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This section will help you to develop and deliver an interactive and engaging live (synchronous) learning event using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.  There are a range of bite-sized guidance resources toward the end of this page.

Best practice

When preparing and recording a live (synchronous) online session it is important to consider the approach that we take.  Best practice would suggest that the following be considered in your preparation and delivery:

  • Plan your session to last no more than 45 – 50 minutes.
  • Use a warm up exercise to engage your students before the formal session begins.
  • Start your session by including a summary of the Learning Outcomes. It is useful for students to be told what knowledge and understanding you will be covering in that session.  If you are recording your session this is a good point to start – it can reduce the need for editing.
  • Finish your session with a review of the Learning Outcomes to be covered.  If you are recording your session this is a good point to stop – it can leave time to deal with student questions and problems.
  • Remember that students learn in different ways, provide visual and text information, where possible, as a part of the session.
  • A range of media types can be used by screen sharing.  There is a bite-size guide to support this at this link.
  • Ensure that any resources provided are accessible to all users.  There is information about preparing accessible resources at this link.
  • Use knowledge checks by including a quiz or a pause for reflection.  Remember that you have no visual clues as to your students understanding and so these knowledge checks are a crucial component of your session.  There is information about using knowledge checks at this link.
  • The chat function can be successfully used to ask and answer questions.  When asking questions (have these prepared on a slide) set a word limit and ensure that an answer or thoughts are provided (within the word limit) on a slide.
  • A recording can be improved by editing it to remove dead periods at the start and end (top and tailing).  However, by including a reminder to start recording when the Learning Outcomes slide is shown at the start and stopping recording after these are reviewed at the end of the session can negate the need for editing.

We have prepared a handy checklist to help you develop an engaging session and this can be downloaded at this link.

We have also developed a first slide that will help your students check their audio function and find any of the tools that you may wish to use in your session and this can be download at this link.

The bite-size guides below will help you to develop and facilitate interactive sessions.

Generic setup icon Setting up a Collaborate Ultra session in Blackboard.

Generic mulitple session icon Setting planned multiple sessions with different rooms.

Generic individual room icon Setting rooms for individual students or groups.

Generic video camera icon Downloading recordings (as .mp4) and transferring to DMU Replay.

Generic controls icon Setting global and local controls for collaborate sessions.

Generic sharing icon Uploading presentations and screen sharing.

Generic quiz icon Polling options and knowledge checks.

Generic statistics icon Accessing Collaborate statistics.

Generic editing icon Using whiteboard editing tools.

Generic interactivity icon Creating and using Breakout rooms.

Generic delivering icon Managing and delivering a Collaborate session.

Generic download icon Using the whiteboard – sharing from breakout to main room.

Generic roles icon Changing roles in a session.

Generic chat icon Managing chat.

Generic rasied hands icon Using and managing the raise hand tool.