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.”
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
- Study Sessions
- Small Group Projects
- and more!