The following guidance has been provided to enable you to set up and manage live online interactive sessions with minimal effort due to the potential for possible changes between ‘on-campus’ and ‘at a distance’ attendance of students during the Autumn Term.
The guide describes the route for setting up sessions with Blackboard Collaborate or Teams Meetings. It also makes a comparison of the setup process for each platform to highlight essential constraints and limitations.
1. Academics delivering the modules will need to set up the online interactive sessions.
2. Make joining links for online interactive sessions available within the Blackboard module.
3. Set up sessions to so that any student on the module can join them.
This provides a consistent access point for students. The reason for this is:
- Links to join online sessions cannot be added in the students’ CMISGo timetable.
- At any given time, it is not possible to accurately report the status of students as being ‘on-campus’ or ‘at a distance’. Students might need to change their status during term and need to join the online session. For example, if they self-isolate.
- You will not necessarily know, in advance, who to needs to attend the online interactive session.
Links to Blackboard Collaborate sessions:
- Are automatically associated with the Blackboard module.
- Add the Blackboard Collaborate tool link to the module menu to give students access.
- Students should not be sent guest links to join Blackboard Collaborate sessions, where practically possible.
Links to Teams Meetings:
- Need to be copied and pasted into Blackboard and created as weblinks.
Tell your students:
- Where to find the links to join sessions in their Blackboard module.
- Who the online sessions is intended for.
- Which platform you are using for a session (Blackboard Collaborate or Teams Meeting).
The name should reflect the language used in the timetable to describe the session to help students identify the relevant online session. (For example: Workshop, Seminar group.)
- Teams Meetings: Include the module code in the name. When meetings are set up in Teams they are added to your Outlook and Teams calendar. This will help you identify the session easily and students will see the title when they join.
- Blackboard Collaborate: Names do not need to include the module code. Students access links to sessions from within the relevant module in Blackboard.
Setting up online interactive sessions
Please consider the different setup steps, constraints and limitations of each tool, as this may inform your decision about which webinar tool is most appropriate to use.
This information should help you to avoid mistakes and any unnecessary administrative burden when setting up and running your sessions and help to ensure a consistent learning experience for students.
The following set up instructions are designed to meet the requirement to make joining links available to all student on a module.
Using Blackboard Collaborate
- Any academic on the Blackboard module can set up, edit and join a session.
- Recurring sessions have separate joining links.
- Links to join the session are automatically published in the Blackboard module.
- Sessions are automatically available to all students on the module.
- Student automatically join as participants and academics as moderators.
- Captions can be provided in a session but need to be written by someone in real-time.
- Where recording is required and recordings are kept longer than 14 days, a transcript or captions must be provided. To do this, recordings should be uploaded to MS Stream and deleted from Blackboard Collaborate.
Using Teams Meeting
Instructions: Setting up an online interactive session using Teams Meeting.
- The academic running the session needs set up the meeting and is made the Meeting Organiser. (They can invite other academics.)
- Only the Meeting Organiser can edit session details and Meeting Options.
- Only the meeting organiser can download attendance report.
- Edit the Meeting Options to prevent students joining as Presenters.
- Recurring sessions use the same joining link URL.
- Publish the joining link in the Blackboard module.
- Automatic live captions are available during the session.
- Where recording is required, this is saved in Stream and includes an automatically generated transcript and captions.