New Online Collaboration Suite Features in Blackboard

Many faculty consider live audio and visual interactions to be important elements of effective teaching and learning experiences online. Yet, such interactions can be difficult to foster in an online learning environment.

NIU has arranged for a six month, campus-wide trial license of Wimba Classroom, an online collaboration suite designed exclusively for education that integrates with Blackboard and allows educators and students to engage effectively by combining interactive technologies with instructional best practices.

Some of the features of Wimba Classroom include:

  • presentations with audio and video narration
  • multi-way audio and video chat
  • public and private text chat
  • electronic whiteboard for annotating, diagramming, etc.
  • polls, quizzes, and surveys conducted in real-time and rusults available on demand
  • desktop sharing / application sharing
  • breakout rooms
  • full-featured archives
  • telephone access
  • accessibility features

A demonstration of Wimba Classroom will be held on Friday, March 7th from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm in Altgeld Hall, Room 100. NIU faculty/staff, graduate teaching assistants, and leaders of Blackboard communities are encouraged to come and learn more about the capabilities of this collaboration suite and how to participate in the pilot implementation for enhancing the teaching and learning experience.

For more details about this online collaboration suite and to request Wimba Classroom be activated in your Blackboard course(s) and/or community, visit

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at

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