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Blackboard Help

Virtual Classroom

This information applies only to the Original Course View. Your institution controls which tools are available.

The virtual classroom includes a shared whiteboard, a group browser, a question-and-answer area, and a map that you can use to navigate to areas in your course. The session moderator establishes which tools users can access.

Get started with the virtual classroom

  1. On the Control Panel, go to Course Tools > Collaboration.
  2. Find the virtual classroom you'd like to join, and select Join in its menu.

Virtual classroom menu bar

  • View: Select Show in-line to view private messages within the chat area. Select Show in separate frame to view private messages in a separate window.
  • Controls: Select the check boxes to grant access to tools for passive and active users. Clear a check box to delete access to a tool.
  • Clear: Clear the currently visible chat display. If you are recording the session, this has no effect on the recorded chat text.
  • End: Stop a session. The session is ended and all users are dismissed.
  • Breakouts: Select the check boxes for the users who will participate in the breakout session. Users may only join a breakout session if they are selected by the creator of the breakout session. Users who enter a breakout session are still active in the main virtual classroom session. If a breakout session is closed, users are still active in the main session. Breakout sessions default to the same settings as the main session.

Virtual classroom tool box

To begin using items on the Tool tab, select the name of a tool.

The following tools are available in the classroom tool box:


Map

In the virtual classroom, use the course map to browse the course.

The following list details the available functions in the course map:

  • Display a map element to all users by selecting a content area in the map and select Display to Users in the list. Select Go.
  • Display a map element in a separate window by selecting a content area in the map and then select Preview in New Window. Select Go. The new window appears only to the user who opens it.
  • Refresh the map during a collaboration session by selecting Refresh Tree. Select Go. The map updates to match the course menu.

Whiteboard

The whiteboard tools allow users to draw images, type text, and present equations. The session moderator controls if this function is made available to users.

This table details the functions available on the whiteboard.

Function Description Action
Select an item Select the Arrow tool and select an item for selection. You can perform the following options on selected items:
  • Enlarge: Select one of the small black boxes that surrounds an item and drag it to the appropriate size.
  • Move: Select an item and move it to the appropriate location.
  • Cut: Select the whiteboard item and select the Cut icon.
  • Copy: Select the whiteboard item and select the Copy icon.
  • Paste: Select the whiteboard item and select the Paste icon.
  • Delete: Select the whiteboard item, select the selected object, and select the Delete icon.
  • Group items: Select the whiteboard items and select the Group icon.
  • Ungroup: Select a whiteboard item in a group and select the Ungroup icon.
  • Bring front: Select the whiteboard item, select the selected object, and select the Bring to front icon.
  • Bring back: Select the whiteboard item, select the selected object, and select the Send to back icon.
  • Select all figures on the whiteboard and select the Selects all Figures icon.
Draw free hand Select the Pen tool. In the Fill Color menu, choose the color of the pen.
Type text using the keyboard Select the text tool (T) and select the whiteboard area. A Whiteboard Text Input box appears. Type text in the box and select Insert. Use the options in the tools palette to select color, font, and size.
Draw a straight line Select the Line tool.
Draw a square Select the Square tool. In the Fill Color menu, choose the color of the square.
Draw a circle Select the Oval tool. In the Fill Color menu, choose the color of the circle.
Input an equation Select the equation icon. The equation editor appears. Input the equation and select Insert Equation.

Group browser

Use the group browser to collaboratively browse the web. This tool opens a browser window that all users can view. If you are recording the session, the URLs will be documented. Your institution controls if this function is made available to users.

Display a website

  1. Type the URL in the Enter Address box. Select Go.
  2. Select Display to Users to display a website in the whiteboard. You can also select Preview in New Window to open a website in a new browser window. The preview window appears only to the user who opened it.

Ask question

Users are able to ask questions during a session. As users submit questions, the session moderator can view and respond to them. Only active users can ask questions.

  1. In the Ask Question area, select Compose.
  2. In the Submit Question pop-up window, type your question in the text box.
  3. Select Send.

Question inbox

When users ask questions in the virtual classroom, the questions are sent to the Question Inbox. The Question Inbox is used to manage and respond to questions during a collaboration session.

  • View unanswered questions by checking the Show unanswered only box.
  • To respond to a question, select a username in the From list. Select the Respond to Question icon and type your message. Select the Private check box to send your response privately. Select Send when you're done.
  • Delete a question by selecting a username in the From list and then selecting the Delete icon.