Wimba Classroom to be Deactivated 12/21/12, Replaced by Blackboard Collaborate
Date posted: 12/13/2012
This is a final notice that Wimba Classroom is being replaced by the Blackboard Collaborate "next generation" web conference platform. During Summer 2012, NIU tested Blackboard Collaborate and sought feedback from existing Wimba Classroom users concerning the timeline for upgrading from Wimba to Blackboard Collaborate.
Blackboard Collaborate was available on a limited release basis during Summer 2012 for any faculty/staff or teaching assistants who would like to use the tool within their Blackboard courses or communities. After positive feedback from faculty, Blackboard Collaborate was made available campus wide in all Blackboard courses and communities during the Fall 2012 semester. Based on the recommendations received from faculty, Blackboard Collaborate will replace Wimba Classroom by Spring 2013. Wimba Classroom will be deactivated at NIU on December 21, 2012. Those who were formerly using Wimba Classroom are recommended to instead use the new Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing tool.
New features in Blackboard Collaborate, not previously available in Wimba Classroom
- Completely redesigned user interface for an improved user experience
- Web tour, allowing for moderator to show web pages to participants and maintain control
- Audio buffering, allowing for better audio quality
- Up to 6 simultaneous video streams
- Ability for end user to change video quality
- Countdown timer
- Annotations on whiteboard persist throughout session
- Multimedia presentation tool
- Free mobile app for participation on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch (Android app to be available in early 2013)
A full comparison of the feature differences between Blackboard Collaborate and Wimba Classroom is available at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/guides/bbcollabvswimba.pdf
To see Blackboard Collaborate in action, short demos are available online at http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Resources/Recorded-Demos.aspx
Blackboard Collaborate continues to offer the same great seamless integration with the Blackboard learning management system that NIU faculty have grown accustomed to and expect with Wimba Classroom.
Opportunity to learn more
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center will be offering a hands-on introductory workshop on Blackboard Collaborate, "Intro to Live Online Classes Using Blackboard Collaborate" on Friday, January 18, 2013 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. During this hands-on workshop, participants will receive an overview of the features of Blackboard Collaborate and step-by-step assistance with creating and managing Blackboard Collaborate sessions within Blackboard. Advance registration is required. If interested in attending, register online at https://facdevprograms.niu.edu/ERAP/registration/RegForm.aspx?ID=151
More information about using Blackboard Collaborate at NIU, including links to tutorials and archived online workshops previously offered, is available at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/communicate/collaborate.shtml