Virtual classrooms are becoming commonplace in higher education. They are used to enhance traditional face to face classes, as well as in hybrid and distance education courses. More and more, virtual classrooms such as Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate and Wimba) are being used to facilitate online collaboration between students, and between students and instructors. They are also used for online office hours, online tutorials or real time classes, research collaborations, online meetings, and a host of other possibilities. Virtual classrooms have a whiteboard space where students and instructors can interact to share ideas and work on problems collaboratively, as well as video and audio capabilities for real-time communication, text chat, polling functions, presentation functions, desktop/application sharing, and web tours.
The University of Windsor is hoping to enhance our online collaboration and teaching possibilities by implementing an online collaboration tool. If you've ever been in a webinar or online conference, you would have used one of these products, and if you've ever wished you had a way of easily connecting with students or colleagues online in real time to share, collaborate, or communicate then you were wishing for a tool like this! A working group has evaluated a number of options, and a small scale Proof of Concept trial was undertaken in summer. The outcome of this is that Blackboard Collaborate has been selected for a full pilot in the fall semester. Come along to this introductory workshop to find out more about Blackboard Collaborate’s features and plans for the fall trial.
Faculty wishing to be involved in the pilot can contact Nick Baker in the Centre for Teaching and Learning on x4925 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org