More Interaction to More Satisfaction: Enhancing Online Learning Experiences with Blackboard Collaborate

Concurrent Session 5

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Using Blackboard Collaborate can increase student interactions and enhance the online learning experience.   Ideas for assignments, tips for creating effective online activities, overcoming obstacles, and time management of synchronous activities will be discussed.  Attendees will participate in a synchronous activity using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Computer and headset with microphone recommended.


Diana Willeman-Buckelew, PhD has been in working in academia for over 25 years and has extensive experience developing and teaching online courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has conducted several faculty education sessions that focused on best practices for online teaching. Currently, she serves as the Chair for the Department of Public Health & Healthcare Leadership at Radford University on the Radford University Carilion campus in Roanoke, VA. Email:

Extended Abstract

Incorporating Blackboard Collaborate into courses can increase student interactions and enrich the learning experience. Since student-to-student and student-to-professor interactions favorably influence student outcomes, providing more opportunities for synchronous activities can result in a more engaging and satisfying courseThis interactive workshop will provide several different ideas for using Blackboard Collaborate in online and hybrid courses and participants will engage in a synchronous activity using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.  The workshop will give participants the opportunity to consider ideas for assignments and the pros and cons of using Collaborate.  Tips for creating effective online activities, overcoming obstacles, managing synchronous sessions, and seeing a sample of student comments will also be included in this session. 

In this workshop, participants will explore several different uses for Blackboard Collaborate.   For beginners, a basic overview of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra’s features will be explained in the session.  Participants will engage in a synchronous activity which will demonstrate the tool’s features and practices to engage students during a Collaborate session.   Using Collaborate for lectures, review sessions, discussions, project presentations, and group meetings will be covered in the session.  Time permitting, participants will engage in group discussions to brainstorm new ideas, share experiences, and deliberate the pros and cons of using Blackboard Collaborate. Online students want to feel a sense of community in their learning environment; therefore, by incorporating more opportunities for interaction, the potential exists to increase satisfaction and improve student outcomes.

Computer or tablet required and headset with microphone recommended for full participation in the synchronous Blackboard Collaborate activity.


  1. Demonstrate use of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra’s basic features.
  2. Participate in a synchronous Blackboard Collaborate activity.
  3. Consider a variety of course assignment ideas using Blackboard Collaborate.
  4. Discover methods for creating effective Blackboard Collaborate activities.