Recommended Organization: For small groups you should take the first meeting to simply get all participants comfortable with the tool and its features so all participants can use all tools. Always select someone to "host" or be head moderator and actually run the meeting.
To ensure the session runs smoothly, log-on 15-30 minutes early to set-up audio and video and load content.
Setting Up The Web Conference
Setting Up Audio and Video
Setting up Audio and Video: To set up your audio
function, click on the “hamburger” button on the top right of the
Audio/Video panel and select “Run Audio Wizard.” This will walk you
through setting-up your audio.
To set-up the video, click on the video button at the bottom-right of
the panel. You can also preview the video without participants seeing
it by clicking on the preview button next to the video button.
Depending on what you have planned for the webconference and how you want the session structured you can approach setting permissions in two ways. First, if you are planning for a fairly free-flowing and casual session with participants who can be expected to exercise self-restraint, you can simply enable all the permissions participants will need before the session starts. To set permissions in this way click on the “hamburger” button on the top right of the Participants panel:
This will open the global permissions control box. Make sure any tool you want students to use, such as “Whiteboard,” “Chat,” “Video” and “Audio” permissions have a check mark next to them (simply click to add or remove a checkmark). If more than six people will use the video and audio tools for the session you will need to rotate permissions (see “Rotating Permissions” below)
If, however, you have a more structured session in mind, then you will want to manage individual permissions throughout the session. This is when having a second moderator to handle technical issues is most helpful.
(Note: Students can see the Whiteboard whether the permission is enabled or not. Enabling the permission allows students to use the Tool Palette. )
Each individual has a set of permissions. You can over-ride a global permission for the individual by clicking on the individual tool above and to the right of their name. A red x indicates the individual permission for that tool is off.
(Note: If you have more than one moderator make sure that you have enabled all their permissions including video and audio)
Using Application Sharing
To begin Application sharing, click on the Application Sharing Icon at the top left of the Whiteboard.
This will open up the Application sharing control box. Click on the "Share Desktop" selection. (Note: While you can share specific programs instead of your whole desktop, the tool generally works better and runs smoother if you share your whole desktop.)
For this scenario we recommend using google docs in Application Sharing rather than the whiteboard for any notes or agenda. To use google docs simply have the head moderator share their screen in Application Sharing and then pull up the google doc in a web browser. While the head moderator can arrange their screen so they can see both the video feed and the document, it works better if they use two screens, with Collaborate running on one screen and the google doc on the other.
The Chat tool can function as a Q&A for large, non-participatory events. Non-moderators (students/attendees) can ask questions in the chat that the Moderator can then respond to either in the chat or through video/audio. To use the chat simply enter text into the text box and hit enter. You can also select emoticons by clicking on the emoticon icon in the text box.
There are two default chats, one general chat that everyone in the web conference can see and one that only the moderator can see. You can tab back and forth between the chats at the bottom of the Chat Panel.
You can disable the emoticons, manipulate font size, send announcements and adjust other chat settings by clicking on the “hamburger” button on the top right of the panel.
File transfer allows you to upload and distribute files to all web conference attendees. To upload a file to the file transfer library, click on file>open>File for Transfer.
This opens the standard file browser of all the files on your computer. Simply select the file you want and hit “open.” This will then automatically open the File Transfer Library. All files in the library are accessible to all web conference participants. Using the icons at the top you can save the file, remove the file, remind participants that they can download the file or add a new file.
(Note: After you log out of a session, all files are automatically deleted from the File Transfer Library. If you try to upload a file format that is incompatible with the Whiteboard it will automatically activate the file transfer feature and ask users if they want to download the file.)
To activate the Telephony feature of Blackboard Collaborate, simply click on the tools menu, scroll down to Telephony and click "Use Telephone for Audio"
This will open a dialogue box with two telephone numbers, one for participants and one for moderators. Simply call the number and follow the instructions on your screen to switch to Telephony for audio. (Note: The PIN generated is unique to the session, once you and/or your participants have the PIN, you can use the same PIN anytime you are in that session, even if you leave the session for an indefinite time)
Please note that the number given is a Virginia number and is long distance, this could be an issue for people using landlines. Also note that all telephony users will get lumped onto the same stream, so if you create breakout rooms, they will all have to be part of the same break out room. Finally, be aware that you as the moderator cannot control the audio of telephony users, you cannot turn off their Telephony nor can you mute them. You will need to remind them to mute themselves or to be conscious of any background noise at their location.