Web conferencing is a form of online communication. It's live and always includes audio. It can also include video, text chat, content sharing & other interactions such as polling. We have a web conferencing tool integrated into Moodle called Blackboard Collaborate Classroom (formerly Wimba Classroom). It is specifically designed for use as an online classroom. Other (free) web conferencing tools include Skype & Google Hangouts.
Web conferencing can be used for online:
- Office Hours
It can also be used in a real classroom with a data projector displaying a remote presenter.
Staff wishing to use or learn more about web conferencing should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blackboard Collaborate Classroom
An online classroom with audio, video, text chat and an e-board for displaying presentations, websites and interactive questions.
Blackboard Collaborate Classroom sessions can be recorded and made available online and is integrated into Moodle.
An alternative web conferencing service, ideal for one-to-one and small group calls. Skype Features
You must have an account and install the software. There is no intergation with Moodle.
Using Blackboard Collaborate Classroom
- An internet connection
- A stereo headset with microphone, (either USB or 3.5mm jacks)
- A webcam (optional)
On campus students can listen to presentations with earphones from any computer.
Students wanting to speak will need a headset and must use the PCs in Room D010 or in the Language Centre.
See Participating in a Blackboard Collaborate Classroom (below) for full instructions.
Screenshot of Blackboard Collaborate Classroom window with Video, presentation and chat (click to enlarge)
The session organiser will provide a link to your Blackboard Collaborate Classroom. This will usually be within a Moodle course.
It is strongly recommended that you check the setup of your computer in advance as any technical problems can take a while to resolve, particularly if you are off campus. Note: After you enter the web-based classroom it is largely still branded as Wimba Classroom.
Use the Wimba Classroom wizard to check the set-up of your computer. If you are unable to resolve any technical problems identified by the wizard you should contact:
- email@example.com (x4697) for on campus computers
- Blackboard Collaborate Support for out of office hours support or for off campus computers
You can listen to a Blackboard Collaborate Classroom session via the telephone. This is only recommended if internet access is not possible as you won’t be able to see the content, use the text chat or participate in any interactive exercises. You will be able to speak.
- You will need to pay for the call +44 (0)1473 760 123. For each webinar you will also need a pin (code) which will be provided by the session organiser.
Troubleshooting audio during a session
If you have audio problems during a session you should check both the audio settings on your computer & within Blackboard Collaborate Classroom. You can try running the wizard again. Within Blackboard Collaborate Classroom:
- Check the Audio settings in the Options menu. In particular check that the Audio input is using the correct device
- In Options try Disconnect Media & then Reconnect Media
- If you are using a webcam try switching it off as the video may be using up the bandwidth and reducing audio quality
- Use telephone access (see above). It is possible to use the two (Internet & telephone) in combination, called 'Simulcast'. In this case you have a personalised telephone pin (code) which you get via the blue telephone icon in the Classroom.
If none of these work you can contact Blackboard Collaborate Support but there may not be time to solve the problem.