Blackboard Resources

Here are some posts with resources we’ve put together for using Blackboard Collaborate to help with online instruction.  Here is a brief video of the interface in case you have not used this tool before.

Below are additional posting we’ve put together to help out as well.


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ZOOM within Blackboard - ZOOM is one of the tools you can access from within Blackboard, as an on-line synchronous communication tool (e.g., real-time interactions and discussions).  By default, Zoom is installed within your blackboard classroom and here is a short overview of how to get it up-and-running. Log into your class at blackboard.vcu.edu. Zoom is deployed through the normal content system as a "Tool" option.  In the examples that follow, I'm using my ENVS543 class wherein I have content for each lecture as items under "Course Documents". To schedule a Zoom session in Blackboard, add a new Tool to your content.   Zoom is located under the "Tools -> More Tools" menu item. This will create an item in your content folder, just like other ones, where you can put a Title, Description, and Dates on it, and it will show up as normal.  When students click a Zoom page will open up and you can proceed as normal. Read More
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Blackboard Collaborate – Getting Started - Blackboard has a built-in system for co Collaborate is included as a Content Item that can be added to any of your existing courses.  In the example below, I am using my ENVS543 class wherein I keep the content for each lecture within folders inside the Course Documents section. To add a Collaborate session, select Tools -> More Tools and select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. You will then be able to fill out the normal kinds of content including Title, Text, and Options. And it will show up just like any entry. When you click into this, you will be able to Create A New Session This includes the option to provide anonymous dial-in access for audio-only participation, the timing of the session, and when individuals can log in prior to the start. And you are good. In the next entry, I'll walk through an example of setting up a Bb Collaborate Session. Read More
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Blackboard Collaborate – Setting up a session. - OK, so we have a Bb Collaborate Ultra session added to the class, here is what it looks like getting started. First, click on the link in your Content session.  This opens up a new window that allows you to see specific sessions that may be available.  To add a new session, select Create Session and fill out the following form.  Then it will give you a short tour of the interface including: The recording options menu (on the left of the screen)  The content and interaction menu on the right side of the screen (see below for more of what is in here).  The audio and video controls at the bottom of the screen. You will then need to test to make sure the machine you are working from has working audio   And video  And you should be ready to go from there. To learn more, see the next entry on tools available within Blackboard Collaborate Read More
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Blackboard Collaborate – Content & Tools - Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has several tools that help you make online learning a bit more interactive.  Here is a short list of these items, just to get you aware of what is available. Interactive Chat features that allow you to have open dialog amongst all individuals or assign moderators to the chat.  The ability to moderate the discussions (and turn everyone's audio off - trust me you will need this from time to time). Several options for sharing your primary content with the session.  This includes static files (PDF's, slides, data, whatever) as well as screen sharing.  This is also where you, as the instructor, can present your lectures by sharing a specific application or your entire screen with the class.   You can also take immediate feedback by giving True/False and Multiple Choice questions to the audience.  Define and deploy breakout sessions for participants.  You can assign individuals automatically or manually.   Read More
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Uploading Videos to your YouTube - So a lot of what we are needing to do involves providing online video content to our students. Independent of how the video is recorded (Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, Google Meet, Facebook, etc.), we will need to eventually upload it somewhere so the students can get access to it. As part of your @vcu.edu email account, you also have your own private YouTube channel! Congratulations, you are an internetainer... To access your account, log into your email and then select the application menu from the upper right corner of the screen.  Scroll down a bit and select YouTube. This will open your own Channel.  In the upper right corner, there is an icon of a camera, if you select it, it will give you the option to upload a video. Follow the dialog box and grab your video that was saved to your machine.  In this example, it was the video of our Virtual Faculty Meeting.  Once you select the video, it will give you several options including: Giving the video a name and description. Adding the video to a PlayList.  What I find helpful is to make a playlist for each class (e.g., ENVS 222 ePortfolios, ENVS 543 Data Literacy, etc.).  This allows you to group videos together under a single playlist for students. Set the visibility of the video, which determines who can see it.  By default, all videos are Private.  However, for our purposes, we typically want to share videos with a subset of individuals.  If you select Unlisted, this allows you to grab the address of the video and share it with your students but it will not be accessible to anyone who does not have the link.  If you want it to be available globally, select Public and people searching Google & YouTube will be able to find it based upon… Read More
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