Synchronous Online Environments

For synchronous online collaboration, GSE Online has both Blackboard Collaborate and Skype for Business available for faculty/student use. See the matrix below to help you decide which is the best tool for your needs:

  Bb Collaborate Skype fo Business
Desktop/application sharing         
Voice/video/chat  
VOIP & telephone access  
Collaborative whiteboard  
Assign roles/permissions  
Mobile access
(participants only, not host)
 
Record and share sessions  
Participant polling  
  Bb Collaborate Skype for Business

Desktop/application sharing

YES
YES

Voice/video/chat

YES
YES

VOIP & telephone access

YES
YES

Collaborative whiteboard

YES
YES

Assign roles/permissions

YES
YES

Mobile access
(participants only, not host)

YES
YES

Record and share sessions

YES
YES

Participant polling

YES
YES
           Breakout rooms
  YES 
 
Key Differences    

Platform                

Web based
(Click to enter room)
Desktop & Web based
(Sign-in or click to enter)

Capacity

Host up to 50 participants Host up to 250 participants

Meeting Space

Faculty must reserve a
Collaborate room in advance
You can schedule your sessions on-demand

Student Availability

No – Students may not reserve
a Collaborate room without
faculty assistance
Yes – Students may set up
student to student sessions
Key Features    
 

Breakout sessions - divide your
meeting into smaller working
groups

Specifically designed as a tool for education

Contact list – see which of
your contacts are signed in
and their availability

Integrates with Office/Outlook

Best when used for:    
 

Delivering lectures

Hosting guest speakers

Student presentations

Workshops/lessons
requiring breakout sessions 

Virtual office hours

Impromptu meetings

Department/peer meetings

To Use Blackboard Collaborate:

Step 1: Schedule your Collaborate session through GSE:

  • View the GSE Lab/Classroom Calendars using MS Outlook for Windows, MS Outlook for Mac, or UB Outlook Web Access.
  • Click on Collaborate Virtual Classroom #1, #2 or #3 to check availability of date/time.
  • Send an email and include your name, the course number and title (if applicable), and the dates and times of all the sessions you need. 
  • GSE IT will verify your registration through email and will provide you with a Moderator and Participant link.

Step 2: Download the Getting Started for Moderators Quick Reference Guide. This document provides tips on preparing for and conducting a Collaborate session.

Step 3: Visit the following website for step-by-step directions on how to utilize all of the features of Blackboard Collaborate: Essentials for Moderators.

Step 4: Share the participant link with your students (GSE IT will provide you with this link when you schedule the session) as well as the Participant Quick-Start Guide and/or the Collaborate Resources document (see documents below).

To Use Skype for Business

UB faculty, staff and students can initiate and conduct virtual conferences, instant message, make phone conference and video calls, and hold online meetings using Skype for Business:

Click here to start using Skype for Business.

For more information, contact:

Ellen Sidey.

Ellen Sidey

Instructional Designer

Graduate School of Education

510 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-0587

Email: ellensid@buffalo.edu