About Virtual Classroom
A Virtual Classroom is an online space designed for real-time collaboration and can be used to hold online classes, webinars and meetings. Virtual classrooms often include tools for text and audio chat, a shared interactive whiteboard, sharing of files and the ability to record all interactions for future playback. The virtual classroom software used at Victoria University is called Blackboard Collaborate (previously known as Eluminate)
What is it?
Blackboard Collaborate is online software for creating and managing virtual classrooms. It enables you to create an online space for communicating and collaborating with students with features such as text and audio chat, an interactive whiteboard, polling, quizzes, file sharing, desktop sharing and break-out rooms. You can also record sessions and distribute them to students for revision. Teachers, students and/or external participants can connect from anywhere – allowing you to hold classes or meetings with individuals who may be situated in different geographical locations. Blackboard Collaborate provides access to the session via a web link, which can be shared through VU Collaborate, email or other means, without requiring a VU login.
Why use it?
Blackboard Collaborate enables you, your students and guest participants to communicate in real-time without the need to be co-located. It also allows sessions to be recorded and distributed to participants who missed or who want to review the session.
Blackboard Collaborate enables you, your students and guest participants to communicate via text and voice, share files and work on a shared virtual whiteboard. You can also divide your class into groups and give each group their own break-out room in which to collaborate together.
Blackboard Collaborate is designed to support approaches to learning and teaching that focus on discussion, peer review, digital literacy and formative assessment. Use Collaborate to give students the opportunity to use virtual meeting rooms and webinar tools, which are increasingly common in 21st Century workplaces.
Tools for polls, quizzes, emoticons, voting, synchronous text chat and sharing a virtual whiteboard make it easier for each participant to actively contribute to a session while making it easier for you to manage higher levels of engagement. Blackboard Collaborate also allows you to bring external parties (such as guest speakers) into the session in real-time for a richer learning experience.
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