Blackboard Collaborate - Product Overview
This document provides information about the Blackboard Collaborate (previously referred to as Elluminate Live!) web conferencing product and describes some of the features.
What is Blackboard Collaborate?
Blackboard, Inc. acquired two leading providers of synchronous and collaboration technologies, Elluminate Live! and Wimba Classroom, during the summer of 2010. The result of the acquisition was Blackboard Collaborate, which provides a platform for supporting synchronous web-based sessions. Those accustomed to web conferencing products (e.g., Adobe Connect) will find the features to be familiar (listed below) and those that haven't had a chance to use the product will find that it offers a suite of easy to use features that are common in many web conferencing solutions.
What is the difference between the two?
Collaborate Ultra is the latest version of the web conferencing solution, offering a more streamlined experience with an expanding feature set. Some of those improvements include:
- A contemporary and improved user experience
- A design that works fluidly on all devices (mobile and desktop)
- Users can upload content and access it in successive sessions
- Entirely browser-based solution (does not require Java to run, as does Collaborate Original)
However, both are still available for use.
What are the main features?
Blackboard Collaborate is a highly customizable cross platform product that features:
- Live and recorded audio/video
- Screen and application sharing
- Content presentations
- Interactive polling
- Public/private text chat
- Attendance list
- Mobile access for iOS and Android devices
In addition, the service offers the following:
- Full integration with Canvas
- Full integration with MyUW Portal
- Hosting from Blackboard
- No license cost to users
Can I use both Collaborate Original and Ultra?
Yes, this is possible. However, you will not see the sessions in one location. In other words, the sessions use entirely different versions and one cannot upgrade or downgrade an existing session. If you choose to use both, please exercise caution when sharing links with your audience.
What is the use on campus?
Blackboard Collaborate can be used to facilitate:
- Synchronous web-based conferences
- Faculty/TA office hours
- Peer-to-peer tutoring
- Research group collaboration
- Recording lectures, conferences, and presentations
- And more
How do I get an account?
Blackboard Collaborate is available to all faculty and staff at UW Madison and at the UW System schools.
For faculty using Canvas, all you need to do is log into your Canvas course. The only version of Blackboard Collaborate available in Canvas is Collaborate Ultra. More information for UW Madison faculty accessing Canvas can be found here: Canvas - Accessing Blackboard Ultra in Canvas (UW-Madison). For faculty from other campuses, please log into your instance of Canvas, or contact your local Help Desk for assistance.
Faculty and Staff can access Blackboard Collaborate via the MyUW Portal. More information for UW Madison faculty wishing to access Collaborate Original or Collaborate Ultra via the MyUW Portal can be found here: Blackboard Collaborate Original/Ultra: Access via MyUW. For faculty from other campuses, please contact your local Help Desk for assistance if you have issues accessing Blackboard Collaborate from your Portal.