University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

Synchronous Online Environments

  Bb Collaborate Skype fo Business
Desktop/application sharing         
Voice/video/chat  
VOIP & telephone access  
Collaborative whiteboard  
Assign roles/permissions  
Mobile access
(participants only, not host)
 
Record and share sessions  
Participant polling  

For synchronous online collaboration, GSE Online has both Blackboard Collaborate and Skype for Business available for faculty/student use. See the matrix below to help you decide which is the best tool for your needs.

Product Feature Bb Collaborate Skype for Business

Desktop/application sharing

Voice/video/chat

VOIP & telephone access

Collaborative whiteboard

Assign roles/permissions

Mobile access
(participants only, not host)

Record and share sessions

Participant polling

           Breakout rooms
     
 
Key Differences Bb Collaborate Skype for Business

Platform                

Web based
(Click to enter room)
Desktop & Web based
(Sign-in or click to enter)

Capacity

Host up to 50 participants Host up to 250 participants

Meeting Space

Faculty must reserve a
Collaborate room in advance
You can schedule your sessions on-demand

Student Availability

No – Students may not reserve
a Collaborate room without
faculty assistance
Yes – Students may set up
student to student sessions
Key Features Bb Collaborate Skype for Business
 

Breakout sessions — divide your meeting into smaller
working groups

 

Specifically designed as
a tool for education

Contact list — see which of your contacts are signed in and
their availability

 

Integrates with Office/Outlook

Best when used for... Bb Collaborate Skype for Business
 

Delivering lectures

Hosting guest speakers

Student presentations

Workshops/lessons
requiring breakout sessions 

Virtual office hours

Impromptu meetings

Department/peer meetings

To Use Blackboard Collaborate

Step 1: Schedule your Collaborate session through GSE:

  • View the GSE Lab/Classroom Calendars using
    MS Outlook for Windows,   MS Outlook for Mac,   or UB Outlook Web Access.
  • Click on Collaborate Virtual Classroom #1, #2 or #3 to check availability of date/time.
  • Send an email and include your name, the course number and title (if applicable), and the dates and times of all the sessions you need. 
  • GSE IT will verify your registration through email and will provide you with Moderator and Participant links.

Step 2: Download the Getting Started for Moderators Quick Reference Guide. This document provides tips on preparing for and conducting a Collaborate session.

Step 3: Visit the following website for step-by-step directions on how to utilize all of the features of Blackboard Collaborate:
Essentials for Moderators
.

Step 4: Share the participant link with your students (GSE IT will provide you with this link when you schedule the session) as well as the Participant Quick-Start Guide and/or the Collaborate Resources document (see documents below).

Student Resource Document

Please consider sharing the document below with your students prior to using Blackboard Collaborate. You may copy portions of the document into an announcement or an email, or post the complete document in your course. This document explores FAQs, technical assistance, preparing for a Collaborate session and troubleshooting.

For more information and for assistance on how to incorporate Blackboard Collaborate into your teaching, contact an instructional designer.

To Use Skype for Business

UB faculty, staff and students can initiate and conduct virtual conferences, instant message, make phone conference and video calls, and hold online meetings using Skype for Business:

Click here to start using Skype for Business

For more information and for assistance on how to incorporate Skype for Business into your teaching, contact an instructional designer.

Contact Us

Ellen Sidey

Instructional Designer

Online Programs, Graduate School of Education

457 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-0587

Email: ellensid@buffalo.edu

Peter Schilke

Instructional Designer

Online Programs, Graduate School of Education

301 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-1138

Email: pjschilk@buffalo.edu