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Communicating and Collaborating

Wimba Classroom: Online Collaboration Suite

Many faculty consider live, personal interaction to be the most valuable element of quality teaching and learning experiences. Wimba Classroom (now Blackboard Collaborate) is an online collaboration suite that integrates with Blackboard and allows educators and students to engage in meaningful and memorable interactions by combining interactive technologies with instructional best practices.


Some of the features of Wimba Classroom include:

  • presentations with audio and video narration
  • multi-way audio and video chat
  • public and private text chat
  • electronic whiteboard
  • polls, quizzes, and surveys
  • desktop sharing/application sharing
  • breakout rooms
  • full-featured archives
  • telephone access
  • accessibility features

Examples of a few possible applications of an online collaboration suite in a 21st century learning environment include:

  • Fostering on-demand, informal communication from student-to-student and student-to-instructor.
  • Inviting guest experts to present real-time online lectures to students using a wide array of rich media.
  • Using a live online classroom to provide revision sessions for students needing extra help or optional assessment preparation sessions. Providing the link to the session archive for those who were unable to attend.
  • Offering peer-to-peer “coffee breaks” or optional study sessions for students to network and learn from each other’s experiences.
  • Offering online office hours with voice and video
  • Allowing for online conversations with both voice and video in areas such as patient diagnosis for healthcare, public speaking exercises, negotiation skills in business, or any discipline where communication is the key.

Student / Participant Resources

Presenters should provide participants with the following link to the setup wizard and encourage participants to run the setup wizard on their computer several days prior to the session: http://niulive.wimba.com/wizard/launcher.cgi

If participants experience any technical difficulties preventing them from successfully completing the setup wizard, they should call Wimba (now Blackboard Collaborate) 24/7 toll free technical support at (877) 382-2293 or submit a trouble ticket.

The following free guides are available for participants using Wimba Classroom:

The University of Massachusetts Boston has many helpful resources for using Wimba Classroom, including technical requirements and troubleshooting: http://www.dlvpc.umb.edu/wimbasupport.htm

Last Updated: 7/28/2011