Blackboard, the UDC learning management system (LMS), provides a supportive discussion generation option that integrates properly with well-developed, online or hybrid courses. However, there are other discussion generation resources available that also compliment a variety of face-to-face, hybrid or online learning environments. Collaborize Classroom is one such resource you may wish to give a try.
Collaborize Classroom is a free, online stage for instructors and students to create structured discussions in a private online community. Collaborize classroom is different from the discussion feature in Blackboard because it allows users an ability to create different question types and/or display questions in an innovative manner.
One example is the “Vote or Suggest” style question in which instructors may ask students to comment on a particular topic. Other learners then have the option of voting for the answers they think are the most relevant and/or posting their own separate responses. This participation option is important because it provides students greater control over their learning process and makes them accountable for determining what constitutes valid knowledge.
Collaborize also provides a well-stocked topic library with hundreds of topics in the category “Higher Education” along with useful suggestions for discussion organization and facilitation.
Once a class discussion is completed, faculty can publish the results of the discussion to a results page. On the results page, the outcomes of student participation are published in an easy to read graphical format. There instructors can also add concluding remarks about the result of the discussion. Those results can then be fed back into other class activities that are face-to-face or online.
Collaborize classroom is not intended to replace Blackboard, but rather complement its functionality. The tool is free, private and secure. To learn more about Collaborize Classroom, go to: