Web Conferencing :: Overview

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Web conferencing is a way to extend the boundaries of physical classrooms, meetings, or events without leaving the office - or losing control. Humboldt State University uses Blackboard Collaborate as its web conferencing service to provide a comprehensive collaboration and communication environment for students, staff, and instructors.

Before diving into your first Blackboard Collaborate session - as an instructor or as a participant - you should review the appropriate Getting Started and Training materials to ensure you get the maximum benefit from the software.

Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing lets you:

  • Talk in real time over the web using Voice over IP (VoIP)
  • Share applications and desktops
  • Draw and write on a “virtual whiteboard”, and use annotation tools
  • Poll participants for feedback -pre-planned or on-the-fly
  • Walk through slides and visit web sites together
  • Use emoticons to “virtually” raise hands, clap, or express mood
  • Chat online using via text messages
  • Move into virtual breakout rooms for smaller group work
  • Optionally integrate webcam video into sessions to allow one- or two-way video communication
  • Easily configure the features to best support your teaching or presentation style
  • Record and archive events for playback at a later date

Use Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing to:

  • Engage guest speakers remotely
  • Facilitate research and other non-academic collaborations
  • Hold virtual section meetings
  • Conduct virtual office sessions
  • Deliver distance education classes
  • Support collaborative work between students
  • Provide virtual research and writing services consultations
  • Chat online with prospective students, current students, current staff, alumni
  • Set up webinars and other online instructional events

Benefits of Using Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing

  • Integrates directly with Moodle to add real-time communication and collaboration to the learning environment
  • Increases retention and completion rates by creating a sense of community through real-time student-teacher and student-student interaction, even in distance learning situations.
  • Eliminates geographical barriers by extending the boundaries of the physical facility to leverage limited resources, provide guest speakers and remote experts, and expand geographical reach to increase enrollment
  • Build online communities to support student-teacher collaboration, encourage participation, and stimulate innovation, regardless of distance. Add-hoc virtual meetings can be set up, with or without an instructor.
  • Save travel costs by reducing the need for travel by students, instructors, guest speakers, and staff from other institutions.
  • Increase staff productivity by holding live virtual meetings across multiple campuses with no weather or other unavoidable disruptions
  • Accommodate multiple learning styles with two way voice, chat, and a shared interactive whiteboard to create a rich and engaging learning environment that enables all students to benefit fully from sessions
  • Integrate technology in the classroom to meet the needs of students who have grown up in a digital world and help instructors to adapt their teaching styles to keep students engaged and actively learning.
  • Scale information and knowledge by creating reusable learning sessions, assisting class preparation, and exam review; build knowledgebases by pre-recording training on commonly-used applications or library resources
  • Leverage limited teaching resources by minimizing travel time, combining students from mutliple campuses for online classes, and engaging subject matter experts to address classes from anywhere in the world
  • Provide professional development by enabling live mentoring and the delivery of intuitive professional development courses