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This page is to help web conferencing users be aware of changes or updates to instructionally-relevant features of supported web conferencing tools. If you have questions about their implications or would like assistance with them, please email help@syr.edu or call 315-443-2677.

Information about Blackboard updates is posted separately. 




Spring 2021

The following features have been introduced or changed since June 2020. 

Collaborate Ultra

The following changes are implemented automatically when accessing Collaborate Ultra through Blackboard. Additional details are available in the Release Notes

  • Expanded Gallery View — Beginning April 8, 2020, an update to the Gallery View will allow you to view 25 participant videos at once. 
  • Support Chatbot — Attendees can get support troubleshooting common issues while still in their session through the new Chat Support feature at the end of the My Settings panel.
  • Recording Privacy Display — Moderators and session owners can now see at-a-glance if a recording is locked or public. Locked means only course members can view the video. Anyone not enrolled in a course can't view the video even with a link. Public means anyone with a link can view the recording. You can change the recording sharing privacy in the Recording settings.
  • Chat mentions and formatting — Users can now tag other users in chat using the "@" symbol and format their chat messages.
  • Recording Processing Status — Collaborate now shows the status of recording processing. You can see if a recording is still processing or ready to watch from the Recordings page.
  • Recording Reminder — As soon as moderators join the session, Collaborate presents a recording reminder. The reminder is visible until the moderator starts the recording or closes the reminder.
  • Increased Recording Link Security —  Public access to recordings is now off by default for new sessions.
  • Recording Download Clarity — Session owners can download recordings at any time, regardless of setting for other users.
  • Share Camera — This option allows you to share a second camera for demonstrations. 
  • Download Poll Results — Now moderators, instructors, and administrators can download a session's Poll report. This report includes the poll question and how each attendee responded.

Zoom

The following Zoom changes are listed chronologically (newest on top). To take advantage of these improvements you will need to be using an up-to-date Zoom client and, for some, your students will need to be using the current version of the client as well. Zoom hosts instructions for updating your desktop client. More information on the below features is available in the Zoom Release Notes.

  • Follow Host's video orderHosts can now force participants to display your custom video order. Participant will not be able to change the order when this is enabled.
  • Share and play video files directly into meeting 
  • Host can admit participants from the Waiting Room while within a Breakout Room — Host is notified of participants in the Waiting Room, even while currently in a Breakout Room.
  • Enhanced nonverbal feedback and reactions — Nonverbal feedback options are moved to the Reactions button, and all reactions will be shown in the corner of the participants’ video. The host will see each participant’s reactions in the participant list, as well as the aggregate numbers of each reaction at the bottom of the list.

  • Blurred background — Users can now choose to blur their background rather than selecting a specific virtual background, providing added privacy when a branded background is unavailable or unnecessary.

  • Raise hand for host and co-host — Hosts and co-hosts can utilize the raise hand feature along with meeting participants and webinar attendees.

  • Poll reports available during live session — The meeting or webinar host will now have the option to download the full poll results when the poll has ended during the live session, rather than waiting until the meeting or webinar has ended. This will launch their browser and begin the download of the CSV poll report.

  • Enhanced co-host privileges over Breakout Rooms — Co-hosts have the same breakout room controls as the meeting host, such as starting or ending breakout rooms, assigning participants, etc.

  • Move participants to main session from breakout room — Hosts and co-hosts have the option to assign a participant back to the main session, rather than ending all breakout sessions.

  • Share multiple programs at once — Users can select multiple desktop programs at once for sharing, instead of sharing their entire desktop.

  • Scheduling with custom Join Before Host time limit — Users can schedule meetings with Join Before Host set to allow participants to join 5, 10, or 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

  • Self-select Breakout Room — The host can now create breakout rooms with the option for participants to self-select which breakout room they would like to join. If enabled, participants can move freely between breakout rooms, without needing the host’s help. Both the meeting host and participants need to be on Client 5.3.0 or later to self-select Breakout Rooms.

  • Custom gallery view organization — Host and co-host can now re-order the gallery view to suit their needs, and choose whether to deploy this view to participants, or allow participants to create their own custom views. Simply click and drag videos to the position you want them in gallery view, and this layout will remain in place until released.

  • Multi-pin and multi-spotlight — With host permission, users will now be able to pin up to 9 participants on their end. The host can also spotlight up to 9 participants for everyone in the meeting.


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