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Coming Soon: Collaborate to Support 25 Videos Per Page

Increased engagement for moderators available in mid-SP2021

March 24, 2021 8:00 AM

UPDATE: Gallery view is now available! Learn more in this FAQ.

Spring will bring warm weather to the UMBC campus community… and an exciting update for our web conferencing tool, Collaborate! The first phase of increased video thumbnails is tentatively targeted for April 8, 2021, allowing moderators to see up to 25 videos per page

Three options will be available:

The Gallery View displays up to 25 videos per page. The zoom function reduces the videos displayed. Up to 250 videos can be supported in a session using pagination to display the thumbnails.  

The Speaker View centers the lead speaker on the screen with 7-8 video thumbnails tiled at the bottom. 

The Tile View places the speaker on the left with 11-12 video thumbnails on the right.

New gallery view in Collaborate

Gallery view works best in Chrome and is not supported at all in Safari at this time.

By summer, Blackboard anticipates supporting a student view of 25 videos per page. Future development for Collaborate includes pinning videos and side-by-side display of content against a smaller gallery. 


Over the last year, Blackboard conducted extensive research with faculty and student focus groups to ensure the new functionality is designed for teaching and learning rather than just deploying more thumbnails like any other web conferencing tool. Reducing cognitive fatigue and non-verbal overload, supporting instructor customization, and providing student privacy are all elements Blackboard researched and will incorporate into its design plan for Collaborate. Additional research is posted to the Blackboard Community site, which requires a free account to access.

During SP2021, Collaborate also will also feature these updates:
  • Session owners can tell at-a-glance if the recording is available to the public or to course members only.
  • Some Collaborate error pages will provide chatbot support to attendees. The chatbot is also available on the Report an Issue panel.
Finally, to reduce impact on session resources, any session that lasts longer than 8 hours will be automatically disconnected from the Collaborate system. While sessions can be scheduled for any length of time including 24-hours and no end date, it is unusual that anyone stays in the session for more than 8 hours at a time. The system therefore will assume extended connection to a session is unintended and disconnect the user from the room. However, attendees can rejoin the session, if they need to access it again.

As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options:
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