Blackboard Collaborate: Moderator Responsibilities

Blackboard Collaborate gives you the functionality you need to support a 21st century teaching and learning environment, such as two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application sharing, polling, breakout rooms, and session recording. Educators and students can engage as if they were in a face-to-face classroom, with as good as, or even better, outcomes.

Best Practices for Conducting Sessions

• Design sessions to include interactivity and include variety of content and interaction in your session. Provide opportunities for participants to interact and collaborate with each other.
• Practice before leading your first session.
• Develop familiarity with the session content.
• Open applications needed for application sharing before the session begins.
• Load files for sharing before the session begins.
• Find a comfortable place with no distractions to deliver the session. In-Session Tips
• Greet participants as they join your session.
• Remind your participants to run a Tech Check in order to test their microphone and speakers.
• Speak clearly and don’t rush.
• Ask questions and provide opportunity for interaction.
• Animate your delivery.
• Look at the whole screen, not just the content area. For example, watch for Chat messages and for new participants joining the session.
• Encourage participants to respond and to raise their hands when they have a question or comment.
• Use the whiteboard tools to assist you in your delivery. For example, use the pointer to call attention to specific regions on the screen.
• Include features such as application and file sharing to assist you in delivering your content.
• Use polling and breakout groups to increase participant interaction.

Privacy is possible. If students enter a room and need to speak to you privately (or you decide the conversation should be moved to a private setting), you have a few different options. If a simple chat is fine, you can send your student a private message through the chat window. If you need to talk, go back to Create Session then use Roles and Access to select “restrict access to this session”. This will allow you to add the participant that you want to talk privately with.

Utilize your settings power. In any Collaborate session you create, you have complete control over which students can enter and what they can do when they’re there. To change your room’s settings, click Edit Room. This will allow you to tailor the room to your needs.

Invite outsiders in. Did you know that a student doesn’t have to be currently enrolled in your course to attend your virtual office hours? You can send a URL to invite a guest to a Collaborate session. This can be a great way to interact with any student who may want to talk to you about past or future courses or to invite in outside experts and advisors who can help students.

Ensure students know how to find and use Collaborate. Remember, that regardless of how you choose to hold virtual office hours, you will need to clearly communicate that information to students. Share the name of the room and some basic instructions about how to access the session, including a direct link to Collaborate in your course content. Many students have not used Collaborate before and may need a little help getting oriented.

Record your sessions. If you’re giving out information that you think would help all of your students, not just those who came to office hours, you can record and share the sessions for later. The recording option is found in the upper left-hand pop-out menu in your Collaborate session.