who cannot be in class, students with special needs, enrichment/supplement, and content reviews.
  • Logging in can be challenging for students who are not exactly computer literate. The program's reliance on an updated Java can be a real source of frustration for students and parents.
  • Accessing sessions once they've been recorded is a bit cumbersome. It is especially difficult for professors who are not as computer literate.
  • Accessing a virtual classroom could be improved. I would like to see a customizable "button" or "widget" option that can be placed on a professor's webpage.
As a composition professor, there is less need for me or my colleagues to use it--though I have in the past. I see it especially beneficial for math professors because the whiteboard feature allows symbol notation for math problems, and students can see how the problems are worked out synchronously. I also have used it in the past for literature discussions in a small-group setting after class, as well as for content reviews before exams.
Read Laura Abercrombie's full review
Mallory Rice profile photo
May 03, 2016

"Blackboard Collaborate -- Great for teaching or being taught!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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I have used it both as a continuing education student, and as a site-manager for classes that my colleagues teach. Blackboard Collaborate makes it easy to connect students with professors and teaching assistants. As a student, the features make it easy for our professor to screen share, draw, and do presentations for us. On top of that, it is easy to work and coordinate with other students who are also using Collaborate.
  • Collaborate makes it easy to share screens, presentations, and images in a digital classroom, which is essential when teaching difficult concepts to people who are not in the same room as the presenter.
  • Collaborate even allows for small-group work WITHIN a larger group. Our teacher was able to break us out into smaller "rooms" for small discussions and presentation prep.
  • The basic controls and modules are easy to learn and teach with presenters.
  • Some of the more advanced features are difficult to use.
  • Troubleshooting at home can be difficult--if it doesn't open for some reason, etc.
  • I have been kicked off repeatedly before (although this might be more my own computer functionality, rather than the program).
  • Sometimes there is a lag, causing the presenter's voice to need to catch up/speed up.
Blackboard Collaborate is great for large groups, such as online classes, study groups, or remote meetings. It probably isn't necessary for smaller groups, especially for those that don't need all the extra features such as recording, or screen share.
Read Mallory Rice's full review
T. Alex Manly profile photo
February 05, 2016

Blackboard Collaborate: "Looking Forward to Collaborate Ultra"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Currently, we enable the Blackboard Collaborate tool in courses only upon request due to the complexity of its interface. However, with the upcoming implementation of the new UI, we are going to be opening up the tool to all courses system wide. The new UI is so much easier to understand and use, and I am confident that the adoption rate is going to drastically increase.
Currently, some instructors use it for virtual office hours, some use it for lecture capture and still others use it for remote lecturing back to their class when they are off campus. Some of our organizations use it for web conferencing as well. With the greater availability of the tool next semester, I figure the use cases will at least be the same but more likely new ideas for using it will come about.
  • The new UI is so much more simpler to use.
  • Every month more features from the classic UI are being implemented.
  • In my experience, the only bad aspect that I can bring up is that the video does not keep up with the audio and you will sometimes see that they are out of sync.
  • I have also read that some people are experiencing degraded audio in their recordings. During the session the audio is fine but in the recordings it is not good.
With it's integration into the Learn LMS, setting up virtual office hours are a snap.
Read T. Alex Manly's full review
Bridget Powell profile photo
December 14, 2015

Blackboard Collaborate Review: "Collaboration at the next level"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I can't answer as to how it's used organization-wide, as we are a large state university. However, our small department uses it primarily for meetings where we need to share something visual, usually a course. It's very helpful, because it allows us to control access to our courses by being able to demo them rather than grant guest access.
  • Blackboard Collaborate allows for simultaneous video, chat, audio, and sharing and does so in a very efficient way.
  • I really like the feature that allows you to record the entire event, and how well that recording captures the session.
  • It is generally easy to use, once it's open.
  • Trying to get started can get very confusing. If you've already downloaded it once, sometimes it doesn't seem to find the previous downloads.
  • When you're downloading, there's no indication that anything's happening until suddenly a small screen appears. This has caused me and others to start the download again and end up with two different windows open.
  • Screen sharing can be glitchy - the person sharing can't necessarily see how fast (or how slow) the scrolling is happening on the other end. I usually have a second computer set up so I can "see" as both the facilitator and a participant.
Blackboard Collaborate works well to bring people together for online learning sessions. In my previous job we used it to bring together students from all over the world to participate in group work and discussions, and it works well for that. It can be a little iffy trying to use it to screen or app- share, as you can't always tell what the participants are seeing, and when you have students trying to connect from, for example, a forward operating base in Afghanistan, the connection can be slow.
Read Bridget Powell's full review
Jacqueline Staley profile photo
December 04, 2015

Blackboard Collaborate: "Review from an LMS Admin"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have used Blackboard Collaborate for classroom meetings and various meetings.
  • Teal time communication with students.
  • Sessions with students or in meetings can pass documents if needed in real time.
  • Can share not only my desktop but an internet link if needed.
  • Sometimes the settings seem a little complex for instructors. There have been vast improvements over the last year in this regard, but I lost some of my instructors due to the setup issues and now have to coax them back in. Making the setup as seamless as possible is very important when trying to get adoption from faculty members.
We need to think about accommodation issues. How well does the application work with screen readers etc.
Read Jacqueline Staley's full review
Christine Paige profile photo
December 04, 2015

"Happy Blackboard Collaborate User"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I have used Blackboard Collaborate at a previous institution as well as the current institution I am at. My current school uses Blackboard Collaborate across our whole campus as a tool for meetings of various groups. We are a distributed institution so it is very heavily used. We also use it with our students since we are primarily an online college.
  • Very easy to launch
  • Lot's of tools available to communicate/interact, (emoticons, chat, voice, hand raise).
  • Simple interface - easy to navigate and use.
  • Have a more detailed polling option that allows you to add questions in with the answers instead of using the whiteboard or PowerPoint.
  • Ability to play a video simultaneously.
Blackboard Collaborate is great for online meetings when you are a distributed institution. It is also perfect for our adult student population because it is intuitive and easy for them to launch and participate.
Read Christine Paige's full review
Allison Kallo profile photo
November 23, 2015

"Blackboard Collaborate is best when collaborating with other Blackboard Products"

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I helped evaluate if Blackboard Collaborate was a good tool for the academic community of a previous position. In then end, the team did recommend that our school purchase and use Blackboard Collaborate in sync with Blackboard Learn, the LMS we were using. In the end, my organization decided to hold off on implementing Blackboard Collaborate because they wanted to confirm that Blackboard was still the best LMS for the school.

However, in many ways I wish the organization would have adopted Blackboard Collaborate as it allows students and faculty easy ways to connect and since LMS evaluations take a long time the lack of having a tool like Blackboard Collaborate is highly noticed.

In our evaluation, we suggested that Blackboard Collaborate would be used solely for academic purposes and in addition to other stuff, it would solve the problem of remote meetings, team collaboration and online office hours.
  • Connecting students: Collaborate allowed students to connect with each other based on their current classes and past classes.
  • Dynamic permissions: Allowing students to change their own permissions so student could set the level of access they wanted for other students. They could do this while still allowing instructor and TA access at the classroom level.
  • Making the LMS more engaging: Collaborate made Blackboard seem more like Facebook which may have made some students and faculty more interested.
  • Video and audio was lacking when we evaluated it.
  • Multiple language inputs were not well developed when we looked at it - and what was there was very klunky and confusing.
  • Security wasn't clear. I didn't understand how my organizations information was separated from others. (I'm not really sure of the technical stuff here - but our security guys were not happy with Blackboard's explanations to their questions.)
If my organization was using other blackboard products, then I would highly recommend using Blackboard Collaborate in sync with those products. In all honesty, there are many products that do similar functions - but they beauty is Blackboard Collaborate is integrated with other large systems, making permissions, histories, etc. seamless.
Read Allison Kallo's full review
Kristine Rosales profile photo
November 20, 2015

Blackboard Collaborate Review: "50 shades of Black...board"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate is being used across the whole organization to host both synchronous and asynchronous sessions with students and staff. It helps our organization, which is greatly dispersed with remote employees and students across the US, maintain contact with one another.
  • It has a user friendly interface that allows someone to quickly become comfortable in the virtual environment.
  • It gives moderators control of participant tools and makes classroom management easier.
  • It provides more features than other web conferencing tools.
  • It would benefit in providing more customizable options for the moderator and preset settings.
  • I would appreciate expanding to a wider variety of file formats that are acceptable on the platform.
  • Since the majority of presentations are in PowerPoint format, it would be nice if the animations would integrate in Blackboard Collaborate when presenting.
  • The platform would benefit from an updated look and feel.
Blackboard Collaborate is well suited for all web conferencing scenarios. I use it with students as young as five years old.
Read Kristine Rosales's full review
Katie Sabourin profile photo
November 18, 2015

"Blackboard Collaborate - A great fit for the academic setting"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate is an essential tool for us to allow for synchronous communication among our online instructors and students. It has been a valuable tool to support this real-time communication in these courses, especially for things like office hours and student presentations to the class.
  • Real-time interaction using VoIP and web cams among a group of students in an online class.
  • Polling and breakout rooms during a presentation to make the conversations lively and engaging for a distance audience.
  • Allows for the recording of key presentations to be viewed at a later time.
  • As Blackboard Collaborate is dependent on Java, we have had issues with users accessing the tool depending on recent Java updates and compatibility issues with browsers and operating systems. However, Blackboard's new version, Collaborate Ultra, will be moving away from Java which should resolve many of these issues.
A web conferencing tool is an essential component of any online education initiative that promotes synchronous communication. Blackboard Collaborate is specifically suited to those schools who already use Blackboard Learn as their course management system because of the high level of integration between the two products.
Read Katie Sabourin's full review
Jeremy Bond profile photo
November 17, 2015

"Blackboard Collaborate is a solid choice for integration, feature set, and usability."

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate is used chiefly as an online real-time course environment. Online and hybrid classes meet in Blackboard Collaborate sessions, leveraging it as a virtual classroom for instructional purposes, student presentations, small group collaboration, and other interactivity purposes. The platform is also used regularly as a training and development environment, providing online hosting for webinars and other events.
  • Sharing of flattened (image) Power Point slides
  • Recording/capture of sessions for later review in mp3, mp4, and proprietary playback formats
  • Real-time audio and video interactivity, with tools for text-based supplemental interaction
  • Audio and Video quality is in need of performance
  • Ease of access/use (e.g. launcher software is required by the current version to gain access)
  • Overall responsiveness is in need of improvement, as audio and video delays are fairly commonplace
When choosing a system for real-time interaction online, ease of access and use has to be paramount. Ask about matters of compatibility with various browsers, OS options, and devices. In particular, explore whether the product under consideration is browser based or independent, what downloads (if any) are required to access. From here, investigate the intuitiveness of the tool set, in terms of versatility, but also prominence, accessibility, and clarity of use.
Read Jeremy Bond's full review
Brandon Cluff profile photo
March 08, 2016

"Blackboard Collaborate Student Review"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I used Blackboard Collaborate when I was going to community college. It was used with online classes which I usually took during intermission. It makes the online experience more like an actual classroom and it makes it a lot easier to interact with classmates and the instructor. It really helps visual learners, like myself.
  • The training documentation.
  • Ability to transfer files.
  • Whiteboard utility.
  • Lags a bit while playing audio and video especially while using multi-camera view.
I thought it was perfect for online education. I really have a hard time sitting down and reading a textbook when I'm at home. Blackboard collaborate kept my attention and helped me absorb the material by using visuals and being able to actively participate during class lectures and/ or discussions.
Read Brandon Cluff's full review
Danielle Davis profile photo
December 04, 2015

Blackboard Collaborate: "Love the creativity of Collaborate!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I find Blackboard Collaborate to be very useful as a conduit to communication for my students and I. It is easy to use and provides the right amount of choices necessary to have a great communicative session.
  • The visuals are great.
  • Choices for usage are helpful.
  • Ease of use is exactly what new online students need.
  • Time lapse of verbal communication.
  • Inability to share Microsoft Word documents directly.
It is well suited for new online students because of its ease of use.
Read Danielle Davis's full review
No photo available
October 03, 2016

Blackboard Collaborate: "Collaborate with Ease"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Blackboard Collaborate for meetings and for tutoring students, one-on-one or in groups. Our department, the instructional department, is the only department that uses it. Many of our employees work remotely, so being able to communicate in a virtual setting is a beneficial alternative to email. Also, we tutor our students remotely, and using Skype, email, or phone is not conducive to what we need to do.
  • Allows for sharing of the whiteboard between participants
  • Easy to enter rooms
  • Ease of recordings and retrieval of recordings
  • The tools that are available...text, write, chat, talk, app share, go directly to videos
  • The app sharing feature - it is great that it exists, but it is clumsy and lags behind. It is also hard sometimes for the 'sharer' to tell if they are sharing or not. There is also a lag between the sharer and the participants.
  • The tool bar seems to get stuck sometimes. I will try to write or highlight and I cannot switch between the different options.
  • The Blackboard Collaborate app commands are hidden.
  • It would be nice if the chat feature to the moderator went to the main room chat by default, rather than the moderator chat.
It is great when you want to communicate, but need to have a visual. It allows for writing on the whiteboard and an uploaded PowerPoint. Also, the polling, private rooms, and other tools make it good for group activities.
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June 03, 2016

"Blackboard Collaborate"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Collaborate is a excellent online and remote classroom training tool that allows students to connect to class via a remote session. Features like: whiteboard, sync across devices, ability to make timed quizzes, and the ability to upload assignments and docs are some nice features.
  • Its ability to share the presenter's desktop to distance learning classrooms/students.
  • Its ability to share the presenter's video feeds to distance learning classrooms/students.
  • A particularly nice feature is the ability for an instructor to be able to share his notes with the class.
  • It is nice that students can participate in the class as if in the classroom using a chat session.
  • Students can actually see the instructor which makes them have a more personal experience.
  • Whiteboard feature.
  • The ability to upload assignments and docs is a nice features.
  • Synchronization across devices and quick syncing time.
  • Ability to make timed quizzes.
  • Easy to learn interface for instructors and from what feedback I have heard it is easy for students to use.
  • Loading of presenter slides is not as intuitive as it could be.
It is best suited for classroom presentation and less for online meetings. However, I think the goal of Collaborate is to allow those students not in the physical classroom to be able to better participate and to feel more a part of the class. This is what Collaborate does best. And of course the integration with other Blackboard features makes it a quite seamless tool.
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November 17, 2015

"Blackboard Collaborate creates virtual classroom."

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Collaborate is used to deliver real-time, synchronous, educational content to our users. Specifically, online classes use Blackboard Collaborate to deliver online lectures and presentations using the audio and video components within Blackboard Collaborate as well as the fully interactive whiteboard. Instructors load presentation materials and slides on the interactive whiteboard while student participants follow everything that occurs on the screen. Many classes also use Blackboard Collaborate for group study sessions -- often times without instructor participation. Students are able to share desktop applications, use the interactive whiteboard, and communicate with each other through the built in text chat tools as well as through the audio and video modules.
  • The interactive whiteboard allows instructors to load PowerPoint or other presentations into the display which can then be highlighted, marked on, typed on, or used for real-time presentations with students.
  • Blackboard Collaborate features a robust desktop sharing component that allows instructors to share their entire desktop, portions of their desktop, or just specific applications with participants. They can also pass control over those applications to session participants. This is very useful for demonstrating software programs that session participants may not have on their own computers.
  • The user feedback buttons in Blackboard Collaborate allow session participants to express a variety of emotions during online sessions through buttons that represent a smiling face, thumbs down, and a confused face. In a face-to-face classroom, instructors who notice a confused face on some of their students know to stop and re-explain a concept. These digital faces provide the same interaction in the virtual classroom.
  • Currently, the audio and video features are enabled separately from each other. You could end up in a situation where 6 people in a 12-person classroom have their cameras enabled and 6 different people have their microphones enabled. It would be ideal if one "Talk" button turned on that person's audio and video simultaneously.
  • The number of active participants able to turn on their microphone or camera is still limited compared to other products on the market. Competing products allow dozens of participants to enable their audio and video during the entire session without having to switch back and forth as Blackboard Collaborate requires with larger sessions.
  • Blackboard Collaborate still relies on Java to function. As such, it has to bundle a Java launcher application in order to open sessions. Similar products can function using HTML5 entirely within modern browsers.
  • Desktop sharing is not visible on mobile apps although the chat, whiteboard, and audio is fully functional.
Blackboard Collaborate is particularly well suited for one (or a few) speakers presenting information for a large number of more passive participants who may only interrupt for a few questions at a time. This makes it particularly well suited for a traditional education environment. It does not do well for meetings or group discussions where there may be more than 6 people who would like to be seen and heard during the session without having to constantly turn on and off their audio and video.
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February 26, 2016

Blackboard Collaborate Review: "Makes a Student's Life much Easier - Improves Communication Skills"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard is being used by the whole Campus of the University, and it is helping students to catch up on their course work and also be punctual on all their assignments as well as their lectures.
  • Fast synchronization accross devices upon a change
  • Well organized and simple to use
  • Able to take short quizzes and put a timer on them
  • Able to upload documents for assignments and provide a quick review of that document
  • First time users have it hard to understand how to use it. Maybe, provide a "User Guide for the first-time log in users" would help to navigate easier with Blackboard.
Using Blackboard Collaborate is great especially when you have to go out of city for an important task and you can't attend a course class, but you want to be up-to-date with what happens. With blackboard, if used properly you can keep yourself up-to-date with everything and at any time that you want.
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February 08, 2016

"Blackboard Collaborate- ideal for elearning"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
My organization used BlackBoard Collaborate for all virtual education courses and for virtual meetings and workshops.
  • It is convenient and easy to set up virtual meetings at any time.
  • Quick and simple access that people can use easily.
  • Easy ways for teachers, students, and classmates to engage with one another.
  • It can be hard to use all of the features when accessing from a mobile device.
  • Advance features like desktop conferencing and multi-point video are more likely to have glitches.
  • The numerous components can make it difficult for new users.
Blackboard Collaborate works really well in an eLearning environment, for classes and group projects.
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December 16, 2015

Blackboard Collaborate: "Stop COLLABORATE and listen"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Well, it varies by department. But Blackboard Collaborate is used to hold virtual meetings, professional development sessions, parent and student conferences, and virtual office hours, and for student projects.
  • File sharing can be done in session and is quick and seamless.
  • No software downloads are required if you are using the Ultra version.
  • Very user friendly.
  • I've run into issues with downloading the launcher especially for remote users.
  • There are some known issues with the launcher not playing recordings of sessions.
  • There is a bit of lag when sharing the desktop or trying to do a web tour.
Blackboard Collaborate is best used to host a live session. While there is the ability to record, I do not think it is a best practice to pre-record sessions then send out a link.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

High quality audio (23)
7.4
High quality video (23)
7.0
Low bandwidth requirements (22)
6.2
Mobile support (4)
8.3
Desktop sharing (23)
7.4
Whiteboards (23)
8.7
Calendar integration (10)
9.8
Meeting initiation (16)
9.6
Integrates with social media (5)
8.2
Record meetings / events (22)
9.3
Slideshows (5)
9.9
Live chat (23)
9.3
Audience polling (21)
9.9
Q&A (5)
9.5
User authentication (16)
5.8
Participant roles & permissions (21)
9.5
Confidential attendee list (11)
9.0

About Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaborative learning platform with both screen sharing and application sharing, web conferencing, and integration with Blackboard Learn, the primary learning management offering.

Blackboard Collaborate Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No