Wimba Classroom is a synchronous conferencing system embedded in the Blackboard Vista Learning Management System (LMS) used to deliver UMass Boston fully online courses. Students and instructors access Wimba Classroom by logging into their Blackboard Vista course sections. (UMass Boston online course participants do not require additional accounts, usernames or login sequences to access Wimba Classrooms.)
Wimba Classroom provides learners with audio and text chat tools and provides instructors with the ability to provide slide presentations, and to share applications and document with students. Participants access Wimba sessions from computers (Macs or PCs) at their own homes, offices, and classrooms at times and on days designated by course instructor(s).
Wimba Classroom use is intended to augment otherwise asynchronous online courses by providing an environment for meeting in real time, on line. Typical uses of Classroom parallel the work done in a physical classroom in face-to-face classrooms. Within Live Classrooms, students and instructors can process and discuss learning materials explored by students independently with WebCT Vista, the asynchronous learning management system. Typical uses of Wimba Classroom in UMass Boston online courses include the following:
- Full Course Meetings
- Faculty Office Hours
- Group Project Work
- Student Presentations
Some UMass Boston online courses use Wimba Classroom on a weekly basis; other courses use Wimba only occasionally. Not all courses use Wimba for full course meetings, faculty office hours and group project work. The mix of uses depends on the course objectives and instructors' pedagogical imperatives.
Students are supported in their uses of Wimba Classroom through the same 24/7 support system provided to students for Blackboard Vista support. As noted on the Blackboard Vista login page (http://boston.umassonline.net), students can access 24/7 support in any one of the following three ways:
For full functioning in a Wimba Classroom session, each student will require a computer headset equipped with microphone. Students should test their access to Wimba Classroom and seek technical support to configure systems, as necessary, in advance of their first uses of Wimba Classroom. Instructions for testing and configuring Wimba Classroom access are available below and (for online and blended UMass Boston College of Advancing and Professional Studies courses using Wimba Classroom) are also included in the "Wimba Classroom" learning module located on the homepage of course sections in Blackboard Vista.
For questions regarding UMass Boston College of Advancing and Professional Studies Wimba Support for online faculty members, please write to Alan Girelli and Ellen Foust at email@example.com or call 617.287.5419 during the business week.