Edublogs webinar overview – in the “Moderator Sandpit”


This session, recorded as always was an opportunity to find out more about using BlackboardCollaborate from the moderator perspective including both features and strategies . As with the precursor Elluminate there are many tools and features available to the moderator that are not visible to participants. Although in my personal opinion there are a number of ways in which BbC is less “user friendly” and less conducive to smooth session flow than its predecessor. This is still my opinion after regularly using BbC as a moderator since its inception almost a year ago. In my work context I still use Elluminate – as this is easier for my students (adult literacy/numeracy).

The Session

This session was a “walk through” and “play with” some of the features available to moderators that are not available to participants. We were a very small group which provided opportunities for discussion and dialogue about the various features and their use. I started as I often do with a poll on where people were coming from on BbC and a “what would you like to takeway”.

In these sessions I always give everyone moderator privileges, this usually leads to interesting effects as people are unable to resist just “playing”. However with the small number of us this did not arise. Throughout the session we discussed some of the positive and negative aspects of particular tools/features.

During the session we discussed and played with:

  • whiteboard tools
  • whiteboard object menu allowing monitoring of “who did what”on the whiteboard
  • loading slides/whiteboards
  • layers on the whiteboard as a means of managing access to live links
  • saving whiteboards & chat
  • application sharing with particular respect to the least bandwidth/resource heavy strategy
  • managing access to tools for participants both as a group & individually
  • webtours, managing participant movement around the site
  • managing access to the session (eg removing a participant if necessary)
  • using the timer
  • managing screens through the Explorer window
  • polling

Throughout we were both demonstrating/experimenting with tools and also talking about how they can be used with students for: monitoring participation; estimating engagement; technical support and a variety of other activities.


This was an excellent session – despite or perhaps in part because of the small number. Many questions were raised and (mostly) answered. I always enjoy sharing my own strategies and how I use the tools to work with students as well as giving others the opportunity to explore the moderator features.

Next Webinar

Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday April 26th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday April 27th at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic.

2 thoughts on “Edublogs webinar overview – in the “Moderator Sandpit”

  1. Hi Jo, I am looking forward to listening to the recording of this session and taking up some of the ideas shared. We had a webinar on Tuesday. The topic was Videoconferencing Beyond Classroom walls with Skype. Skype was app shared in the BBC window but we got audio lag at times and I was chipmunking for much of the time. Was it the fact that the two online spaces were open at once? Do you have any ideas?

  2. Hi Anne

    I would definitely expect such issues! Skype is bandwidth heavy compared with BbC and App Share is one of the most bandwidth demanding features of BbC. When you add to this the fact that the shared content is sent to the BbC servers and then back down individually to each device then a degree of lag is inevitable – particularly for those with lower bandwidth.

    One of the strategies that can help reduce lag issues in general is to recommend that other apps with potentially high usage are closed or prevented from auto-updating during sessions with high demand eg Twitter, Fb, Email, IM.

    Another consideration is taking care about how you App Share. With something very heavy ie lots of repaint and or a video window included it is much better to share a region rather than the whole desktop or an entire app. This is because the smaller the area of screen you share the less demanding this is of bandwidth and consequently of time taken to upload to servers and download to participants. A very negative aspect of BbC cf Elluminate from my perspecticve working with low bandwidth students is that to share a region rather than the entire desktop or a specific app is now much more difficult and has to start with a full desktop share.

    Hope this helps 🙂

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