The safety and security of our clients’ learning environment is of the utmost importance to us at Blackboard. We understand that many of you have already transitioned to a fully remote learning environment, while others of you are transitioning now. This shift has created new challenges when it comes to things like the security of your virtual classrooms. Based on reports of unauthorized individuals gate-crashing virtual classrooms, we want to take this opportunity to make sure that you are leveraging the security features built into Blackboard Collaborate to provide the most secure learning experience that protects students from individuals who are on a mission to disrupt instruction.
Blackboard Collaborate is uniquely designed for education with features that help schools, institutions, and organizations securely deliver synchronous learning for students. We have over 20 years of experience delivering online learning, and during this time we have amassed a great deal of best practices to help our clients deliver a secure learning experience for students. There are four core features of the Collaborate platform that help ensure a secure virtual classroom experience:
- Restrict participant permissions – This feature enables instructors to ensure that only session moderators can control the whiteboard, video/audio, and chat features.
- Secure authentication – This ensures students are able to access only those virtual classrooms assigned for their course (this requires integration with an LMS).
- Unique session links – This enables instructors to send a secure, unique link to session participants (LMS not required).
- Restrict access – This enables instructors to restrict the list of those who can enter their virtual classroom, by disabling access by unauthenticated users.
We have prepared FAQ documents listed below by product version to help you navigate all of the security features within Collaborate, including helpful instructions for administrators, instructors, and users.
In addition to security, Collaborate is designed to help you meet your privacy obligations. We recently published a data sheet that outlines how Collaborate can help you comply with requirements and protect student privacy . There are two versions of the data sheet: one for our U.S. clients and the other for our international clients. It also includes helpful best practices for administrators, instructors, and users.
We are deeply committed to working hand-in-hand with you during this global pandemic to ensure your students have access to a robust, secure learning environment. We believe that together, we can overcome the challenges of today and help you prepare for tomorrow.
For further assistance with setting up these configurations, please log a case with Client Support in Behind the Blackboard.