Good Product, just pricy in comparison to others
I've been using this for years, and love it, but it has major issues
Blackboard Collaborate is such a great option for online teachers. We use it to meet with students and present lessons live on the computer. I use it weekly. It is seamlessly integrated with PowerPoint.
The features are neat - you have lots of controls as a moderator. You can allow students to speak, use video cameras, type, draw, add pictures to the whiteboard, etc. You can set how many students can be speaking at once. You can mute them by taking away tools. You can create breakout rooms. You can play all sorts of media. You can remove students who are not behaving. You can lock the room or allow attendees in late. I've met with anywhere from 1 to 700 participants.
You can make permanent forcing slides and make sure that students can't do anything without a teacher being present, but there are downsides to those functionalities as well.
The app is really great. It is limited, and simple, but I've never had a problem with it.
The major thing I dislike is the "exception error" that I get CONSTANTLY. Basically, BBC can only handle so much data. Because it can't tell which participant needs what, it actually has to save and stream anything within a certain time period and send that out to everyone in the room. So, it really bogs the room down. It is just saving a TON of data at any given time. We've had to create separate rooms for back to back sessions instead of hosting them in the same room for this reason. It'll give an exception error if you try to do too much with too many people in too small a timeframe.
Don't try to host a session over a wireless hotspot unless you have unlimited data. One session cost me like 2 gigs of data.
Recording can only be done in the main room. If you need to record in a breakout session, you'll have to figure something else out. We use Snagit for breakout room recordings.
The administrator panel is very confusing. I'm really tech savvy and I have a hard time navigating. It is definitely not intuitive when it comes to setting up new rooms and adding moderators.
The permanent forcing slides are good. No issues there. However, what a pain to set up -- it just makes no sense. I wish it was easier to figure out how to do that.
The Future to Learning
Overall, via laptop and webpage, I have had a good experience with Blackboard. If the students' only option to connect to the classroom, however, is via a smartphone or tablet, I would not recommend blackboard due to its drawbacks in the mobile application.
I mostly used Blackboard prior to the virtual first environment, using it specifically for university classes that usually took place in the summer. Summer classes were often in an online or hybrid (online and in-person) format, incorporating significant amounts of virtual learning. Blackboard provides effective resources to collaborate virtually both professors to students and students with fellow peers. It has several features to assist with collaboration such as live video chat capability, the ability to record lectures or view previously recorded lectures, and host discussions. My favorite feature is the recorded lecture. Working individually at home, without the convenience of having the professor and peers around to ask immediate questions, it is an effective tool to have the ability to pause a lecture to take notes or even rewatch a lecture entirely.
Blackboard has a mobile app to provide convenience to its users, which becomes even more important in the virtual first environment. Previously I did not put a lot of weight in my opinion on the app but I think in the virtual first environment it is more important than ever for the software tools to be easy and usable especially the mobile applications. Blackboard's app is not that. It is harder to operate, not as user friendly, and does not provide the same at home peer social environment that other educational platform apps provide -- such as the ability to have live chats and create "rooms" for students to easily break into groups.
Excellent online meeting tool
Blackboard Collaborate is an essential tool for online meetings. Provides more than just voice meetings and allows an interactive experience. This provided an excellent meeting experience for 9-12 high school students in an online environment.
Blackboard Collaborate is an efficient tool to use for online meetings. Meeting hosts can load presentations into a whiteboard space and navigate as the meeting progresses. Participants have a variety of tools available to participate in the meeting including a chat box, emoticons, raise hand, step away and other features. Video for both the host and the participants can be enabled. Whiteboard tools can be activated to allow users to write on the whiteboard space using a variety of writing tools. Meetings can be recorded, downloaded, and saved for users to view at other time.
This software can have a high learning curve. Very intimidating for non-technical users. Proper customer and technical training is highly recommended. Large groups (100 plus) will lag in Blackboard Collaborate.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra) has improved over the past year or so. Being able to set up all of my chat sessions for the course in advance is most helpful and I do utilize the recording option with every chat so that my students can refer back to the recording for clarification, demonstrations, and/or in case they missed the live session. Being able to successfully share my entire screen is a must and I am so glad that they were able to update that feature. I have used other live (virtual) chat meeting programs, but Blackboard Collaborate also allows the students/attendees to raise their virtual hand when they have a question (not all other programs have that feature), and during an online class chat it is very important for students to be able to get the instructor/presenter's attention without verbally interrupting them.
Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra) has improved and now I can share my entire screen with my students without the image erroring out or showing repeated screens that trail off into infinity, which means I no longer have to switch from application to application and can seamlessly share any program or document as soon as it is opened.
The ability to detach or un-dock the text chat box and move it around to a different location while sharing my screen during a live chat would be most helpful. When you are using two monitors and focusing on one it would be great if the text box could be shown in a more convenient spot so I could see it at the same time.
It is a great tool that I previously used for snow days to keep learning going in my classroom but now I am using it for all my online classes and it has been a great tool that the students and I use to continue our classes.
It was easy to set up a virtual classroom within my Blackboard classroom. It is easy to upload your power point presentations to present lectures, it has a polling feature where you can ask live questions and get immediate feedback as the students answer the question. It has a whiteboard feature that you can write and draw on for equations or flow charts.
The product works only through google chrome so if a student does not open it in Chrome then they will not be able to get into the virtual classroom.
Why should you use Blackboard for business in education?
I have used Blackboard for roughly 6 months since I first began my academic year at college. Then in late March, the pandemic of COVID 19 took place leading to all in-class courses were canceled. I had to get familiar which Blackboard Collaborate because my professors delivered courses on the software. I quickly got used to it and Blackboard turned out to be absolutely useful to teaching classes online during this time of difficulty.
the features are very user-friendly and it is very easy to navigate for beginners. The most favorite part of it is the ability to offer remote sessions such as online course room, online join room, and online discussion between the professor and the students. Blackboard Collaborate is absolutely the best option for schools, businesses, or even government meetings during this pandemic when social distancing must be kept.
Well, I have to say that the connection is quite bad if you are using a cellphone in remote sessions because you would be sometimes cut off in the middle of the lecture with your professor and online classmates. Therefore, I would highly recommend using your desktop computer or laptops for a strong connection. After all, Blackboard is still the best option for delivering online courses.
Helpful with school work
It took a while to get accustomed to using Blackboard but after a while I could do it in my sleep. It makes accessing my course information simple and fast.
It is simple to use. I can easily view my grades and assignments whenever I need to. If I ever need to get in contact with my professors, blackboard makes it convenient and easy to find their information.
The iOS app often crashes or logs you out automatically very frequently
Blackboard is a must for a modern learning work environment.
The most important part of this program is its web conferencing feature ,which gives us access to functionalities needed to support a modern teaching and learning work environment, such as 2 way VoIP, built-in phone conferencing,multi-point video,rich media ,mobile collaboration , interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, breakout rooms, and session recording.
Blackboard is restrictive in terms of the file formats, we are able to play. Also there is the tendency for text boxes and some dialogue components within the Blackboard framework to suddenly malfunction.
Like most web conferencing tools, but especially good for Blackboard users
I was able to solve a major business problem in that after Spring Break I had to transition from a face-to-face class to a totally online class and Blackboard Collaborate allowed me to work with my students remotely.
I like that it is integrated into Blackboard so it is easy to create sessions in advance or on the fly. I like the recording option that allows me to video myself and my presentations and then instantly share them with the class when they are over.
The reporting feature could be better. The report is a static list online that you cannot filter or sort by any particular column such as last name or time logged in. While a .csv file is avaialble, it would be nice to slice and dice the data within the platform.
Blackboard with communication
One has taken instruction on the Blackboard platform, turned in assigments for both work and education, and collaborated on work projects.
This software is easy to utilize within an organization. It offers the opportunity to collaborate with others, go into private discussion rooms, and do instruction.
Crashes at moments and does not opporate all the time as expected.
Blackboard- Buyer Beware
This program is used for all of our training, mentoring, Advisor meetings, and round tables; as such, I appreciate the versatility of the program in my organization.
Screensharing is easy to use, as are video and audio chats.
Creating a test in Blackboard is a very cool feature I learned about recently and I’ve been trying it out to make tests for my mentors.
Moderator tools, such as turning off chat, audio and video help prevent any possibility of cheating amongst Advisors.
I really like the whiteboard feature as well, and myself and my mentors and team mates alike enjoy making silly messages or posting clip art from the internet.
Blackboard has crashed on me quite a bit, as it has on many others in my organization.
Connections errors happen quite often.
Sometimes, the collaborate file we download gets randomly corrupted and we have to figure that out on our own and re-download a fresh copy.
There isn’t much troubleshooting on their website for the issues we face, and sometimes IT is as clueless as we are on how to fix it.
The interface for Collaborate is severely outdated, and needs a fine tuneup.
We were excited to learn of an iPhone application for Blackboard, and then we downloaded it and not only has it not been updated in years, it was extremely dated and lacked basic functionality like screen sharing, video, whiteboard and moderator tools.
Review of Blackboard Collaborate
Blackboard has been in education for over 30 years and they have figured out the needs of teachers in that time. I feel that they have a complete product.
Recorded sessions are immediately available! No posting links or downloading necessary and Students can easily find the recorded sessions. Screen sharing is also good. I also like the fact that I can see what the students are seeing.
The video feature is good but not great - better on other platforms like Zoom. However overall this is a better product than Zoom for education.
A great starter program but with a lot of issues for long term users
Since spending 5+ years with Blackboard and Collaborate, we have since switched to Canvas. I am not seeing any issues here, albeit it has only been a year and counting since the switch. I have not had any error messages, and I've conducted live chats and webinars with students without issues. Crossing my fingers that it is the program we've been waiting for and it will keep performing for many years!
Collaborate is easy to set up initially, and it allows online collaboration - hence the title - between students and both their peers in the virtual classroom and their professor.
For short-term use, the program excels. For long-term users, there are too many bugs in the program for it to be viable for higher education use. We expect our students to be tech savvy, and it is embarrassing when our software does not hold up to this same standard. I frequently got "unavailable" or "error: contact your program administrator" messages, costing me valuable time with my students. There were also times when the whiteboard would freeze, and I'd have to reboot my entire computer while my students waited.
I loved working on blackboard
I like how things were compartmentalized on the side. Everything was easy to use. You could change the theme to suit your needs. We took quizzes, collaborated with groups and interacted with the professor on the platform
Bo significant cons to note. Great and clean platform to work on
Great User Interface
Overall I love the experience of using Bb.
Very convenient to use. I love the ability to connect virtually and also share the screen with the students. Students can also catch up on the lectures by watching the recorded sessions if they missed any lectures which I feel is extremely helpful.
User interface can be a bit challenging if you are using it for the first time. I suggest try using it hands on first before using it in the class
Excellent platform for completing assignments and collaborating with classmates and instructors
My professors find it very easy to assign us tasks to complete at assigned due dates and have the ability to add other members to specific groups within the course. As an engineering student, collaboration is vital in my studies and Blackboard Collaborate allows me to message my peers and ask them questions, solve inquiries, etc.
Nothing is lacking apart from the occasional Blackboard crashes and service reports.
Very user friendly. Easy to be navigated by students and faculty. Smooth integration with publisher's materials.
If they can add a delete button on announcements. I copy announcements from previous semester and I would like to see that you can select several announcements to be deleted in one click.
Blackboard Collaborate made online classes much more interactive.
Interactive classes that could be recorded for replays, if needed. The ability to practice a presentation in a test demo room anytime, instead of going in blind on the day of the presentation. Note that I mainly used this software with my school previously.
- Ability to break out into private groups while still remaining in the main session.
- Chat system, audio, and video capabilities.
- Able to draw on the screen during presentations.
- Admin can restrict permissions or grant permissions for specific users.
- Ability to receive a recording of the session
- Ability to test demo a room by yourself to practice beforehand.
It could be laggy sometimes, but not too often (this may have also been due to users' internet speeds). Trying to fast-forward in the records sometimes caused the entire session to start over from the beginning.
I used BlackBoard as a student.
This software allowed me to register for classes, register for graduation, view my grades, and access online courses all in one place.
I think the software system should develop an app for IOS and android that allows students to be notified when a class opens up.
From an Instructor’s view
Decent, but needs improvements
I enjoy the set up for BB Collab, that it is integrated into Blackboard, that is has features like the white board and file sharing. I also appreciate that it logs late students and attendance.
Limited video options, no way to caption or include captioning, sharing screens causes issues and it does go down one or twice a month.
Makes online college way more personable
Generally, i really love that going to school online is so much easier and more accessible
I like Blackboard because it's made going to school online, for me, much more personal. I love that I can access it from my phone too.
Sometimes, when there are too many students on at the same time, it will freeze or stop. It gets really good irritating.
Amazing student experience
Great remote classroom experience.
professional glitch free platform for class collaboration
I have used this blackboard learn and BB collaborate during my grad school at George Washington University. The Collaborate was great tool for distance students and remote sessions. We were able to easily view the professor, the lecture slides, annotations, chat with other attendees live and have the session recorded.
With all these features, the software was smooth and glitch free.
Blackboard is not for free. The university has to pay per student license on yearly basis. Blackboard in return would provide professional software support, patches and upgrades.
Blackboard is a good platform for communicating with others. There is are places to post information and correspond with others.
I do not like the messaging feature. I wish there was a way to get notifications in the messages rather than having to go check them.
Great tool for students in online classes
Blackboard makes homework assignments and collaborating on projects really easy. The platform is easy to use and not overly complicated
You are able to connect with your professors through the software but I normally choose email over blackboard because its easier and they check email more often