What is Collaborate? Collaborate is a web conferencing program which enables a group of people to interact with one another in a virtual online meeting environment. Collaborate can be accessed “live” anytime from anywhere attendees have access to a computer and an Internet connection. Meetings in Collaborate can be recorded, so those unable to attend the live meeting are able to play back the meeting at a later time.
Why Collaborate? ECU strives to provide state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge collaborative environments. Achieving this goal requires us to understand the learning-based technologies market, identify those technologies that will enhance the instructional needs of our faculty, and pilot those technologies in an active educational environment.
Collaborate is integrated directly into Blackboard enabling faculty and students to log into a single interface to access both their Blackboard course material as well as their online web conferencing meetings. In addition, Collaborate empowers faculty to setup their own meetings from within Blackboard. Collaborate also includes a simple tool for adding links to meetings to content areas throughout the course.
Tell me about the pilot. Beginning in the Fall 2012 semester and continuing into the Spring 2013 semester, we piloted Collaborate here at ECU. In all, we have had 55 faculty participate in the Collaborate pilot. At the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, faculty and students that participated in the pilot completed a survey, comparing Collaborate to SabaMeeting (formerly Centra). By the end of the pilot, only 17 faculty (or 31%) of the 55 piloters were still continuing to use the program.The result of the Collaborate vs. SabaMeeting comparison survey were split pretty evenly. Additionally, the recent upgrade from Centra to SabaMeeting has resolved several of the original issues that led us to look at Collaborate as a Web Conferencing alternative in the first place; most notably the ability for faculty to setup their own meetings. We will continue to support Collaborate usage into the Fall 2013 semester. Whether or not to continue into the Spring 2014 semester is being determined at this time.
Collaborate Support: For generic technical questions about Collaborate, faculty and students participating in the pilot may contact Blackboard Collaborate support directly at 1-877-382-2293 or email@example.com.
ECU Collaborate Support: Anyone involved in the pilot can contact ITCS Collaborate Support at 252-328-9122 or Collaborate@ecu.edu.