#BbWorld15 – Lights, Camera, Blackboard – Increasing Engagement with Video and Multimedia

The online instructor often struggles with creating dynamic content and engaging students effectively. Online courses frequently rely on journal articles, textbook sections, and discussion boards as their foundation, but when the instructor and students are faceless entities on the other side of a computer screen students can lose the connection they would have in a face-to-face environment. At Wilmington University we strive to add synchronous and asynchronous multimedia and video pieces to as many online courses as possible to provide a richer online experience. Using Blackboard Collaborate and other multimedia tools we attempt to create a rich, dynamic environment for online learners. This session will share tips, tricks, tools, and examples to take online courses in Blackboard to the next level.Speaker: Russ Lichterman, Multimedia Manager, Wilmington University


  • 37% of Wilmington students take at least 1 online course.
  • Why video and MM?
    • Online platforms are not using MM to it’s full potential. (Learninghouse.com, 2014)
    • ASU student in March 2014 found a direct correlation between course grades and students viewing faculty-created videos. (Wilson, 2014)
  • Asynchronous tools is a focus for student flexibility with on-demand video and MM content.
  • Guest speakers, lecture capture, faculty screencasts, and webcasts.
  • Swivl is a technology used for lecture capture.

  • Video Announcements provide a high touch and engaging delivery.  Instructors can do this easily with videoeverywhere in Blackboard via their webcam.
  • Video Discussion Boards enabled additional level of engagement.  Can be used for ice breaker activities.  This increases the face to face connection but yet asynchronous.
  • Lecture Capture
    • There is evidence that lecture capture technology increases student attendance and academic performance. (Education Advisory Board, 2015)
    • The most important factors for considering a lecture capture technology are cost and ease of use. (Education Advisory Board, 2015)
    • Our lecture capture devices allows us to get video lecture content into Blackboard at a much lower cost-entry point than traditional solutions.
    • Video can also be used outside of the classroom and captured off site at guest locations or other site visits.
  • Flipped classroom and full online courses have benefits by video integration.  Video can be repurposed.
  • Instructor created videos are authentic and students really enjoy and appreciate the effort put in.
  • Blackboard Collaborate is also used to incorporate video connection with students.
  • Bb Collaborate has been very popular and hugely successful.
  • Collaborate is also used for livestreams of face to face classrooms. A student moderator helps the faculty member during the live session to keep an eye on the remote students.
  • “Live from Iraq” was an online doctoral program student who delivered their defense from Iraq! Highlight video: http://www.tinyurl.com/livefromiraq
  • How do you get faculty buy-in?
    • Training – of all kinds!
    • F2F workshops, webinars, 1:1 training, phone and email support.
    • Robust support documents and videos – not just workshop videos and overall training documents.
    • Specific targeted training materials on the items instructors most want to know. (eg. Narrated PowerPoints)
    • Show, don’t tell – model course specific examples.
    • Access to help is in a tab in Blackboard.
  • Looking to the Future…
    • Live, real-time interaction from all devices and locations will be a necessity.
    • Collaborate Ultra allows for a more robust, richer asynchronous online experience.
    • Swivl devices an be successfully used with Collaborate Ultra to use the robotic camera technology in the live environment, including wireless audio.
    • WebRTC technology in the Collaborate Ultra could allow us to create fully modular web-connected classrooms at a fraction of the traditional cost of web-enabled conference rooms.

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