Blackboard Collaborate is an amazing tool for student learning. This tool is synchronous and allows for real-time interaction, questions, collaboration, etc. From my experience as a student in this TT1102 course, participating in the these sessions is simple and engaging.
There are many options for teaching with this tool, but my personal preference is to use this tool is by facilitating an online course similar to how I would lead a face-to-face course. Basically, I would provide a day/time for my students to log-in and join the session. I speak into the microphone on my computer and they all hear my voice as I’m talking. I use the “whiteboard” in Blackboard Collaborate to present a PowerPoint lecture and or show other documents and websites. The students use the hand-raising function to text their questions (or request microphone ability to speak their question) as we go through the material together. The poll option is also very easy and helpful to use. I speak a question and provide a poll with A, B, or C or yes/no options that students respond to. I see those poll responses immediately as do all the participants. In addition, the facilitator can transfer the moderator role to a student. This allows students to present their PowerPoints or projects to the class.
Here is a summary of what the platform looks like:
Here are how-to tools for faculty at UNF.
Although there are many advantages to using this tool, there are also disadvantages to consider. Students are flocking to online classes because they are primarily asynchronous – and thus convenient and self-paced. This tool is synchronous. I think it’s important to consider the students’ expectations and schedules before requiring these sessions. You can also record a session so students could watch the “class” as a video. They would not have the benefit of participating, questioning real-time, but they could see the interactions that took place.
Here are some TT1221 resources:
- Engaging learners real time with social media http://pdginnovates.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/engaging-learners-real-time-with-social-media/
- Comparing 2D and 3D Synchronous Learning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGtzYiEOwEw
- Taking the “a” out of Asynchronous