January 2013 update from Blackboard about Java, which includes this statement:
"Install Java's latest update at: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index-jsp-138363.html (Java SE 7u11 for Java 7 users and Java SE 6u38 for Java 6 users)." To run Collaborate properly, you need the Java download.
In 2011 Blackboard bought Elluminate and renamed it Collaborate.
New and improved functions in the current version of Collaborate include:
- Improved audio and video capability - better fidelity, reduced audio lag, near lip sync with video, reduced bandwidth for video, smoother frame rates, 30 fps at highest resolution is practical
- Improved whiteboard text editor - Collaborate icons (valuable as user help when in an Collaborate session), screen explorer now graphical and allows drag and drop reordering of screens
- Improved application sharing - highlight function frames in region being shared, stop/pause/screen capture, different mouse for person app sharing; support for .wmv windows media files; multiple participants can be promoted to moderator simultaneously
- Improved breakout rooms - select rooms for content distribution, retrieve content from breakout room without entering the breakout room; easier to distribute participants into and out of breakout rooms with drag and drop; allow participants to self distribute to breakout room
- Enhanced record and playback - recording reminder for moderators if session set for manual recording, audio notification on recording start and stop, faster seek of fast forward and rewind on playback; more obvious index markers
- Expanded accessibility - improved navigation for JAWS/screen reader users; whiteboard text (e.g., speaker notes with PPT) can be read by JAWS/screen reader, support for Ubuntu Linux
Collaborate uses encryption (SSL), so the URL for the local connection to Collaborate is https://globalcampus.uiowa.edu
Collaborate is software that allows e-learning and collaboration and requires only an Internet connection. Collaborate lets you share whiteboards and applications, talk about the presentation material and answer questions, conduct interactive quizzes and surveys, and record the session for re-play.
To try using Collaborate, connect to the Collaborate support page for first-time users. You may need to configure your computer to use Collaborate. Click on the link for First Time Users, then select Collaborate. The first step is checking your operating system and version of Java. In Step 2, click on the link to the Configuration Room to test your connection and join an Collaborate session.
The current version of Collaborate is 10. If you have used Collaborate with an older version, you may need to delete the Java cache.
The current version has increased video quality, an activity timer, separate window for note taking, and up to six participants can talk simultaneously with no speaker echo.
The Collaborate web site has lots of training and reference information. They offer live training and recorded training for participants and moderators, including training for Plan! and Publish!
If you want to test Collaborate with an audience of one, you can arrange sessions with Diana Harris, 319-335-5121.
On the daily schedule of Collaborate sessions on campus, current sessions are highlighted bold and blue. Sessions scheduled but not live at this time are grey. Use the calendar in the upper right-hand corner to check for meetings being held on other days. Click the Recordings link to hear/see meetings that occurred in the past. Most meetings do not require a password, so you can join an on-going meeting to lurk or experience the Collaborate environment. (Look at the icon in the Pwd? column; if it is an unlocked padlock, no password is needed. If a password is needed, the moderator should give that to you when s/he sets up the Collaborate session.)
The group of people on campus who are promoting the use of Collaborate sometimes use Collaborate to have meetings, rather than physically gathering on campus. Some departments use Collaborate to hold meetings or conferences including people across campus, across the country, or around the world. A faculty member used Collaborate to teach students how to use engineering software with the application sharing feature. Because those sessions were recorded, the students could view and listen to the recordings of those sessions at any time.
Holding office hours and TA help sessions using Collaborate seems like a great use of the program. The facilitator, the instructor or TA, can be at an Internet-connected computer during the stated hours. Students can connect to ask questions. Questions can be typed or spoken, if both people have a microphone attached to the computer. You can share an application and demonstrate how to accomplish some task the students does not understand. With the participant's agreement, you can take control of the participant's desktop to demonstrate use of an application, for example.
When you host an Collaborate meeting, you can record what happens during the meeting. People who are interested in the content but could not attend can listen to the recording and see what was shared on the whiteboard or the applications shared during that meeting.
Collaborate includes reports of current or past meeting attendance, meeting and recording information, and recordings that were viewed. To get to the reports you must log in to Collaborate with your Collaborate login ID and password.
If you want to become a meeting facilitator (Engineering faculty and staff only) to schedule and conduct meetings, please call Diana Harris at 319-335-5121 or send email.
Read ITS's Collaborate support page.