Using Collaborate in Web-based Classes at GHC
Are you a little worried about taking a web-based class that uses Collaborate? Don't be.
Collaborate is a great tool for online learning that creates an interactive environment, so online students don't feel like they are alone in the eLearning universe. There are other life forms out there (students, instructors, librarians, etc.), and Collaborate can be your connection between worlds.
GHC has already paid for the use of Collaborate, so it is FREE for student use when set-up by your instructor.
Special Devices Needed? None.
Collaborate runs on a variety of PC and MAC devices, so chances are very strong that you already own a device that will support the program. To fully use the program, you need a device with speakers, a mic, and a webcam, though video is used less often than sound capabilities. Most laptops, smartphones, and many tablets already have these features built-in. You can maximize sound quality with the use of a headset or bluetooth device, but these are not required.
How do I "attend" class? You will receive a link to click on which will download a temporary file to your device. This file will open the program in a separate window from your internet browser.
GHC instructors use Collaborate in a variety of ways, and use in web-based courses is different than courses that use Collaborate to expand a traditional course across multiple campuses with a single instructor. For my web-based courses, Collaborate is used for individual meetings between student and instructor, similar to those that would occur during office hours. Collaborate can be a great way to receive specialized assistance when it's needed. I also use Collaborate sessions for real-time group discussions that are comparable to discussions that take place in "brick and mortar" classrooms every day. Students can attend these meetings from any location that has an internet connect, so it is very flexible for those with busy schedules.
What if I can't get it to work on my device? Tech support and your instructor are available to help.
The first Collaborate session I hold each semester is an open house session where I am available via Collaborate and by phone, so students can practice logging in and using the program when they do not have to be concerned about being "late" for class and when they know help is available if they get stuck or confused. If you can use the internet, you can use Collaborate!
For more user-friendly guidance, visit GHC's Collaborate Participant Guide.