Based on experiences here at ISU and available knowledge at this time, the Virtual Classroom is most efficiently used by PC users. Some difficulties have been observed by Mac users when logging onto the Virtual Classroom. This tutorial will focus on the Chat (not the Virtual Classroom). Login to Blackboard at http://blackboard.indstate.edu and proceed to your course site. From the homepage of your course, click on Communication.
A new screen, Blackboard Tools page, appears. click on Collaboration on the page.
On the next screen you will be taken to an area where you can create a collaborative session. Click on Create Collaborative Session.
On the next screen, your session will automatically be given a name. Accept this default name (do not change it) and proceed to step number 2.
If you do not wish to have students be able to enter and re-enter the chat and you wish to archive it, schedule the date availability by setting both the date and time (both start and end as indicated below in the image) and make the session available by selecting the radio button “Yes”. If you set the end time, all students must be present in your chat and others can not enter or re-enter once you begin the archive. An archive of the chat is a script of the actual chat that the instructor can access.
To create a collaborative chat session that students can enter and re-enter set the start time but do not set the end time. (A student may need to re-enter the chat, for example, if they experience some difficulty with their network connection). You can still archive the chat if you set the start date and time and leave the end time unchecked. Click Yes for Available.
Select the type of session from the drop down menu. Select the Chat for our purposes.
Your chat has been created.
Click the gray arrow next to the session, you will see the options: Edit and Delete. If you decide to change the dates/time/availability, click on Edit to modify the collaborative session’s time/date/availability. These are the same settings that you had access to when you set up the chat. Click on Delete to delete the session.
Click the session name to join the chat.
Blackboard will progress to a new screen and then a java applet will immediately launch. See the java applet window below where the chat will take place. The chat session has begun. On the left hand side of the applet screen, you can see the participants and on the right hand side you can see the chat session.
As the instructor, you may want to archive the session for future use and reflection. On the right hand side of the screen click on the button that will archive the session.
Once you click on this button a dialog box pops up and provides you with name of the archived session. Accept this default name and click OK.
You will now see that the chat records that the session is now archiving.
There are at least 2 ways that you can post to the chat.
Method 1: You can type your message into the available text box, then click Send.
Your message is recorded in the chat.
Method 2: Another way to compose a message is to click on "Compose". Compose is located right beside the open text block where you typed your message. A pop-up screen appears. You can type in a longer message.
In this example, the topic and the objectives for the chat have been identified. By structuring the chat, and using a specific methodology the instructor can then achieve the goals and objectives of the chat. You may wish to contact the Instructional Designer to discuss additional management strategies that may be useful when conducting a chat. Click Send to send your message to all of the participants.
Your message appears on the chat.
You can also send a private message to a learner within the chat. Double click on the person’s name listed on the left.
A private message pop-up box appears. Type in your message and click Send. (The learner can also send a private message to you).
As the instructor you will see the message sent to the learner and recorded within the chat.
To end the chat session, click End.
A dialog box appears. Click OK.
Another dialog box appears confirming the end of the session. Click OK.
You can access the archive of the chat from the Home Page of your course by clicking on the Communication.
Next click on Collaboration
On the Collaborative Sessions screen identify the session that you archived. Click the gray down arrow next to the session name, then click Recordings.
The following screen appears with an active link. Click on the active link.
The archive of the session appears: