Transitioning from eLive to Bb Collaborate

eLive is the former version of Blackboard Collaborate. It is available for use through Fall 2013 concurrently with Blackboard Collaborate within Blackboard Learn.

Training & workshops on getting started with Blackboard Collaborate are available through UAA Faculty Technology Center.


Through Fall 2013
eLive and Collaborate are both available in Blackboard through Fall 2013, meaning that you can create new sessions within Blackboard in either tool.

Though Spring 2014
You will not be able to create new eLive sessions in Blackboard.
You will be able to access previously recorded eLive sessions.

Starting Summer 2014
You will not be able to access your previously recorded eLive sessions. 

Archiving eLive Recordings

eLive recorded sessions will remain available to UAA users through Spring 2014. Those that wish to re-use eLive recordings beyond that date will need to use the Blackboard Collaborate Publish software to convert and save their recordings to a hard file. This process is in real-time. If your recording is 1-hour long, it takes at least 1-hour to convert and save the recording. 

The file will be an .mp4 or other "hard" file, that you will then need to make available to your students. 

Ideas for making you archived videos available to students:

  1. Upload directly back into your Blackboard course.
  2. Upload to a video hosting space (YouTube, Vimeo, etc) and embed in your course.

Re-record for updates: You may also consider re-recording your lectures with updated content, using a screencasting software such as "Screencast-o-matic", or even Blackboard Collaborate, so you can "chunk" your information into smaller time segments. Here an article form Campus Technology on using lecture capture to make your courses more engaging.



Why the move to Collaborate?

In 2010 Blackboard purchased Elluminate Inc., revamped the product to the Collaborate platform and recently announced they will be ending support for eLive on September 30, 2013. Knowing that the UA system would need to eventually switch products, the CIO Management Team tasked a UA-wide eLearning Group in February to perform a full evaluation of web conferencing tools available in the marketplace. The final recommendation from this team is to move to Blackboard Collaborate for two years, then reevaluating. Here are some of the key reasons Collaborate scored well in their evaluation:

  • Familiar interface
  • Strong educationally focused platform
  • Full integration with Blackboard Learn
  • Improved accessibility/usability features
    • Enables individuals with disabilities to fully engage and participate in the teaching and learning experience
    • Provides a richer experience for traditional desktops as well as mobile devices
  • Easy setup for instructors 
  • Integrated phone conferencing capabilities
  • Mobile app integration with iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire HD
  • Ability to create standalone MP4 recordings
  • Java-free version is in development

What does this mean for eLive Support?

Since Blackboard is ending support of eLive on September 30th, they will no longer supply us with software patches. While there is a little likelihood that the system will break outright, certain functions of eLive may not operate correctly over time. Users may want to consider this risk when choosing which tool to use for the Fall 2013 semester. However, we will continue to keep the service available and will be here to troubleshoot issues that are within our ability to fix.

What will happen to my eLive content?

We will keep the old recordings available through the Spring 2014 semester. Those that wish to use eLive recordings beyond that date will need to use Blackboard Collaborate Publish to convert their recordings.

How long will eLive remain available, even if it is not the default web conferencing tool?

eLive will remain available to UAA users through Blackboard through the end of the Fall 2013 semester. All new web conferencing sessions will need to take place utilizing Blackboard Collaborate effective the Spring 2014 semester. Other MAUs may choose to continue to provide access to eLive.

How can I get started with Collaborate?

Ready to make the switch? There are a number of resources to help you get started including online training opportunities and documentation. The training is excellent and highly recommended as your first stop. Experience with eLive will be helpful as well, but is not required.