Using Technology to Ensure Student Access and Continuity


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Higher education institutions are being asking to plan for unprecedented situations. How will your institution continue to function during quarantines, weather disasters, and states of emergency? Providing a continuous experience for your students is a top priority.

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  • I am the Platform Manager for Blackboard Collaborate in region and I work alongside clients and our internal teams around our offering with Collaborate. I’ve been with Blackboard for 3 years and I’ve been in the IT and education space for nearly 15 years.
  • Process of developing advance arrangements and procedures that enable an organisation to respond to an event in such a manner that critical functions continue.
    A holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an institution and provides a framework for business resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interest of its key stakeholder, reputation, etc.
  • Guidelines and government requirements.
  • Looking at the need to develop plans to continue education and deliver that education to its students.
  • The college had to be quarantined due to a pandemic and they had put in place the tools to carry out classes in another form other than face to face.
  • What we do….

    Blackboard Collaborate helps you take all those rich, interactive learning and collaboration opportunities you have face-to-face and brings them online – facilitating engaging online instruction, meetings and help.

    For those that aren’t familiar – the Collaborate platform solution is comprised of 4 core capabilities

    Web conferencing
    Mobile collaboration
    Enterprise instant messaging
    Voice authoring

    All of this is supported by deep integrations to Learning Management Systems.

  • As a moderator this is the interface you’ll see within web conferencing. Whiteboard, Application Share, Web Tour, how you load content, record the session.
    Then on the left hand side, you’ll see Participants, Chat, Audio – and of course your whiteboard.

  • We’ve improved on classroom management and accessibility, with single-click global permissions, single-window private chat, and a flexible closed caption window with more viewing options.
  • Within the session, the moderator can do on-the-fly polling from within the Participants panel, asking yes/no, true/false and multiple choice questions by verbally asking a question or by having the questions in a PowerPoint slide or the whiteboard.
  • In addition to polling, the moderator can use pre-made quizzes by using the Quiz Manager (Window > Quiz Manager). Quiz questions can be true/false, multiple choice and short text.
    When the student “hands in” the quiz, their answer is locked. The answers can be shown or hidden by the moderator and the results can be exported by the moderator.
  • A very popular feature is the ability to use video and web cameras for video conferencing. You can use low-cost USB webcams and still get high quality video.
    Up to 6 cameras can be used simultaneously. You can choose to follow the speaker, where the system will automatically change what video is shown, based on the audio heard.
  • Breakout Rooms – [COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE] -> With Bb Collaborate Moderators can break the main room into small groups for more focused discussion and to allow students to work collaboratively together.. Only Bb Collaborate provides an unlimited number of breakout rooms with all of the capabilities found in the Main Room. Breakout
    Rooms can be created manually by a moderator or automatically by Bb Collaborate. Participants can be moved into Breakout Rooms manually by the moderator; participants can move themselves into rooms; or participants can be automatically distributed into Breakout Rooms. Other providers limit the number of Break Out Rooms AND/OR limit the functionality within the room, for example breakout rooms can only be voice-based without any web conferencing tools (whiteboard, app sharing, etc.).

    Synchronized Notes – During a live session or when reviewing an archive, participants can take notes which are synchronized with the session when reviewing the archive [Competitive Differentiator]. Additionally notes can be saved for review outside of Web Conferencing. NOTE: the little grey arrow in the screenshot highlighting the synchronization of the notes with the archive.

    Polling – Interactive Polling allows moderators to spot check their participant’s knowledge acquisition during the session. Polling include: Yes / No; Multiple Choice (A,B,C,D,E). As participants answer poll questions their answer can be displayed or hidden for other participants to view. Poll answers can be locked so no further responses can be made. Results of the poll can be published to the whiteboard. In the demo you will activate a timer, change the poll type to ABCDE, then you will hide the results, lock the ability to answer the question and publish the results of the poll to the whiteboard.

    Quizzing – Built into Web Conferencing is the ability to conduct quizzing within the live session, supported are multiple choice and short answer questions. Each participant can take the quiz and the moderator can grade each person’s responses. Quizzing is not part of the standard demo, but under the OPTIONAL Content Section is a sample quiz. If integrating with an LMS, more than likely the quiz will occur within the LMS rather than in Web Conferencing.
  • Session Planning is an important part of the web conferencing process. [Competitive Differentiator] Only Bb Collaborate’s Plan allows you to script out all activities and presentation materials you want use within a session and any activity that can be accessed during a web conferencing session is available in Plan. Plan is a desktop tool that works offline which allows instructional designers, moderators and faculty to pre-assemble materials. Outside of an academic context, Plans can be used for run meetings as the agenda can be set in the Plan.
  • With blended and global learning, you can teaching remote and local students at the same time.
    You can broadcast from various devices like video from iPhone, Camera, Document Camera, DVD player, etc. One can also integrate it with Polycom/Tandberg type of video conferencing suites to allow participants at remote locations.
  • Integrating Blackboard Collaborate with your LMS offers a number of benefits for your institution, including:
    Better student engagement - enabling student to teacher and student to student real-time dynamic interactivity
    Improved Student Outcomes by significantly increasing student retention, understanding and results Cost savings, convenience and efficiency by reducing travel, recording lectures, holding meetings virtually.
  • And one major advantage of our solution will be its integration into the natural workflows of an active learner, enabled by Learn and Mobile Learn.
    A student can simply navigate to their course links in the LMS and launch our app directly, when on a mobile device.
    Enter sessions directly from the Learn/Mobile Learn course, email or calendar invite.
    Intelligent links – if you don’t have the app yet – Your device will look for it, then get re-directed to the Appstore where you can download it.
  • Blackboard Collaborate is open, meaning that it can be used on many platforms, with many browsers, and integrated with many education systems - whether supported by Bb or a partner. Along with many accessibility features and low bandwidth support, this ensures that “no user is left behind.” Our philosophy is that technology should not be a barrier to reaching and engaging your learners.
  • Users can see who’s online and invite them to chat, talk, or quick-launch into a web conferencing session with a single click. Your academic institution can create a learning network to support
    office hours
    homework help
    school services
    student-to-student interaction outside of the classroom.

  • Capability:
    You can also launch a web conference directly from an enterprise instant messaging session with a single click - for streamlined collaboration with context – Perfect for when a more formal, moderator-led collaboration environment is required.
  • Blackboard Collaborate is not just about a platform. We are experts in education and offer many resources to help you succeed, including a client manager and free, online instructional learning modules (ODLC.) Plus, you benefit from a strong community of Blackboard clients, many of which are deploying and running online learning programs just as you are. Through this community you will share and gain knowledge of proven practices through programs such as the DLS webinar series, Hall of Fame success stories, and our cohort programs for upgrading.
  • 27
  • We have three core principles for our roadmap:
    Simple – Make the experience easy and comfortable - helping first time users succeed, and making it easier than ever for instructors to use Collaborate in their courses.
    Mobile to provide the broadest access to collaborate on the go – not just for live sessions, but recorded content as well.
    Integrated – Push the envelope forward when it comes to sharing rich content, while keeping the experience seamless with the systems that faculty and students use today.
  • The development of a new and completely Java-free application is a very big undertaking, and in the meantime we continue to invest in making the current application more resilient to changes and barriers introduced by the system-version of Java installed on the desktop.
    Your users shouldn’t have to worry about the OS or browser blocking a specific version of Java, or needing to install a Java update in order to attend a class. We know that many of you have had to help your end users navigate the java installation and update process. We’re committed to a better user experience for them and for you than what Java has allowed us to provide of late.

    In response, we have released the Collaborate Launcher which includes a built-in known and stable version Java to eliminate our dependency on a system installation of Java for Mac users, and we are in the final development stages for Windows users as well.
  • While we are improving the experience by helping to reduce the impact of 3rd party Java updates with a Launcher solution, we believe that the best experience for Collaborate users moving forward will be a completely Java-independent client application.

    To that end we’ve accelerated our efforts to build a browser-based version that is redesigned for simplicity, accessibility, and all the academic workflows our customers have become accustom to with Collaborate. It is being designed to operate in the most common browsers and will be able to run on devices like Chromebooks that don’t support a Java run-time environment.
  • Students and educators have been asking for a higher quality experience – rich audio for Voice, HQ video to see all their peers and document cameras more clearly, and faster, sharper application sharing.
    We are investing heavily in 2014 to enhance our media experience for our users and upgrading our media stack to leverage new and advanced WebRTC technologies that offer higher resolution and lower latencies.
  • Using Technology to Ensure Student Access and Continuity

    1. 1. ® Lindsey Collins Blackboard Collaborate Product Executive June 2014 Using Technology to Ensure Business Continuity in Adverse Conditions
    2. 2. About Me
    3. 3. What is Business Continuity Management? 3 PRE-INCIDENT • Prevention • Risk Management INCIDENT • Response • Emergency Response/Crisis Management • Continuity of Service • Disaster Recovery Plan POST-INCIDENT • Restoration • Damage restoration/ commissioning • Normalisation • Migration/resta rt of services
    4. 4. Why is BCP needed? 4 • Governance Requirements • Safeguarding Assets • Minimising financial effects • Protecting Reputation • Continuance of education to students
    5. 5. How Should Educational Institutions Prepare? • Education is a critical area for society • Departments of Education are being tasked to develop plans • Develop alternative procedures to assure continuity of instruction (Student Learning and Core Operations) – Web-based and online instruction – Digital resources – Learning Management System (LMS) – Live online instruction through a virtual classroom
    6. 6. Achievements • Prepared for classes despite pandemics, hurricanes, absence due to conferences • Sick students continued their course study when quarantined due to H1N1 symptoms 6 Case Study How Blackboard helped • Students were able to attend classes with school closed due to quarantine • Archiving enabled faculty to record lectures from their homes • Platform is basis for school’s emergency contingency plan Vision • Be prepared to keep teaching & learning • Ensure academic continuity in cases of emergencies or other disruption “Blackboard Collaborate has became the primary technology for our school’s emergency contingency plans. There are numerous reasons why an instructor may not be able to teach, so we wanted to ensure our students could still continue their education. By using Blackboard Collaborate for lecture capture and distributing archives… we can continue to offer classes in the case of a major incident.” Dan Li, Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration
    7. 7. Background • Multiple Blackboard systems to manage • Multiple data-centres for different solutions 7 Case Study How Blackboard helped • Managed hosting infrastructure and a dedicated Service Delivery Manager • Blackboard Web Conferencing • Blackboard Instant Messaging Vision • Have a practical operational reality of such things as: flood, fire, emergencies, etc. • Tools are ready, such as Blackboard Learn for system announcements, Web Conferencing to continue to deliver education and BBIM to be available for support and collaboration. “Would have never believed we would be happy giving up the control we had when self-hosted, but after 2 years, we are very pleased with this decision. Our test server outside of the Sydney Data Centre restrictions allows us full control over the database and file system so we can do testing and query the database. 24/7 support, robust service delivery, excellent support, and integrated systems.” Schelly Gardner, Systems Manager, SCU
    8. 8. Blackboard Collaborate™ Platform LMS, CMS and Custom Integrations Web Conferencing Mobile Collaboration • Virtual classes • Webinars • Professional development • Blended learning • Live participation in classes & meetings on a mobile device – 3G and Wi-Fi Enterprise Instant Messaging • Impromptu meetings • One-to-one collaboration • Student help and services Voice Authoring • Personalized coaching • Facilitate language study • Voice feedback
    9. 9. Ease of Use: Streamlined Design 80% of your use is one mouse click away
    10. 10. Classroom Management
    11. 11. Polling • Keeps the interactivity and engagement of participants • On-the fly Yes/No, Multiple Choice questions • See results immediately • Easily tabulate results • Hide responses from participants and lock responses • Publish polling results to whiteboard See results at a glance Specific answers by person
    12. 12. Quiz Manager • Pre-made or On-the-fly • Use True/False, Multiple Choice, Short Answer (text) • Show/hide answers and results • Students “hand in” quizzes which locks the answers • Export results to spreadsheet
    13. 13. Live Video • Up to six (6) people can share video simultaneously • Follow-the-speaker • High quality, high frame rate and low bandwidth • Use low-cost cameras for high quality video conferencing • Video window can be detached and made larger The current speaker Other participant thumbnails The camera icon shows when you’re broadcasting
    14. 14. Breakout Rooms & Synchronised Notes
    15. 15. • Offline, desktop authoring • Activity Based • Re-usable • Intuitive Education Focused : Plan!
    16. 16. • Scalable Deployment • Easy to Share Best Practices • Consistency and Continuity • Reduces need for extensive Training and Technical Support Institution Benefits of Plan!
    17. 17. Blended & Global Learning Polycom / Tandberg
    18. 18. • Individual Bandwidth Management • Optimizes data stream specifically for connection speed of each individual. (28.8K modem or fast speed LAN) • Automatically compensates for individuals on low speed connections • Intelligent, real-time, individually optimized data streams preclude the need for pre-distribution of session materials • Video files - Played at the same time for all users regardless of their internet speed Bandwidth Management
    19. 19. Integration Benefits: Your chosen LMS / VLE / Portal Better Student Engagement Improved Student Outcomes Cost Savings, Convenience & Efficiency
    20. 20. LMS on a mobile device Mobile Learn Integrated into the Active Learner Lifestyle Live Sessions
    21. 21. Pre- entry In Session Post Recruitment Induction Distance and Blended Classroom Enhancement Support and Services Feedback and Assessment Alumni Employer Relations Staff Communication, Collaboration & CPD Typical Student Life Cycle
    22. 22. CE/Vista Open: Your Technology Choice
    23. 23. Blackboard IM • Integrated with your courses / groups within LMS • Presence based - instant communication • Informal collaboration
    24. 24. • Instructor virtual office hours • Help Desk • Library Services
    25. 25. Streamlined Interaction Flow
    26. 26. Resources & Proven Practices • Connections User Conference • Client Managers • Product Advisory Councils • On Demand Learning Center • Distinguished Lecture Series • Hall of Fame Clients • Customer Upgrade Center • Cohort Programs
    27. 27. 24/7 technical Support : Every User 27 • By Email • By Live Chat • Phone
    28. 28. Blackboard Collaborate – The Future… 28
    29. 29. Statements regarding our product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent our current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available to our customers. Forward-Looking Statements
    30. 30. Listening to Our Clients Collaborate Themes Simple – Easy entry to your sessions with an intuitive user experience Mobile – Attend while on the go, for the 21st century learner Integrated – Works within the framework of your existing academic tools and workflows
    31. 31. Removing Barriers to Web Conferencing (Launcher Available Now for Mac, Releasing 28 June 2014 for Windows, now available for integrated Learn clients)
    32. 32. Simple and Convenient – Conferencing From a Browser (In Design) Conceptual Mock-up. Subject to Change without notice
    33. 33. 33
    34. 34. 34
    35. 35. 35
    36. 36. High Fidelity User Experience – Clear and Compelling (In Design) • Richer Audio • High Quality Video • Sharper, Faster Application Sharing
    37. 37. Listening to our clients 37 • New Data Centre in APAC - Sydney • Web Conferencing instance will include: • Scheduling • Recording/Playback • MP4 conversion and uploading to Kaltura • Telephony built-in for audio conferencing • Target cutover date: July 2014 • Advantages of migrating to Sydney: • Planned maintenance windows during off-peak hours • Faster end-user experience for web conferencing and playback • Alleviates possible data privacy concerns
    38. 38. THANK YOU! Contact me: 38