Instructors who want to engage with their learners in real time (synchronously) may use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to do so. Using Ultra allows instructors to record the session in the event that the instructor and/or learners wish to re-view it. Meeting synchronously can also help to build community in the class. During synchronous sessions, some best practices are as follows:
- Remind users to mute their microphones when they are not speaking.
- For instructors who have classes where total users would exceed 250, the ITS team will need to know about a scheduled synchronous session in advance so that Blackboard can be prepared to allow such a synchronous session.
- In such a large class, breaking into smaller chat rooms is an effective teaching technique. Learners can be assigned to specific rooms for such classes.
- Instructors should move from chat room to chat room to monitor learners' participation and engagement.
- Instructors might consider why the live session is the best mode to use to engage their learners and to meet the learning objectives.
- In live sessions, a chat box is available to the right of the screen and a TA can be assigned to track and to respond to any comments or questions that appear in that box.