Transition from Blackboard Collaborate Underway

Information Technology (IT) will transition the campus community from Blackboard Collaborate to other supported web conferencing tools including Zoom and Microsoft Teams by December 15, 2022. There are two Zoom workshops scheduled for December 2022.

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Can’t make a workshop? Schedule a 1-1 consultation.

Transition Timeline

  • April 2022
    • Communicate plans to the GGC community to transition away from Blackboard Collaborate via communication channels such as Pulse and MyCourses announcements.
    • Offer opportunities to participate in workshops for Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
    • Offer 1-1 consultations with IT staff learn more about Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
  • May-July 2022
    • Continue communication.
    • Continue to offer workshops.
    • Continue 1-1 consultations.
  • August-December 14, 2022
    • Update communication.
    • Continue to offer workshops.
    • Continue 1-1 consultations.
  • December 15, 2022
    • Remove Blackboard Collaborate from MyCourses.
    • Remove references to Blackboard Collaborate from support resources such as the Help Desk knowledge base.

Transition Rationale

The transition away from Blackboard Collaborate is underway for two primary reasons:

  1. The need to reduce overall technology spend on web conferencing tools that offer an overlapping feature set and maintain a technology budget that allows for investment in classroom technology, student use computers, and other technologies that support teaching and learning.
  2. Reducing the number of supported web conferencing tools from three to two (Zoom and Microsoft Teams) will help the IT organization provide adequate levels of support to the campus. Supported platforms require ongoing documentation, training, and application administration.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did Information Technology arrive at the decision to decommission Blackboard Collaborate?

The process of identifying the web conferencing tool to decommission considered application features, usage patterns, and cost. When comparing Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, it was clear that Blackboard Collaborate lagged significantly behind Zoom and Teams in terms of features. Notable features missing in Blackboard Collaborate include:

  • ability to automatically (machine) caption a live meeting,
  • virtual backgrounds,
  • ability to mute all participants on entry,
  • ability for host to control incoming video feeds, and
  • ability to pre-populate breakout rooms.

In fall 2021, usage patterns also showed that Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate had similar usage. Microsoft Teams usage was greater during the fall semester than either of the other tools. From a cost standpoint, Blackboard Collaborate and Zoom costs over the last two fiscal years were similar. Microsoft Teams was not included in the cost comparison as it is part of our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. Information Technology also considered which web conferencing tools students were most likely to encounter outside of their Georgia Gwinnett College experience and determined that Zoom and Microsoft Teams were used more widely than Blackboard Collaborate. After careful consideration, the recommendation to transition away from Blackboard Collaborate was presented to groups such as the Educational Technology Committee, the Provost’s Strategic Team, and the President’s Cabinet. These groups agreed with the recommendation provided that ample time, communication, training, and support be provided for the transition. The Vice President for Information Technology approved the recommendation and timeline in April 2022.

Can Blackboard Collaborate recordings be saved?
Does Microsoft Teams integrate with MyCourses?
Can recordings from a previous semester’s class be shared with another class?

Possibly. Review the guidelines on class recordings to determine whether the sharing of a recording is appropriate.

Additional questions regarding the transition can be submitted to the Help Desk.