Blackboard IM for Virtual Office Hours and Collaborative Group Work

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1 Blackboard IM for Virtual Office Hours and Collaborative Group Work Blackboard IM is an instant collaboration solution designed to promote learning through group work and academic and administrative help. Bb IM also includes advanced features such as video chat, screen sharing, and a robust whiteboard. Blackboard IM Assistance Select the chevrons at the right end of the File menu, then select Help > Blackboard IM Help. Check the School tab in the Bb IM window for the mybb Helpdesk tab Additional help: Bb IM Help Documents on the web: You will find a variety of videos and pdf (Adobe Acrobat) files for getting started with Bb IM by clicking on the Help button once you have logged into Blackboard. It is at the top of your Blackboard screen. Blackboard seminars: For questions and/or comments regarding Bb IM, please contact:

2 Creating a Blackboard IM Account Log into Blackboard. Click on your active course and select Tools in the Navigation panel. Scroll down and select Blackboard IM. Click submit and you will automatically be taken to your Bb IM Account and Settings page. Activate your Blackboard IM Course To make your Course available in BB IM, under Course Instructor, click in the box to the left of the class you want to enable. A checkmark will appear indicating that Bb IM has been enabled for this course. NOTE: You must also check the course in the Course Participant section to see the course in your Bb IM client. Downloading and Installing Blackboard IM In the classrooms and computer labs BB IM is available in the Applications > Non Departmental folders. Download the Bb IM client to your computer by selecting the appropriate link, Windows or MAC, from the Download Blackboard IM graphic at the top of your Settings page. The Bb IM installer will download to your hard drive.

3 Using Blackboard IM You DO NOT start a Bb IM session by logging into Blackboard. Either double-click the shortcut icon on your desktop or search for Blackboard IM using the Windows search bar in the Start menu. 1. Enter your Bb IM ID. 2. Enter your password. 3. Click the sign in button. NOTE: In the classrooms and computer labs Blackboard IM is available in the Applications > Non Departmental folders. The Black Board IM Interface Blackboard IM is based around the Bb IM window, from which you manage communication with other users and access the program's more advanced features. Chat Chat is the simplest form of communication in Blackboard IM and, in many cases; it is also the most effective. Also known as instant messaging, Chat allows you to send a message, which is received immediately, to any user currently logged in to Bb IM. The user can then reply to your message and you can have a conversation via a series of instant messages.

4 Starting a new Chat To Start a New Chat, do one of the following: 1. Double-click the name of the user you wish to contact in either the Contacts or Classmates tab. 2. Click the name of the user you wish to contact and press the Enter key on your keyboard 3. Click the name of the user you wish to contact and select Chat from the Tools menu. A new Text Chat window opens. 1. Click in the Text Input Area and type your message. 2. Press return on your keyboard to send the message. Emoticons are special graphical icons that you can insert into any text-based chat to make your conversations more expressive and fun. Group Chat Similar to regular chat, Group Chat allows you to chat with multiple users at the same time. You can invite new participants to a Group Chat either while creating it, or after the session has already been created. Any participant, including the creator of the Group Chat, can leave a session at any time and the other participants are still able to continue the session.

5 Starting a New Group Chat Session To Start a New Group Chat: 1. Select at least one of the users that you wish to invite in either the Contacts or Classmates tab. You can invite multiple users at the same time (you can always invite additional participants later). 2. Right-click (Ctrl-click on Mac) the name of one of the selected users and select Invite to Group Chat > New Group Chat. Or click on the Tools menu and select the option Group Chat > New Group Chat. 3. The Invite to Group Chat window opens. Type a name for the session 4. Click Invite. The new session is created, a Group Chat window opens, and invitations are sent to all of the users in the Invited list. Office Hours Office Hours takes the concept of Group Chat one step further by creating a waiting room in which users line up to speak to the owner in the order that they enter the chat. It is especially useful for situations in which an instructor needs to communicate with multiple users in a structured setting. Starting a New Office Hours Session The process for starting a new Office Hours session is different than for other types of chat in Blackboard IM because you don't have to invite other users. Instead, you set your status to Office Hours and other users can contact you by joining your session.

6 To Start a New Default Office Hours Session 1. Click the Status Bar. 2. Select Office Hours. Your status changes to Office Hours and a new Office Hours window opens. To Start a New Custom Office Hours Session 1. Click the Status Bar. 2. Select Custom below Office Hours. The Edit Custom Status window opens. 3. Select the desired settings for your Office Hours session and click OK. Note: If you check the Office Hours messaging only box, you cannot receive instant messages from other users while hosting an Office Hours session. Calling Calling can be used to make online communication more fluid and natural. Also known as Voice over IP (VoIP), Calling allows you to have a real-time audio conversation with any user currently logged in to Bb IM. You can use Calling with your computer's built-in microphone and speakers; but for the best call quality, it is recommended that you have a USB headset with an integrated microphone. Starting a New Call To start a new Call, do the following: 1. Select the name of the user you wish to call in either the Contacts or Classmates tab and click the Call button.

7 2. The Audio & Video window opens. If it is not already open, a Chat window for the user also opens. 3. When the user accepts the call, the Talk button becomes active. Click the Talk button to start transmitting audio. Video Calling Video Calling allows you to have a real-time, face-to-face conversation with any user currently logged in to Blackboard IM. Video Calling in Bb IM is unique because both participants do not need to have video capability in order to participate; using blended media, it is possible for one user to participate using video, while another user participates using only audio. Starting a New Video Call To Start a New Video Call, do the following: 1. Select the name of the user you wish to call in either the Contacts or Classmates tab and click the Call button. 2. The Audio & Video window opens. If it is not already open, a Chat window for the user also opens. 3. When the user accepts the call, the Talk and Video buttons becomes active. Initially, the call only uses audio. Click the Talk and Video buttons to start transmitting audio and video.

8 Video Capture Video Capture allows you to capture a still image from a Video Call and either save it to your hard drive, or send it to an open Whiteboard session. To capture an image: 1. Move your cursor over the Audio & Video window and click the Capture Snapshot button. The Video Capture window will open. 2. From the Video Capture window, you can select whether you wish to capture Broadcast video only, Preview video only, or both. Then click the Save button to save the image to your hard drive or the Send to Whiteboard button to send the image to a Whiteboard session. Collaboration The Collaboration window enables you to exchange information ideas with others. You can share: a whiteboard with drawings and presentations a region of your screen (via the Screen Sharing feature) websites (via the Web Tour feature) Using the Whiteboard The Whiteboard is a collaboration tool that allows two or more users to synchronously view and modify objects and text on shared pages. Whiteboards are object-oriented, meaning that you can add and modify content independently of other objects on the page. You can use Whiteboards in conjunction with other Blackboard IM features, such as Chats, Calls, Office Hours, and Help Desks.

9 Starting a White Board Session To Start a New Whiteboard Session, do one of the following: 1. Double-click the name of the user you wish to contact in either the Contacts or Classmates tab. A new Text Chat window opens. 2. Click the Collaboration button. Or select the name of the user you wish to call in either the Contacts or Classmates tab. Click on the Tools menu and select the option Collaborate > Invite to Collaborate. 3. The Collaboration Window opens and a Whiteboard session starts. Tips: You can start a Whiteboard session without another participant by changing your status to Office Hours and then clicking the Whiteboard button in the Office Hours window.

10 Using Screen Sharing Screen Sharing allows you to share a live view of a portion of the screen on your computer with other Blackboard IM users. When you host a Screen Sharing session, other users can see your screen just as if they were physically sitting at your computer. You can choose exactly how much and which part of your screen you want to display. You can also give another user cursor and keyboard control of your desktop, allowing them to control and modify anything displayed on your screen. Starting Screen Sharing To Start a new Screen Sharing Session, do the following: 1. If it s not already open, open the Collaboration Window. 2. On the Collaboration Window, click the Screen Sharing button. The screen Sharing Window opens. 3. The resizable frame controls how much of your screen is displayed to other users; only the area contained within the box is shared. You can move the frame around by dragging any of the dashed edges and resize it by grabbing one of the eight control points located at the corners and on each side of the box. Blackboard IM Assistance Select the chevrons at the right end of the File menu, then select Help > Blackboard IM Help.

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