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Best Practice Guidelines

Pre-session checklist

  • Give the participants information about how to access the room.
  • Set up your room layout ahead of time - only moderators/presenters can do this, so if you are not the moderator or presenter of the room you are running your session in, you need to liaise with the person who is.
  • Upload your content and test that it displays as you expect it to. This is preferable to screen sharing during the session as it conserves bandwidth
  • Practice your session so that you are familiar with using the panels, switching between different pieces of content and managing participants.
  • Do not use a mobile device to moderate sessions as they only have limited functionality.
  • Use the latest version of Firefox, Google Chrome or Micrsoft Edge on a Windows system and the latest version of Safari on a Mac system. Please note we do not recommend using Internet Explorer as your browser when using Blackboard Collaborate.
  • Use a good quality headset. We do not recommend using a desktop microphone as these can cause echo and feedback issues when presenting.

Just before the session starts

  • Allow time before the session to deal with any presenter or participant issues that may arise.
  • Shut down any non-essential programmes (such as email clients) as these can impact bandwidth.
  • Complete the audio and video tests to check that they are functioning correctly.

During the session

  • Allow time at the start of the session to get everyone into the room and to make sure that they can see the content and hear the presenter/other participants.
  • Inform the participants of your preferred communication method during the session (e.g. use the Raise Hand button or the Chat panel).
  • Enable audio and/or video for participants if you want them to communicate this way.
  • Take care with the amount of video that you use as it can affect bandwidth. It is good practice to use it at the start of the session to aid introductions and then switch it off for the rest of the session.
  • Start recording the session if you want to make the session available to participants afterwards as a reusable learning object.
  • Mute the audience whilst the moderator is speaking to reduce background noise. Audio capabilities can then be reinstated at appropriate times during the session.
  • Have the windows or programme that you want to demonstrate open already on your PC or Mac if you intend to use the sharing function.
  • Close any sensitive material on your PC or Mac before sharing your screen.

After the session

  • Stop sharing any content.
  • Stop recording (if applicable).
  • Clear any answers from polls.
  • Remember that you may not be the only person who uses this Blackboard Collaborate room so you should leave it as you would want to find it.