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Wimba

713-525-6900
ithelpdesk@stthom.edu

Wimba
How does Wimba Make Blackboard more powerful?
Wimba’s software allows you to add your voice to various areas of your courses, humanizing and personalizing your Blackboard courses. Wimba allows you to access "Voice Tools" and "Live Classroom" solutions directly from your Blackboard environment. This site provides overviews, short training videos and documentation for the various Wimba tools in Blackboard.
 

Required for Wimba

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. See 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 (see headset recommendations below).

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

Wimba Voice Supported Operating Systems, Java & Browsers

OS

Browser

Java (JRE)

 

Supported Unsupported

Win Vista Win XP
Win 2000

Internet Explorer

6.0 - 7.0

 

1.6 (6.0)
1.5 (5.0)
1.4

Firefox

1.5 - 2.0

 

Other

 

AOL, Opera

OS

Browser

Java (JRE)

 

Supported Unsupported

Mac OS X
10.5
10.4
10.3

Safari

1.2 - 3.0

 

1.5 (5.0)
1.4

Firefox

1.5 - 2.0

 

Other

 

AOL, Opera, IE

 
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 (approx. $20.00 online)
  • Sennheiser PC131 Noise Canceling Stereo Headset (approx. $30.00 online)
  • Plantronics .Audio 365 Stereo Gaming Headset (approx. $30.00 online)
  • Sennheiser PC151 Noise Canceling Headset (approx. $40.00 online)
  • Plantronics .Audio 650 USB PC Multimedia Headset (approx. $40.00 online)

Wimba 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.

Note: Video tutorials require Adobe Flash Player 7 or higher. PDF files require Adobe PDF Viewer.

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 with standard text, plus a vocal element; vocal messages that are sent to email address (es)

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; verbally explains 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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University of St. Thomas - Houston, TX - Educating Leaders of Faith and Character
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.

 

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