Collaborate Ultra

Videoconferencing Connects Campus Community at GVSU

In a recent EdTech Magazine article entitled How Videoconferencing Platforms Help Connect Campus Communities, live audio and video communication tools are explored as key solutions for the campus community, increasing flexibility and convenience.

Real-time videoconferencing solutions are growing in their popularity and use in higher education and in business to help bring students, staff, and faculty together.

At GVSU, we are seeing Collaborate used in a variety of ways, such as: professional development, live lectures and student group facilitation, online office hours, mock interviews, guest speakers, live campus meet ups and meetings, global events, and much more!

Here are a few excerpts: [Read Full Article on EdTech Magazine]

“Initially, these tools were pretty complex, and they presented a lot of challenges for teachers who wanted to try them,” says Eric Kunnen, associate director of e-learning and emerging technologies at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University. “But now I think those barriers are falling by the wayside. We’re seeing solutions that can be launched right from a browser, without extra plug-ins or the need for anything to be installed. Overall, they’re much more robust and significantly easier to use.”

At the same time, Kunnen adds, many universities view videoconferencing as a strategic investment.

“The current generation of students is coming to campus with video being part of their daily life,” he says. “If you’re not doing what you can to connect with them — to offer them that flexibility around how they want to be engaged, and to give them opportunities to learn remotely — I think you’re going to be missing the boat.”

"If they can reduce the need for travel and save people time simply by making videoconferencing an option, that’s something their community is going to appreciate.” Eric Kunnen Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, Grand Valley State University

Similarly, he says, instructors and experts increasingly expect institutions to leverage whatever technologies they can to accommodate hectic schedules.

“A lot of universities are geographically spread out, with campuses all over the place. If they can reduce the need for travel and save people time simply by making videoconferencing an option, that’s something their community is going to appreciate,” says Kunnen.

Finally, live tools are excellent at increasing student engagement and instructor presence. These are key in facilitating a quality online course as they encourage active learning and the Community of Inquiry Framework and the 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.


About Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate™ is a simple, convenient, and reliable online collaborative learning solution. Collaborate delivers a level of engagement that makes learners feel like they’re together in the same room via collaboration and conference tools.

Collaborate provides opportunities for:

  • Live Class Sessions
  • Online Office Hours
  • Online Guest Speakers
  • Interviews
  • Advising
  • Study Sessions
  • Small Group Projects
  • and more!

Learn more about using Blackboard Collaborate for live events and to support teaching and learning at GVSU.

Using Blackboard Collaborate for Authentic Practice in Virtual Interviews

As more employers are using virtual interviews as opportunities to screen their applicant pool, it is crucial that students are prepared to interview virtually.

The GVSU Graduate Teacher Certification Program, directed by Dr. Rosemary Cleveland,  regularly uses Blackboard Collaborate to meet on a weekly basis for synchronous class meetings – and also to practice and to experience the “online” interview process.

Collaborate_Interview_Students

Students Charles Roberts, Joe Elsen and Kenneth Poczekaj, (pictured in order top to bottom) and GVSU Field Coordinator Diane Elve using Blackboard Collaborate to support virtual interviews.

Using Blackboard Collaborate for Virtual Interviews – How it Works

As students are getting ready to finish their final semester, they are also expected to participate in a virtual interview using Blackboard Collaborate to practice their interviewing skills.  Just like a real in-person interview, students  are expected to dress professionally as though they were formally interviewing for a potential teaching job.

Their web cameras and microphone are also expected to remain “active” during the interview.  Students were coached to avoid distractions, to maintain eye contact, monitor body language and be prepared to answer tough questions.  Their field coordinator led their virtual interview which in some cases also included a former retired principal who was joining virtually.

Here is what students in Field Coordinator Diane Elve’s course have said about using Blackboard Collaborate for virtual interviews:

“I think that the mock interview on Blackboard Collaborate was a worthwhile event. It is quick and easy to setup, and it is also convenient, especially since all people involved in the interview process don’t have to be in the same location at once. While there can be some issues, such as not seeing all aspects of body/facial gestures, I think this is minimal in comparison to the “pros” that Collaborate brings.” – Joe Elsen

“I thought it was a wonderful activity.  Many times we hear what questions may be asked during an interview and we have the opportunity to rehearse these things at home on our own.  This brings more authenticity to learning about interview by having us apply our knowledge to a real-world scenario.  While only a mock interview, all of the feelings and pressures of a real interview can still be seen, felt, and heard.  I feel this application of interviewing practice is a great opportunity to expose students to interviewing strategies and the feedback may really help somebody be prepared for the inevitable interviews to come.” – Ken Poczekaj


About Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate™ is a simple, convenient, and reliable online collaborative learning solution. Collaborate delivers a level of engagement that makes learners feel like they’re together in the same room via collaboration and conference tools.

Collaborate provides opportunities for:

  • Live Class Sessions
  • Online Office Hours
  • Online Guest Speakers
  • Interviews
  • Advising
  • Study Sessions
  • Small Group Projects
  • and more!

Learn more about using Blackboard Collaborate for live events and to support teaching and learning at GVSU.

 

eLearning supports “Teaching Thanksgiving” event with Blackboard Collaborate

Vince St. Germain, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist, assisted in facilitating a livestream with live captions using Blackboard Collaborate for the Multicultural Affairs department at GVSU.

This event was held as part of GVSU’s Native American Heritage Month on Monday, November 12 from 4 – 6 pm in the Kirkhof Center. Using Blackboard Collaborate, the event was streamed live to a variety of remote locations.

 

Session Title:

Teaching Thanksgiving: A Discussion on Reframing Representations of American Indians

Session Description: 

Where many people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving and may perceive it as a harmless and apolitical holiday, it remains to be a complicated holiday and a painful reminder of colonial violence and indigenous erasure for American Indian communities. This panel will explore how the myths and lies of Thanksgiving are taught and reinforced in the school systems. Invited panelists will discuss how they educate about Thanksgiving and have a focused discussion on creating culturally-appropriate curriculum reflective of the contemporary experiences of American Indians.

The audience will leave this lively discussion with an understanding of how the Thanksgiving myth does harm and receive resources, strategies, and best practices on how to intervene on inaccurate representations about American Indians in the school systems and our communities.

Panel:

  • Andrea Riley Mukavetz, Liberal Studies Department, Chippewa of Thames First Nations
  • Steve Perry, artist, educator, and philanthropist, LTBB and Garden River Ojibwe
  • Hunter Genia, Resilience Counseling and Consultation, Gun Lake
  • Levi Rickert, Native News Online, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
  • Jannan Cotto, Director of Niigaandiwin Education Department for LTBB, LTBB
  • Amanda Weinert, Curriculum Specialist for Niigaandiwin Education Department for LTBB, LTBB

About Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate™ is a simple, convenient, and reliable online collaborative learning solution. Collaborate delivers a level of engagement that makes learners feel like they’re together in the same room via collaboration and conference tools.

Collaborate provides opportunities for:

  • Live Class Sessions
  • Online Office Hours
  • Online Guest Speakers
  • Interviews
  • Advising
  • Study Sessions
  • Small Group Projects
  • and more!

Learn more about using Blackboard Collaborate for live events and to support teaching and learning at GVSU.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides Global Collaboration at GVSU

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides live web conferencing, virtual office hours, guest speakers and more at GVSU. This post highlights a few of the unique ways that the university is leveraging the use of live videoconferencing applications that are integrated into Blackboard.

Physical Therapy LIVE from Iraq

In a recent Physical Therapy class at Grand Valley State University, Collaborate Ultra was used to connect current students with a graduate of GVSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program who now lives and works in Kurdistan, Iraq as a trainer and clinical instructor for physiotherapists and other rehab professionals in developing countries. Over the course of two class sessions students were able to speak and interact with a D.P.T specialist on a variety of topics including global health, modern pain science and trauma-focused physical therapy. This was an extraordinary opportunity that would not have been possible without the use of Collaborate Ultra.

PT Screen Shot

Physical Therapy LIVE from Kurdistan, Iraq

Lunch and Learn Brown Bag Series LIVE from Palestine

In another Collaborate Ultra event, GVSU’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration used Collaborate Ultra to showcase the research of alumni in their Nonprofit Management and Leadership master’s degree program during their Lunch & Learn Brown Bag series. One presenter from Palestine presented on the topic, “Does the Work of Disability NGOs Seeking Decent Work for Persons With Disability Impact Public Employment Policies in Palestine?” Local participants were given the ability to ask questions and fully interact with the presenter during the live Collaborate Ultra session.

United Nation’s Youth Virtual Conference LIVE from Africa and Europe

YVC Screen Shot

Youth Virtual Conference

One other event of interest is the annual Youth Virtual Conference that is held in conjunction with GVSU and the United Nation’s global network of Regional Centre’s of Expertise. Using Collaborate Ultra, RCEs from three different continents join together to present on, discuss and challenge one another on a variety of Sustainability issues. Since the first conference in in 2013, the event has extended to other regions including Africa and Europe.


 

Contact eLearning to learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra at GVSU!

Bb Collaborate Ultra supports live events beyond the Classroom

You may already be aware of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra as a solution for live virtual class sessions, student group meetings, or online office hours – in addition to these uses, there are even more opportunities to take advantage of this easy to use and live collaborative tool!

Classroom Guest Speakers

To help save time and department travel costs, Collaborate Ultra is a good solution for guest speakers. In fact, sessions can be recorded and played back in subsequent semesters or for those students that missed class.  Courses in Occupational Therapy, Geology, and Technology in Public Relations and Advertising here at the university have used Collaborate Ultra to bring in guest speakers for their students.

Another example is the use of Collaborate Ultra for Online Library Research Instruction. Presented by Rita Kohrman, GVSU Education Librarian, the sessions are conducted in the Steelcase Library and provide assistance to education graduate students in understanding how to access, retrieve, and evaluate materials for their Projects/Theses. Students learn various library and/or research applications to better assist in obtaining materials for the completion of projects or theses.

The classes are simultaneously taught face-to-face and online via Collaborate Ultra for those students who are unable to attend in person.

Online Interviews

Collaborate Ultra was used for live streaming the Dean of University Libraries interviews from the Allendale to the Pew Campus downtown. This provided an opportunity for those staff whose offices are downtown, but still wanted to be able to see the candidate presentations.

Live Campus Events

The West Michigan Health Information Management Association recently used Collaborate Ultra to connect 2 remote locations in the upper peninsula in Iron Mountain and Newberry, Michigan for a continuing education coding workshop.

Virtual Conferences

Bb Collaborate Ultra supported the 2016 Youth Virtual Conference of the UNU RCEs Conference.  This project provides students with the perspective and practice of a global dialogue, in hopes that they will better understand the unique energy systems dilemmas facing the regions of the world and in turn reveal and embrace the universal themes of sustainable evolution through dialogue, empathy, and collaboration.

 Sites that participated during the event that was held on March 2, 2016 included:

  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Portland, Oregon
  • La Paz School, Costa Rica
  • Minna, Nigeria
  • Medellin/Bogota, Colombia
  • Curitiba, Brazil

Here is a link to the YouTube Livestream Recording from the Youth Virtual Conference.

Another example of a conference was that GVSU Scribe Academy event. The Academy is designed to train individuals to assist healthcare providers in local Emergency Departments by documenting patient care in the electronic medical record. The Program consists of two training sections: Pre-clinical and Clinical Training.

Class sessions are simultaneously taught face-to-face and online via Collaborate Ultra for students who are unable to attend in person. Jeffery Trytko, Director of the GVSU Scribe Academy, acts as the online moderator/facilitator.

Remote Troubleshooting

The eLearning staff has been using Collaborate Ultra to help troubleshoot and support faculty in their use of educational technologies.  But having the remote user share their screen, it is often more efficient and effective to provide tips, guidance, and solutions to faculty requesting assistance.

Online Training

For those situations where it is challenging or difficult to come to a training session on campus, Collaborate Ultra is providing a solution to learn about a variety of topics and subjects whether the participants are on the main Allendale campus, or at one of GVSU’s other regional campuses.

Please let us know how we can help you best leverage technology to save costs, reduce travel, increase convenience, or enhance collaboration!