Bb Collaborate Voice Authoring tools, most of which are located within the Tools area of Blackboard, increase the ease and accessibility of using the traditional discussion board and mail functions in Blackboard as well as adding some other, enhanced features. Products in this package allow instructors and students to create audio files quickly for podcasting, language learning, vocal exercises, or oral assignments. The tools can can also be used for creating audio discussion boards, sending a voice email, or hosting an online discussion. For all Voice Authoring Tools, you need to have speakers or headphones to hear the audio and a microphone to record.
Select the link below to access a recorded session, created with Bb Collaborate, that provides an overview of the Voice Authoring tools. Note that you will be prompted to download and run a file in order to launch the archived presentation.
Voice Board - This resource shares many similarities with Blackboard's Discussion Boards with one major difference -- messages on these discussion boards are audio recordings instead of written communication. This resource is ideal for group projects, student presentations, feedback, and general course communication. The voice discussion threads can be accessed by the entire class (public) or only by specified people (private, to ensure confidential communication between professor and student or within groups), can be enabled or disabled for student use, and can have messages that are limited in duration (from 15 seconds to 20 minutes) or arranged in different ways (chronological or subject). Text can also be added to voice postings. In lieu of creating original recordings, audio files in wav, mp3, or other audio formats can be imported to the Voice Boards. Voice Boards can be accessed from the Tools area in Blackboard.
Voice Email - This resource allows both instructors and students to send and listen to voice messages embedded in emails. The Voice Emails tool is similar to the Voice Boards but, like the traditional Mail feature in Blackboard, these messages are delivered outside of the Blackboard environment to the faculty or student's university-assigned email address. Voice Emails can be composed to all users enrolled in a course or only selected users (all instructors, all students, or individual users); the contact lists are automatically populated with instructor, students, and other users in the Blackboard course. Voice Emails can be accessed from the Tools area in Blackboard.
Voice Podcaster - This tool allows faculty and students to create or host podcasts in their Blackboard course. These audio-only podcasts (which can vary in duration from 1 second to 20 minutes) have the option of being automatically published upon completion of the recording or having the deployment delayed until a specified time (intervals for publication are 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30, or 60 minutes following recording). Recordings can be paused without a disruption in the archiving process; the "stop and start" is seamlessly integrated in the final product and there is no perceivable break in the audio. Audio files smaller than 10 MB that were recorded externally can be imported into the Voice Podcaster (current formats include mp3, wav, and spx). Conversely, files created in the Voice Podcaster that need to be exported to an external source can be downloaded in mp3 or wav formats. Users can sign up for a subscription to the podcast or receive notification of new podcasts via RSS feed using readers (Google, Yahoo, etc.) outside of Blackboard. Once the podcast is downloaded to your computer, it can be played locally or moved to a mobile device. The Voice Podcaster can be accessed from the Tools area in Blackboard.
Voice Presentation - This resource can be used to narrate on online presentation. Similar to Bb Collaborate Web Conferencing, Voice Presentation differs in that the presentations are not limited to a one-time recording session but can be added to, arranged, and edited even after the initial session, making this a valuable tool for both instructors and students wanting to compose a short-term, collaborative, or semester-long project. Text can be added to the presentation slides and both web pages and PowerPoint slides can be used to provide content. The recorded product (audio only) can be exported as a podcast in .wav, .mp3, or other audio format. To simplify the process of monitoring when an update is made to a Voice Presentation, users can subscribe to podcasts using readers (Google, Yahoo, etc.) outside of Blackboard. Instructors and students have the ability to provide feedback on individual presentation slides. Unlike some of the other Voice Authoring tools, Voice Presentation is not available in the Tools area of Blackboard. Instead, instructors must access any content area of their course and select Voice Presentation from the Tools drop-down menu available at the top of the page.
Comprehensive knowledge bases for many Bb Collaborate products are also accessible from the main Bb Collaborate support page. If a solution to the problem cannot be found in the knowledge base(s) or in the Bb Collaborate documentation, SIUE instructors and students needing technical Bb Collaborate support should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be certain to include a full description of the problem and, if relevant, the error message generated by your browser or computer.
Since ITS might be unable to resolve your problem, Bb Collaborate offers 24/7 support to supplement our local service. In order to receive assistance, notify Bb Collaborate (via phone, chat, or trouble ticket) of the problem you are having, making certain to mention the specific product.