As background information, this was used for online classes - so my experiences is limited and based only on that. With that said, though, I was pleased with my interactions with Blackboard Collaborate. Here are the pros:
- It has an Interactive Whiteboard feature that is quite helpful. Teachers can add their slide deck or presentation here. The students can then "interact" with the presentation using some nice features (type words, underline texts, even highlight).
- Similar to other programs, you can share your device's screen with the class or you can allow other students to share their screen if they need to show a presentation or something. This comes in very handy if used well.
- If you've never used Blackboard before, I think it's pretty easy to get the hang of. It's well organized and has a nice user interface.
- Without Blackboard, managing the workflow in an online class would be extremely difficult. However, Blackboard does a phenomenal job of allowing information, assignments, quizzes, etc. to be assigned and returned/collected in an organized fashion.
- If a student is unable to attend a live session, Blackboard includes a record option so they can go back and watch the lesson whenever possible. This can also be used for remediation and review.
- They have some nice little features that often go overlooked, like the quick response or thumbs up/thumbs down features. It's helpful when quickly checking for understanding.
- Breakout/small group feature.
Here are some concerns:
- While it works well with Chrome, this platform does not seem to work with Safari or Edge. (This could be user error, though.)
- This may be user error, too, but I found the audio to be a little off. It seems like they could do some updates here to help it sound a little more smooth and less choppy. Sometimes you don't always hear everything.
- Even though the record feature is awesome - it can be annoying because the video and the audio are sometimes off.
- I guess this could be based on the WiFi connectivity, but video quality is inconsistent.