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Wimba

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Wimba
How does Voice Authoring Make Blackboard more powerful?
Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Wimba) Voice Authoring software allows you to add your voice to various areas of your courses, humanizing and personalizing your Blackboard courses. The Collaborate suite of tools allows you to access Voice Tools and Live Classroom solutions directly from your Blackboard environment. This page provides overviews, short training videos, and documentation for the various Voice tools in Blackboard.
 

Required for Voice Authoring

System and Technical Requirements:

The standard desktop configuration in UST offices is compatible. You will need a headset, or at a minimum, you will need a microphone. Microphone on webcams are adequate but not recommended. See the Suggested Headsets section below.

  • Java must be enabled in the Web browser for the tools to work.
  • The desktop computer must be equipped with a sound card.
  • A microphone that will work with the desktop computer is required to record sound.

Supported Operating Systems, supported Internet Browsers, and Java for using the Voice Tools. 

Voice Supported Operating Systems, Java & Browsers

OS

Browser

Java (JRE)

 

Supported Unsupported

Windows 7 or 8

Internet Explorer

10.0 or later

 

1.8 (Java 8, current update)

Firefox or Chrome

most recent update

 

Other

 

AOL, Opera

OS

Browser

Java (JRE)

 

Supported Unsupported

Mac OS X

Safari

6.0 or later

 

1.8 (Java 8, current update)

Firefox or Chrome

most recent update

 

Other

 

AOL, Opera

 
Suggested Headsets for Voice Recording

Most basic headsets that have a microphone with some level of noise cancellation will be sufficient for your needs. It is important to identify a headset that is comfortable for you. If you do not like headsets, you can look for a desktop microphone that has noise canceling features.

Cost and Where to Buy
Prices vary depending on the quality of the headset, frequency range and level of noise cancellation. In most office settings that are quiet, a basic model with minimal noise cancellation will suffice for general recording purposes. These models range from about $20.00-$40.00. You can find them at most consumer electronics and super stores, as well as online vendors like Tiger Direct, New Egg, Target, Best Buy and others.

Suggested Models to Review
Manufacturers tend to change models frequently. Look for headsets that fit your style and that have at least basic noise canceling listed as a feature.

Some recommended models are listed below. Note that these may become obsolete and be replaced by updated models. If you cannot find a recommended model, search online for the manufacturer or do a general search for noise canceling headsets and you will find many options.

  • GE PC Stereo Headset - 98960
  • Sennheiser PC131 Noise Canceling Stereo Headset
  • Plantronics .Audio 365 Stereo Gaming Headset
  • Sennheiser PC151 Noise Canceling Headset
  • Plantronics .Audio 650 USB PC Multimedia Headset

Voice Tools Training and Demonstrations

Below you will find descriptions of each tool, their uses and short videos and pdf documentation on how to set up and use the tools in your Blackboard course. The use of the name Wimba throughout these materials is a bit anachronistic, but the tools still function in much the same way.

Note: Video tutorials require Adobe Flash Player 11 or higher. PDF files require Adobe Reader.

vbicon.jpg

Voice Board – a threaded, voice-based discussion board that can also be used for one to one vocal exercises; a threaded discussion feature where communication is asynchronous (anytime)

Uses:  demonstration of student’s ability to apply learning from lecture or material; private vocal feedback to students about their course work and progress

Videos:

Documentation:

vemailicon.jpg

Voice Email – an email message with standard text, plus a vocal element; vocal messages that are sent to one or more email addresses

Uses:  role-playing activities; private communication between instructor and students.

Videos:

Documentation:

vauthoringicon.jpg

Voice Authoring – a recorded message that a user can play back anytime, usually accompanying content within a web page; audio playback which integrates into CMS course pages

Uses: announcement feature to introduce class or course assignments; verbal explanations of complex ideas, graphics, or images.

Videos:

Documentation:

vdirecticon.jpg

Voice Direct – a live voice and chat application

Uses: conferencing tool: users can speak to one another as a live chat.

Videos:

Documentation:

vpresicon.jpg

Voice Presentation – a presentation consisting of web content alongside voice messages; interactive learning feature which blends voice, text, and web pages in one location

Uses: vocal overview of material found on web pages; demonstration of student’s ability to apply what they are learning (can be public or private).

Videos:

Documentation:

podcasticon.jpg

Wimba Podcaster – a tool that allows for the creation and subscription of podcasts; audio files that are distributed for playback on portable media players or computers

Uses: mini-lectures that enhance what is delivered face-to-face; student-generated audio resources.

Videos:

Documentation:

podcasticon.jpg

Voice Announcements – enables instructors to record a brief audio announcement that displays on the course announcements page

Uses: audio announcements for your course

Videos:

Documentation:

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