What is it?

Collaborate is a simple, convenient and reliable web conferencing solution built for education. Once it is running, everyone should feel like they're in the same room together, regardless of their location or device. It integrates with Blackboard, so all members of each Blackboard site are only a couple of clicks away from a live interaction with each other. It enables leaders to share whatever is on their screens, talk, and stream lectures. Participants can ask questions, chat, raise their hands and answer polls. If the leader chooses, participants can also share their screens and their audio. Collaborate sessions can be recorded so that participants can access them afterwards.

 

What Can I Use It For? 

You can use Collaborate to host sessions remotely if you are unable to get into UEA, or to live stream face to face lectures or seminars if you have a lot of students who are unable to get into UEA. 

Set Up Time: 10 – 30 mins, depending on confidence levels 

Delivery Time: Normal lecture/seminar length only 

Difficulty:  

  • Hosting sessions remotely: 2/5 
  • Live streaming sessions: 4/5

You can also use Collaborate as a webinar solution for:

a) teaching sessions/meetings with people at UEA who do not use Blackboard.

b) for meetings with people who are not staff or students at UEA. 

c) for virtual offices.

 

What does it need?

Nothing to download, but everyone must use Chrome or a mobile device. In order to share your audio, you will need a microphone, however students have the option of simply typing any questions in the chat. The first time you open Collaborate you will be offered a setup wizard that will help you test your speakers and microphone before you start to interact with colleagues. You can also test other devices, like a headset or webcam through this wizard.  You can access this wizard whenever you like by choosing settings >audio video settings>set up your camera and microphone from the purple chevron in Collaborate.  Click here for more information about how to set up hardware.

 

How to set up a Collaborate session, look after participants and share content

Click here for UEA help pages and here for Blackboard help pages. Alternatively join us on a live Collaborate session on any of the dates below by clicking here. 

Help Sessions for Collaborate: 

Help sessions will be held at the following times: 

If you would like to request a 1:1 help session or a session for your team, please contact the Learning Technology team - ltt.support@uea.ac.uk.

All sessions will last for approximately 45 minutes. Please click the relevant link to join the session, and the Learning Technology team will be happy to help with any Collaborate queries you have. Please ensure you use Chrome to access the sessions.

 

Participant Orientation

If you would like to share a presentation with your students that guides them through how to use Collaborate, please click here to download a template. This is the same PowerPoint that you may have seen used in the Collaborate training sessions run by the Learning Technology team.

 

How to use Collaborate at the same time as delivering a F2F session

Once you are confident about Collaborate, you can use it to live stream F2F lectures to participants who can’t get into UEA. Tell your remote students what time to log into the course room or schedule a session and get onto Collaborate yourself. Make sure that all remote students’ microphones are turned off and remind them to hit the raise hand icon or type into the chat if they’d like to ask a question. Then choose to share the screen that you are presenting from, speak into the microphone and deliver the lecture. It might be wise to ask someone else to relay questions that come in from remote participants.

If you would prefer not to do this, a more straightforward alternative might be to record the lecture with ECHO and let remote participants access it afterwards. Click here to find out how to do that.

 

How can students interact in Collaborate sessions?

There is a separate Collaborate Room for each Blackboard module and students will need to click on its link to access it. If you have a scheduled session, students can click on the link for the specific session, or else they can just use the general Course Room (which is open permanently unless locked by you) if you prefer not to schedule. An online wizard will help them set up their equipment, and an online tutorial will show them how to use the system. They will also be directed to these help pages

 

Where is a template email/announcement for me to send to my students?

If you are hosting the session remotely: 

“Dear all, as it is hard for us all to get together for our session today, I will be running it remotely using Collaborate via Blackboard. Collaborate is a simple, convenient, and reliable web conferencing solution built for education. Once it is running, everyone should feel like they're in the same room together, regardless of their location or device. Please visit the Remote Teaching menu item on Blackboard and click on the link “Live Module Webinars” and join my 18:00 session. It might be a good idea to log on 10 minutes early so that you can run the hardware wizard to make sure that your microphone and speakers are working, and have run through the tutorial. More help on using Collaborate can be found here – but it really is quite straightforward. If you are using a laptop or desktop, you will need to use Chrome, but it will also work on any mobile browser. Looking forward to seeing you”.

If you are live streaming a lecture: 

“Dear all, I appreciate it may be difficult for you to attend our 18:00 lecture/seminar today. The session will still be taking place if you are able to attend, however I will also be live-streaming the session using Collaborate via Blackboard. Collaborate is a simple, convenient, and reliable web conferencing solution built for education. Once it is running, everyone should feel like they're in the same room together, regardless of their location or device. Please visit the Remote Teaching menu item on Blackboard and click on the link “Live Module Webinars” and to join the session. It might be a good idea to log on 10 minutes early so that you can run the hardware wizard to make sure that your microphone and speakers are working, and have run through the tutorial. More help on using Collaborate can be found here – but it really is quite straightforward. If you are using a laptop or desktop, you will need to use Chrome, but it will also work on any mobile browser. Looking forward to seeing you”.

 

How to sort out AV hardware for engagement

Make sure to use Chrome (or any mobile browser) whenever you use Collaborate. Collaborate will guide everyone through a wizard to help set up and test hardware. Allow a few minutes for this at the start of the session. When the system asks for permission to use hardware – be sure to say yes. This does not mean that anything will be shared until you choose to do so. More technical help is available here.