Right now the maximum number of viewable concurrent video feeds in Bb Collaborate Ultra is 4. This is sorely lagging behind the capabilities of one of Collaborate Ultra's competitors, Zoom. Below is an image of a teaching studio for our iMBA program at Illinois. Using Zoom, an instructor can see 25 of his student's video feeds at once on a single screen while giving a remote lecture:
From a pedagogy standpoint, this is useful for the instructor to get live feedback on how engaged his students are in the content of the lecture. Besides it's importance for online only classes, this is also key for blended/hybrid model where many students join online as well as in person, and this scenario is becoming more and more common in our smart classrooms (which our campus is expanding and spending considerable resources).
From a service delivery perspective, it is difficult for us as a central IT organization to promote a product (Collaborate) that can't provide a similar experience. The consequence for this is that departments with highly reputable programs (like our College of Business iMBA program) are purchasing individual licenses for Zoom even though we provide Collaborate to campus for free.
For most modest uses, viewing 4 simultaneous camera feeds might be good enough. But in order to compete with other products available and make Collab Ultra a feasible choice for robust online and blended teaching, please prioritize the viewing of many concurrent video feeds in a tiled view as seen above. Make it easy to use and organize on multiple screens. On Zoom's website they are saying that their platform can support "up to 50 interactive video participants, ideal for panels."
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