The Virtual Classroom platform enables classes and meetings to take place online and in real time, requiring only an internet connection and a device (PC, Tablet or Smartphone) with audio and optional video capabilities.
This allows for classes to be run where students are separated by distance, while allowing the opportunity for the students taking part to still interact with their peers and academics as if they were in the same physical room.
At CCCU, we use Collaborate, a virtual classroom platform developed by Blackboard. This is a separate system to the Blackboard Learn VLE.
What can the Virtual Classroom be used for?
The Virtual Classroom provides the ability for audio and video discussions to take place in real time between two or more individuals. This can include up to 250 participants in any given session, although interactive sessions work best with small numbers.
Amongst its various features it includes:
- Presenting slides, web sites and other documents
- Audio & Video discussion
- Text-based chat
- Session recording
- Interactive whiteboard
It is also possible to use the webinar mode to support large scale sessions of up to 500. Please discuss with your Digital Academic Developer if you are planning to use Collaborate for larger events as some features will be restricted.
How can I use a Virtual Classroom to teach my students?
Some examples of use cases include:
- Small group tutorials/seminars : Interactive online learning consolidation through real-time discussion and other activities
- Placement supervision : 1:1 catch-ups with learners and/or mentors
- Webinars : lecture-style presentation followed by Q&A at the end, typically using text-chat; minimal interaction enables greater numbers; can be easily recorded
- Pre-recorded input : like ‘audioslides’ but with added video, visit web sites and demonstrating software
- Staff meetings : reduce travel time and expense; make a permanent record
Further help and guidance
Further help and guidance on the Learning Platform Suite for staff and students can be found via the TEL Knowledge Base for Staff.
For any technical issues or further help: