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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Distance Learning Services: Archive

Archive of Hot Topics

TLTR Newsletter Vol. IV, Fall 2012


This semester Distance Learning Services has been offering more sessions with Blackboard Collaborate.   These sessions can happen in DLS facilities, smart classrooms, and campus offices.  Blackboard Collaborate is an interactive real-time Web conferencing and virtual classroom environment designed for teaching and learning (eLearning) and real-time collaboration. The only equipment requirements are a computer (PC, MAC, Linux based) and audio headset or a microphone & speakers. A web camera is required if video is shared between participants.

Instructors can use Blackboard Collaborate to set up virtual conferencing for their classes. Students can attend the "class" from anywhere, and participate in chat and discussion sessions. Instructors can share PowerPoint presentations and other computer content using a virtual "whiteboard." Discussion session are real time, but can be recorded for later asynchronous viewing. Current system setting will allow 100 participants to interact. Sessions may be initiated at your desktop for one to three participants or within a Distance Learning Services facility for sessions having three or more participants at UNC Asheville.

A number of Web cameras and audio headsets are available for anyone wishing to try out Blackboard Collaborate. Please contact Cliff Hedrick or Greg Dillingham if you would like to discuss these possibilities.


TLTR Newsletter Vol. III, Spring 2012: “Sprung”

Distance Learning Services is pleased to announce expanded video call/conference services. These new services and equipment allow for increased capabilities of video sharing sessions such as Skype or Elluminate.  Faculty and staff who would like to meet in small groups (2-3 participants) can use this system for communicating from any on-campus office (or other meeting space) to other off-campus sites. DLS will set up the equipment and provide a tutorial.  The package includes an audio headset, tabletop microphone and remote control camera (with pan/tilt/zoom) which can be connected to a PC or Mac computer via an included USB capture card. This setup allows the remote control camera to be recognized as a USB webcam on any computer program that supports video streaming or capture.  

 Larger groups can reserve a DLS classroom/teleconference facility.  These facilities allow for multiple participants (15 to 36) to attend Skype sessions at UNC Asheville with high quality video and audio signals transmitted to the remote location. UNCA participants using DLS facilities can also share documents, computer-displayed information, and other instructional media.

DLS staff members are available to help with video calls, test video calls, and provide short term loans of the equipment necessary for these calls.  Several Skype accounts have been setup for use under the UNCA_DLS naming structure for those not wishing to setup a personal Skype account.