After previewing the next iteration of Blackboard’s Collaborate product which has replaced Elluminate, I was encouraged. Blackboard has capitalized on the feature set in Elluminate by adding a greatly enhanced user interface, borrowed heavily from Elluminate’s pretty cousin, Wimba.
However, Blackboard Collaborate 11 still includes certain shortcomings other applications have resolved. As yet, there is no native output of transportable recordings (you still have to use Publish), there is no internal noise cancellation, and you still have to fire up Java on a desktop to enter a meeting. The subtext of that last item is that a mobile version still looks to be far out on the horizon.
This doesn’t take into account Blackboard’s recent acquisition by private equity firm, Providence. As others have suggested, it’s hard to ignore the idea that Blackboard will be beholden to new expectations related to profit margin and ROI.
Knowing that I am a bit of an outlier when it comes to the open source/closed source debate, I’ll just throw this out there:
I think this is a really great opportunity for UF to think very strategically about how to move forward with the selection of an Elluminate replacement.
The way I see it, there are really 2 use cases for Elluminate at present:
- The creation and dissemination of course content (viewed either synchronously or otherwise) with some participant interaction; this case realistically breaks down into 2 sub-sets:
- Content delivered in a live classroom environment
- Content created on the desktop
- Real-time communication in a less structured format than a traditional face-to-face course