Interactive sessions software, Blackboard Collaborate ULTRA, is an advanced version of desktop video conferencing that provides the additional functionality to prepare, run and manage interactive classroom sessions, research meetings, part-time and distance learning modules, virtual open days and staff training sessions. The software provides tools for synchronous discussion and interaction using web-cameras, speaking via a headset or an open microphone, with text chat, whiteboard and screen share functionality.
In addition advanced features such as the ability to assign participants to breakout rooms and "chat" enable better interaction between participants. Blackboard Collaborate ULTRA is available to academic staff by accessing Minerva.
For more information visit the VLE Support Web Pages .
For ideas about why you might use interactive session tools see the Work Collaboratively Online section of this site.
Collaborate ULTRA is available via modules and organisations within Minerva.
To use Collaborate ULTRA, a member of staff needs to set up a Collaborate Room in their VLE module or organisation and then add a link to it so students can access it. If you want to invite participants from outside the University, this is also possible via a Guest invitation URL. For more information visit the Getting Started section of the VLE Support Web Page.
You can "record" your online, interactive sessions within Blackboard Collaborate to share with others. It is important to note that before recording any session that you request consent from your participants and you inform them how you are going to use the recording.
Staff can also access online resources and support guides by enrolling on the Collaborate Training Organisation on the VLE. Follow the instructions to enrol. Here you can download guides for "participants" and "moderators".
You can participate in a short, 30 minute interactive online event by booking on First Steps with Collaborate. This is an opportunity to explore the online environment as a participant; chat, engage in activities, annotate over the whiteboard, respond to a poll, view an application share and ask questions.
A face to face workshop enables you to explore the online tools in more detail and apply best practice when moderating online events. View Plan and Moderate Online Events for further information if you wish to book on to this workshop.
A harvest of resources related to the educational use of Blackboard Collaborate is available via the scoop-it link at http://www.scoop.it/t/support-for-research-and-innovation-university-of-leeds