Delivering sessions on Collaborate to students in China
Recommendations to improve real-time (synchronous) sessions
When delivering Collaborate sessions to China-based students, please follow this guidance:
- Use a hardwired Ethernet connection when presenting.
- Broadcast quality is partially dependant on the presenter’s network connection, although certain students may also experience a low broadcast quality if they have poor internet connectivity themselves.
- Recording quality is based on the presenter’s connection, other than when a student or guest speaker talks or screen shares, at which point the quality is based on their connection.
- The use of video (webcams) should be limited to only the necessary people who need to be seen.
- In the settings, camera functionality can be disabled for students.
- The more video streams that are enabled simultaneously the greater the pull on the bandwidth of all users.
- If students need to share their video and audio, we advise them to turn this on to speak, and turn it off again once finished.
- Use the Collaborate file sharing and whiteboard features for content instead of screen sharing, which can be very bandwidth heavy especially when combined with having your webcam on.
- For demonstrations, you could use screenshots or record a micro-lecture on Panopto.
- Record the session so those who may have had a poor connection in the live session, or drop off due to other technical problems, can catch up afterwards.
- Smaller class sizes usually work better for those students with poor connections.
- There are no restrictions accessing Blackboard Collaborate in China.
- Inconsistent or slow internet connection speeds in China (high latency, lack of bandwidth, jitter and packet loss) can also impact on the performance of Collaborate.
- Students using WiFi can contribute to any latency/bandwidth issues.
- Slow internet connections can prevent users in China from being able to access real-time sessions or share audio, video or uploaded materials. Additionally, it can lead to frequently dropping and reconnecting, to not being able to connect at all.