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Educational Design and Engagement

Educational Design and Engagement

Enriching the student learning experience & supporting development of on campus and online courses.

Results from the Collaborate User Survey 2015

Graph of tools that are made use of in Collaborate

The Educational Design & Engagement team and Digital Learning Application & Media team within Information Services ran the first ever Collaborate User Survey 2015 in March 2015.

This survey (which was created through Bristol Online Survey) was sent out to staff that we know use Collaborate using two relevant mailing lists which reach approximately 320 staff at the University. There were 45 responses (links to the mailing list will be provided at the end of the article if you’d like to join).

This was the first year of this survey which we now plan to undertake annually to allow us to compare data and feedback from previous years and continue to improve the Collaborate service and support within the University.

Highlights from the Survey:

Below are some highlights from the survey. See the full report (PDF) in the “further information” area below:

  • Over 74% of respondents were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the Collaborate tool.Graph of tools that are made use of in Collaborate
  • The most used tools within Collaborate are Audio (95 %), text chat (93%) and PowerPoint presentations (91%) are, which we would expect. Interesting to note that Session Recordings are more popular than we had realised with 74% of users utilizing this feature.
  • 42% of staff use Collaborate with external contacts (people outwith the University).
  • 81% of respondents would recommend the Collaborate service to a colleague. See the full report for reasons as to why people answered “yes” or no” to this question.


Blackboard Collaborate is currently working on upgrading the Collaborate service, to a new version to be called Collaborate Ultra. The University of Edinburgh is helping to shape the upgraded Collaborate by being a part of the beta testing. We are inviting our users to take part in the beta testing by having regular online meetings within the beta system. We ask our users to test the beta and to provide feedback so that we can filter this back to Blackboard Collaborate. Many of the changes and feedback suggested by our users in the survey will be met with Collaborate Ultra. Some improvements within Collaborate Ultra are:

  • Enhanced Audio and Video
  • Simpler interface
  • No more Java, it will be web-browser based
  • Ability to drag and drop PowerPoint and PDFs
  • Along with many other improvements as Blackboard Collaborate continue to shape the upgraded service throughout 2015/2016

Currently, we do not have a deployment date for Collaborate Ultra at UoE, we have set a tentative date for January 2016 but there are many factors that could push this date back to Summer 2016. If you’d like to find out more information about Collaborate Ultra please see the Blackboard webpages.

Additionally, the Collaborate Service team are working on improving the service’s webpages which was suggested by users in the survey. We plan to add examples of how Collaborate can be used around the University as well as collecting more case studies to further support current and potential users.

Further Information:

Full Report (PDF): Report Collaborate User Survey 2015

Collaborate webpages:

Collaborate Ultra:

Collaborate Alerts List:

A list for information and update on Collaborate.  Not heavily used, mostly used for service alerts and planned/unplanned outage.

Subscribe here (EASE authenticated):

Virtual Classroom/Meeting User Group:

This is a mailing list for people who use Collaborate often and would like to be part of the user group.  We have meeting once or twice a year to stay in touch with our users.  More heavily used mailing list.

To Subscribe please email Kelly.Hall (at)


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