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Moving beyond Elluminate(Archive)

In 2010, Blackboard acquired Elluminate, the synchronous learning management system (SLMS) currently used by NC State University.   An SLMS is a “real time” collaboration tool that has an array of features that support virtual classrooms and web conferencing, such as group breakout rooms, PowerPoint import, live chat, multiple video camera support, and application sharing. At NC State, Elluminate has been used in a variety of ways, including but not limited to class meetings, student group work, and NC State business-related meetings. (See for the policy on approved use cases.)

Blackboard has released a new product called Blackboard Collaborate. Because of this new product, Blackboard will no longer support Elluminate after December 2012.

Because Blackboard Collaborate is the company’s replacement for Elluminate, our campus was able to license use of Collaborate through the end of June 2013 to serve as a temporary replacement for Elluminate until a permanent replacement is chosen. Blackboard Collaborate has similar features and functionality to Elluminate with a cleaner user interface.

What’s the plan for finding a replacement for Elluminate?

NC State has not surveyed the SLMS market in several years, so we are conducting an evaluation of the market to determine the best replacement for Elluminate for our campus. Our plan for evaluating SLMS options can be found here.

SLMS Search work done to date

Our SLMS search team created a rubric of essential and desired functionality and compared nearly 20 products against this rubric. This narrowed the list of possible replacements to 6 options. The committee is now evaluating these options using typical use cases and will select 3 to 4 finalists. Once these finalists are selected, they will be evaluated by a second committee comprised of members from across the NC State community. Please see our SLMS search plan for more information and dates.

How you can provide input

Additionally, we have opportunities for community involvement. We’ve sent a survey to all Elluminate moderators, and we welcome anyone in the campus community to participate. This survey takes only 10-15 minutes to complete and will be open until February 29.

You are also invited to join us for a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 23, 12 – 1 pm in Elluminate. We will discuss our search for Elluminate’s replacement, our transition to Blackboard Collaborate, and answer any questions you may have about this process.


What is the transition plan for moving to Blackboard Collaborate?

This timeline shows how we will support and transition to Collaborate in the coming months.

Users will be able to begin using Blackboard Collaborate this summer.  Training and documentation will be available for the NC State campus in May, including live instructor-led training, online videos, and written help guides. Elluminate Live! will continue to be available during the summer. Beginning in the fall, Blackboard Collaborate will be the only synchronous classroom/web conferencing solution available campus-wide.  Additionally, Elluminate users will be able to use Elluminate Publish to download and save copies of Elluminate recordings until December 2012.