Overall Satisfaction with Blackboard Collaborate
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
- Collaborate has had a positive impact on our goals, as it affords our online learners and faculty a place to meet and interact in online courses. It has proven itself more reliable and easier to use, as well as being a more modern option, than tools used in the past. Use of real-time meetings in our online class offerings are likely at an all-time high in part due to Collaborate's implementation.
When Collaborate was chosen, other products investigated included Wimba (a predecessor), Big Blue Button, TinyChat, and others. Collaborate, though requiring a greater financial investment, was superior to other options in essentially all respects. Its integration into our existing LMS is seamless and important in our setting. Furthermore, the recording and access to the recordings likewise integrated into the LMS is another highly desirable feature. Finally, and perhaps most compelling for some, is the vendor-hosting model for Collaborate, which does not require clients to setup or maintain the necessary server and other resources.
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.