Blackboard Collaborate Webinar

I’ve completed my first experience of speaking in and listening to a Webinar, the following is a summary of what I thought of it, hopefully it will prove useful to you when deciding whether this is the route that you should take.

Tools / Equipment used:

  • Blackboard Collaborate (used to be called elluminate)
  • Toshiba Laptop (Windows 7), Windows XP wasn’t as fluid so a reinstall was called for.
  • External Microphone
  • External Headphones

Advantages:

  • Easy to setup, although first run setup can have Java issues, so it would be best to check that you don’t have these by attempting to access the room well in advance to your webinar time.
  • People don’t have to travel to be in a particular location to participate.

Disadvantages:

  • No feedback when you’re talking, just silence to keep you company, yes your listeners can ask questions but the feedback which you get whilst talking to people face to face or via Skype is just not there.
  • Very depended on attendees’ equipment, as in if you have a rubbish microphone you will come across badly to the people who are listening – so it’s best to do pre-recording if you can, that way you can listen to how you sound.  One of our hosts on the day sounded very tinny.

My topic was on Enterprise Architecture, it was difficult to see if the audience was following what I was saying, I had done several run throughs of my session and had also recorded it, but that still didn’t stop me from thinking what I was talking about didn’t make sense due to the silence whilst doing it live. I found myself dumbing down my content as I was talking, which in hindsight I don’t think I should’ve done as it’s very noticeable by all the pauses, if you listen to my talk. The Webinar can be accessed here: http://emergingpractices.jiscinvolve.org/wp/webinar-applying-ea/

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