Which of the following statements do you, as an instructor, tell yourself almost every term:
- Where are my students during my office hours?
- I’ll be at a conference in the middle of the term. I need to reschedule a couple of classes.
- Too many meetings, not enough spaces.
If you’re a student, which of these statements do you tell yourself every term?
- Do I have to go to campus for office hours?
- It’s hard to meet with classmates for group projects.
- I forgot to get my classmate’s email again!
- I need to form a study group right now.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Blackboard Collaborate is a suite of communication and voice tools that enables you to create your own learning community no matter where you are. The suite is composed of three tools:
Instant Messaging (Bb IM) is a multipurpose communication tool similar to external chat services such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Google Chat. Once you’ve created an account, your contact lists will be automatically populated with the names of your classmates, instructors and TAs if they choose to do so. There’s no need to get everyone’s email, their names will be right there waiting for you. You can also do group chats, voice-over-internet calls, video conferencing and collaborative meetings with an interactive whiteboard.
Voice Authoring (formerly Wimba Voice Tools) is a collection of tools that enables instructors to create voice enabled learning activities. There are tools like a the Voice Board that can be helpful in practicing new languages through question and response activities. Voice Recorder can be used to share instructions and announcements to all course participants regarding assignments and exams. Voice Email has been used to provided recorded feedback on student work, especially those that can be quite challenging to type out.
Learn more at http://elearning.ubc.ca/toolkit/voice-authoring.
Web Conferencing is an online classroom software where you can facilitate classes, meetings, presentations, discussion groups via an interactive web conferencing tool. Sessions can be part of your online course in Connect where instructors and students can have opportunities for synchronous communications. External sessions can also be organized, independent of any Connect course, which is ideal for meetings and seminars that may include participants outside of UBC.