Technology

Blackboard Collaborate & Big Blue Button

Blackboard Collaborate vs. Big Blue Button (both available in Canvas)

Blackboard Collaborate is a tool that can be used to facilitate virtual, synchronous, interactive classrooms, which can also be recorded for future viewing. Big Blue Button is an audio conferencing tool, which is ideal for conducting virtual office hours. While Blackboard Collaborate does have more robust tools, if you are not using them, Big Blue Button would work just fine and is actually more user friendly due to its integration within Canvas. Below are some further comparisons of these tools.

comparison bbcollaborate bbb 

Blackboard Collaborate

To Create a New Session (for Instructors)

  1. Make Blackboard Collaborate available using one of the two following methods:
    • In your course Settings > Navigation, drag the "Blackboard Collaborate" menu item to the top half of the list; scroll down and click Save.
    • In Modules, click "Add Content," then look in "External Tools" for "Blackboard Collaborate."  Don't change anything, then add that to your module.
  2. Click "Blackboard Collaborate" in the left course navigation menu.
  3. Create a new session (http://etg.usf.edu/?p=3116).

Here are several documents that you may wish to review, edit, and/or share:

To Access a New (or Previously Recorded) Session (for Students)

  1. Click the "Blackboard Collaborate" link in the left course navigation menu (or from a link in a Course Module). 
  2. Click on the Sessions tab (it should be the default). If you are looking for a previously recorded session, click on the Recordings Tab.
  3. Look for the Session, click the purple icon to join (or view) the session. Prior to session start time (or early entry time set by your instructor), the icon will be greyed out. If the icon is greyed out (and not clickable), you may have to wait until a few minutes prior to the start of the session to join.

 Big Blue Button

To Create a New Session (for Instructors)

  1. Make Big Blue Button available by going to your Course Settings > Navigation; drag the "Conferences" menu item to the top half of the list; scroll down and click Save. Note: Big Blue Button cannot be added to a Course Module. 
  2. Click "Conferences" in the left course navigation menu. Click "New Conference."
  3. Type the name of the Conference, and set the duration length (in minutes) or select the "No time limit" box.
  4. If you want to record the conference, you must select the "Record this conference" box now.
  5. Click the "Create Conference" button.
  6. Click the "Start" button that appears to the right of conference name.

Here are some additional help guides:

To Access a New (or Previously Recorded) Session (for Students)

  1. Click "Conferences" in the left course navigation menu.
  2. Under New Conferences, click the "Join" button that appears to the right of conference name, or under Concluded Conferences, click the "View" button that appears to the right of conference name.