While Blackboard is the Learning Management System used at SUNY Broome to deliver content to students in fully online, blended, synchronous remote, and web-supplements courses, there are also several other technologies that work with Blackboard to enhance the student learning experience. Below, we give a brief overview of each of these technologies and include links to areas where you can find additional information about each one.
Video Storage, Recording, and Auto-captioning
Ensemble Video Platform and Media Library
Ensemble is an online video platform in which you can easily store video for sharing within Blackboard. There is also a companion piece to the platform – Ensemble Anthem – that allows you to record video for posting in your Blackboard course shell. Students would then view the video you post a later date (asynchronously). There are several types of video you can record using Ensemble Anthem including:
- Voiced- over PowerPoint presentations
- Demonstration videos that capture motion on the screen
- Videos created using your webcam and microphone
Ensemble is NOT meant for the recording of lectures that occur in large rooms or live video interaction with students. Please see the area of this page for “Synchronous (Real-Time) Communication with Students” for solutions currently available at SUNY Broome for this type of interaction.
Ensemble accounts are created by request (see Forms for Faculty). When a faculty member receives and Ensemble account they receive the following:
Ensemble Media Library
The Ensemble Media Library is your personal folder for storage of audio and video in Ensemble and typically is titled with your first and last name. If you use Blackboard in your courses, this library will automatically link to your Blackboard account and allow you to easily link to the audio and video you have stored in your library. You can also share your stored media through email, social media, and on websites.
For more information about using the Ensemble Media Library, please see the Faculty Guide – Introduction to Ensemble Video.
presentations, demonstrations that include the sharing of your computer screen, or video using a webcam. The Anthem tool is simple to use and is web-based, so recording can be done from any webcam/microphone enabled pc that has an Internet connection both on and off campus. And, because Anthem is part of the Ensemble Video Platform, there is no additional software that needs to be purchased. The only installation required is one small plug-in. For more information about using Ensemble Anthem to record and share video, please see the Faculty Guide – Recording Video with Ensemble Anthem.
Captioning of video for the hearing impaired has historically been a manual and tedious process. The Ensemble Auto-Caption tool makes captioning a breeze! Videos stored in Ensemble can be submitted to the Auto-Caption service, which does most of the work. There is no need to manually type out captions for the video. Once a video is captioned, the Amara Caption Editor tool within Ensemble can be used to edit captions and correct any spelling errors or mistranslated words. For more information about using the Ensemble Auto-Captioning tool and Amara Caption Editor, please see the Faculty Guide – Ensemble Auto-Captioning.
Synchronous (Real-Time) Communication with Students
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a simple real-time interactive video conferencing tool that is already integrated into every Blackboard course shell and is the preferred method of synchronous electronic communication with your students. With Collaborate Ultra, all participants need to be logged into Blackboard at the same time and must have a webcam and microphone OR be able to call in from a phone. This tool is very useful for online office hours or other activities that require live interaction in small, limited time blocks.
Please Note: While sessions can be recorded for viewing at a later date, Collaborate Ultra should not be used for the voicing over of PowerPoint presentations or the other demonstration-type teaching. One-way, demonstrative recordings are best done using Ensemble (see Ensemble listing above). Collaborate is a communication tool.
Also note that Collaborate Ultra does not have automated closed captioning (a requirement for communicating with students who are hard of hearing or deaf) although a faculty member can ask someone to be a closed captioner (type text for others).
For more information about using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra please see the Collaborate Ultra Faculty Guide or select one of the Collaborate Ultra tutorials below.
Collaborate Ultra Basics
- Overview of Collaborate Ultra
- Adding a Collaborate Ultra Sessions to Your Blackboard Course
- Testing Audio and Video in Collaborate Ultra
- Sharing Content During a Collaborate Ultra Session
- Using a Document Camera for Remote Instruction
Other Collaborate Ultra Features:
Zoom is another option available at SUNY Broome in a limited capacity. Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service that allows for synchronous (real-time) communication. Like the other options listed above, it allows for audio, video, live chat, and desktop/screen sharing. While Zoom sessions can also be recorded, like Collaborate Ultra, it should not be used for the voicing over of PowerPoint presentations or the other demonstration-type teaching. One-way, demonstrative recordings are best done using Ensemble (see Ensemble listing above). Zoom is a communication tool.
For more information about using Zoom, please refer to the tutorials below:
- Scheduling a Zoom Session
- Scheduling Recurring Zoom Sessions
- Testing Audio and Video in Zoom
- Sharing Your Screen during a Zoom Session
- Faculty Guide – Adding a Zoom Link to Your Blackboard Course Shell
- Using a Document Camera for Remote Instruction
Other Zoom Features:
Google Meet (previously Hangouts) is a real-time video and audio interactive tool, providing in-the-moment ability to ask and answer questions and keep the course community alive. It is best used for one-on-one interaction or for on-demand meetings as it integrates with the SUNY Broome gmail calendar. It can be used for group interactions, but all participants must be in the “Meet” (the meeting) at the same time. A Meet can be set up by creating a SUNY Broome Gmail invitation via the Calendar, adding guests (your students), indicating a time and date, and letting Google create a Meet link and phone number. Sessions with students are easy to schedule right from within your Google Calendar or by going to Google Meet.
Google Meet sessions can be recorded for viewing at a later date. Like Collaborate Ultra and Zoom, however, Meet should not be used for the voicing over of PowerPoint presentations or the other demonstration-type teaching. One-way, demonstrative recordings are best done using Ensemble (see Ensemble listing above). Meet is a communication tool.
To get started with Google Meet, please review the Google Hangouts Meet Training and Help Area. It will give you an overview of what Google Meet can do for you and provide access to training, help and support documents, and a quickstart document to get you up and running.
Remote Proctoring Solutions
Examity is the Online Remote Proctoring tool that is used at SUNY Broome for student identity verification and remote proctoring of online exams. Examity is integrated with the Blackboard Learning Management System and has been set up for single sign-on, so that no additional username or password are needed to access the system. With Examity, students can take their online proctored exam from anywhere they have privacy, a computer that is connected to the Internet, a webcam, and a microphone. Examity is available for fully online courses only. For more information about using Examity in your online course and the steps that are necessary to successfully implement Examity into your online instruction please see the Fall 2020 Examity Implementation Process document.
For additional information on using Examity for Remote Proctoring, be sure to visit our Examity for SUNY Broome Faculty page.