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Blackboard Collaborate OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Blackboard Collaborate is #13 ranked solution in top Virtual Meetings tools. IT Central Station users give Blackboard Collaborate an average rating of 8 out of 10. Blackboard Collaborate is most commonly compared to Zoom:Blackboard Collaborate vs Zoom.
What is Blackboard Collaborate?
Blackboard Mobile give your learners, educators, and community access to all aspects of the educational experience on their mobile devices and they'll be able to go anywhere. Giving you the power to engage everyone on their terms and devices. Offering instant access to the information they need. Encouraging the interaction they crave.

Blackboard Collaborate was previously known as Blackboard Mobile.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Virtual Meetings Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Blackboard Collaborate Customers
University of Derby Online, Universty of Warwick, University of Liverpool, City College Norwich, Northumberland College, Mid-Kent College, Watson Pharmaceutials, Capella University, Shore Tel Sky, Lincoln PD, City of Somerville MA, Somerset County Council
Blackboard Collaborate Video

Blackboard Collaborate Reviews

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BL
Certified Adjunct Faculty, School of Engineering and Computing at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Great for online learning, and straightforward setup, however needs more hands-on tutorials

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution allows me to connect and collaborate with my classes."
  • "If there were maybe more tutorials outside of what I'm aware the university is suggesting, I would take more tutorials on effective ways to deliver content. I come from the industry and content was always needed when people that were observing were smart and involved and decision-makers instead of so passively just trying to pass the course. In my imagination, the tutorials would be a tool where the learners themselves can have much more hands-on learning during a Collaborate session."

What is our primary use case?

Blackboard is our teaching environment, for both online and on campus delivery, for interfaces to publisher's content for the courseware and for instructors to upload content for planned lessons.  My topic area is data modeling and database design, 

When I am teaching, in advance of a scheduled meeting time for students to join the session, I upload into Collaborate content lessons (PowerPoints or PDF). During live-time sessions, I often go-to my desktop so that I can demonstrate using desktop tools for talking about and composing a simple design for a prototype. Due to the technical focus of the classes, lessons about design of data structures often begins with conceiving of and mocking up meaningful Business Intelligence outcomes. Basically, I am able to simulate the approach that I often used when in the industry.

How has it helped my organization?

It has been effective to run the Bb Collaborate session using Chrome, and to also connect to the Blackboardh course using a separate FireFox browser so that the course room can be visible for answering any questions & to show where to find new content. 

I can now embed hyperlinks into the announcements so students can navigate to open a specific file, such as the recording of previous sessions.

What is most valuable?

The solution allows me to connect and collaborate with student live time, or asynchronously.

What needs improvement?

When teaching, I am connected and view everything on a Samsung screen 17 x 24 ins.

Originally, I was disappointed in behavior of the early Ultra version. It did not exhibit to students what I am showing on my own machine. The students are everywhere else, so it's important that they can follow along what I am showing. The user interface during sessions squeezes images to a smaller physical space. For zooming in to detail, Chrome allows enlarging an image, but in a whiteboard window it fails.  It's just not feasible to visualize  detail properly for the students who are connected using small devices

I often use MS Access for prototyping a design, or to talk in terms of dimension modeling, or for running queries. Some students are working on a tablet, laptop or even a cell phone. They cannot possibly see details that I do. 

In the on campus classroom, I don't have that challenge. We're not using Collaborate when the same course is taught, so, displays are on a large screen in front of the room. 

For online courses, a presentation of a final project will be in Collaborate, however, instead, some teachers have been allowing Adobe Connect or Zoom.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about seven years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability problems I face may be on my end. I have AT&T as a service provider for the internet. I've ordered it with the blue cord direct connect due to the fact that wireless would have too many long stalls and sometimes would just stop working altogether. Therefore, I've experienced freezing when working from a wireless connection. However, it may just be my connection.

On my Dell computer with the direct connect, I can keep a session going. I have observed that the students get knocked off and come back, and have to connect again.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since March2020 when pandemic closed campuses, we now teach everything on-line.  I am concentrating on effectiveness of having two connections to Blackboard, one to controls the Collaborate online environment and the other for navigating within the course room. To upload lessons worth saved audio I am recording within PowerPoint and saving into Course Resources for student to play. Sometime I have to split a large file into parts for an upload to complete.

While the school has thousands of students, I'm an adjunct professor with a few set classes to teach database design. The duration of each course is only four weeks. We have ten scheduled connection time slots in those four weeks. 

I will soon doing more with Blackboard for the courses that I already have been teaching. If I'm going to be having meetings with the teams, we would use tools like Zoom or Team Viewer, or, if it comes down to sharing documents, it might be Google Docs. That's how I extend my teaching to help the students. 

Blackboard is the good repository for all of the documents needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

Typically, if we have issues, we contact technical support that is based at the university, which is more of an in-house team. That's become complicated now that a lot of the school has shut down due to COVID.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've previously used a solution at a different education institution called iLink. My university switch to Blackboard about 8 years ago.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I just had to accept what it was that the admins were doing. The admins were learning what the tool could do, however, they didn't really get into what would be needed for teaching. Most of the teaching using Collaborate is limited to running PowerPoints.

What other advice do I have?

We use the latest version of the Ultra solution.

There's always, with any tool, a simple, basic way of using the tool as the vendor supports it. That's the basics. Complications come if you're going to add content that goes beyond what is normally covered. Complications could happen. However, Collaborate isn't too complicated. Their alternative was annoying. It still is. When I'm teaching now with Ultra, I do two connections to Collaborate. One is with Chrome so that I can get past the tunnel of mirrors effect where there's an image within an image within an image, and it's a distraction. I have a second connection through Firefox. The students only connect through whatever the operating system is on their devices for viewing and for talking.

I'd rate the solution 8 out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
LH
Founding Member at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
Document uploads and annotation features enable us to have productive meetings

Pros and Cons

  • "Document loading and annotation."
  • "The system can overload when too many try logging in."

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution to meet with other teachers and to meet with students individually, as well as to meet synchronously for class. I'm a customer of Blackboard Collaborate. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has provided an additional way to connect with students and they feel like it allows for participation in a variety of ways. Students who may not be as eager to participate in a regular face-to-face setting have options in which to express themselves, whether it's voice, typing or chat.

What is most valuable?

It's great that you can upload documents to use as your reference throughout your meeting and you can annotate there as well. The screen share feature is helpful and useful if you don't want to share everything that's pulled up in all of your tabs. The quality is pretty good. 

What needs improvement?

I occasionally had difficulties logging in because I think that the system was overloaded with too many people. It didn't have the capacity that we needed for the number of students we had who were trying to log in at once.

An additional feature they could include would be a better tutorial video on the solution. Other than that, it's great. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable for the most part. It's difficult to know whether problems are connected to the product or if they're coming from my end. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable in that you can work on multiple things at the same time but when too many people have logged on, there can be issues. I'm not sure how many people would be using this solution at any one time but there are 189,000 students at the university and many faculty and staff in addition to that. We have a techie who helps out when needed. 

How was the initial setup?

I had a tech specialist help with the initial setup. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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