Blackboard Collaborate is a simple and convenient web conferencing solution built into Blackboard. Thanks to the robust collaboration and conference tools everyone feels like they are in the same room and they can experience this on any device. 

NOTE: Please use Google Chrome to access Collaborate otherwise you may experience issues with audio

Getting Started

Collaborate is convenient and easy, it requires no extra software, just open up Blackboard and launch your session! 

The interface is sleek and intuitive providing a clutter free and simple experience. 

All this combined means you can focus on the learning easily without having to be bogged down by the software. 

Click Below for Collaborate Training Videos (opens in a new window)

Collaborate Settings
Add Collab Tool link
Allow Guests
Share Slides
Private Chat
Breakout Groups
Share files to groups
Accessibility for Collaborate
Private collaborate
Access Recordings
Attendance Reports
Show More

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between the types of Attendees?

There are a few types of attendees available in Blackboard Collaborate. You have moderators, presenters, participants and captioners. Moderators - Moderators have full control over all the content being shared. They can make anyone a presenter or a moderator too. They can lower hands, remove attendees (except other moderators) and set the session settings. Presenters - Presenter allows anyone to be a presenter (students for example) without having the moderator privileges. Presenters can share, upload and edit content. Participants - These are the students in a collaborate session. They can enable and disable notifications. Moderators can decide if participants are able to share audio and video etc. Captioner - This is a reasonably new role and is desinged to rovide an accessible learning expereince. Once this role has been assigned by a moderator the captioner has an area to type what is being said.

What web browsers support collaborate?

Browsers that support collaborate are Chrome, Firefox and the most recent versions of Edge and Safari. If in doubt please use Chrome. Mobile operation systems that support collaborate are Android 9+, iOS 12+ and iPadOS

How do I join a session?

There are a couple of ways to join a collaborate session. From a weblink: Your administrator has sent you a link to join an individual session or to log into the Collaborate Scheduler. Open the link in your computer or mobile device browser. Join the session or sign in to the Scheduler. From your course: Open Collaborate from inside your course. It opens in your learning management system. From your phone: If offered by your institution, you can use the telephony feature to communicate with other users. From the Blackboard Instructor app: After you select the link in your course, the session opens in your mobile device browser.

How do I schedule a session?

From the Sessions list, select Create Session. Give the session a name. The event needs some basic details before creating.

  • Set the date and time the session starts and ends. You can choose to keep a session open or repeat. You can also select if students can enter the session prior to the start time.
  • Type a detailed description of the meeting. This helps students find the right session.
They are improving the user experience for creating and editing sessions. This improvement also prevents unintended changes to a session from being accidentally saved. Administrators and session owners now need to save changes with the Save button.

What settings can I adjust for a collaborate session?

There are a lot of settings you can adjust when creating a session in collaborate. Some of these include:

  • Allow recording downloads from the Recordings page as well as on the recording play back page.
  • Show the profile pictures of moderators only.
  • Allow participants to use audio, video, chat, and the whiteboard editing tools.
  • Allow users to join the session using a telephone for their audio.

Any tips for a good collaborate session?

Prepare your session with some of these easy steps! Check your audio, video, application sharing before hand. Prep your materials. Upload any files beforehand. Determine audience participation. Do you want them to share audio, chat etc. Allow early arrivers, let people join early so they can get ready for the session and familiarise themselves with the collaborate interface. Include Q&A where appropriate. Encourage participants to ask questions use polling and chat to engage the room.

How can I add a link so students can see the Collaborate area?

You can add a link to the left hand menu of Blackboard by adding a Tool Link that connects to Collaborate. In the left hand menu hit the + icon, choose Tool Link, give it a relevant name, in the tool section choose Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Ensure you check the avaialble to users box so that students can view this area.

How do I share sound from an application/chrome tab

To share sound please double check you have ticked the share audio box at the bottom of the share application/screen dialogue box. It is located right at the bottom and is quite easily missed.

Large sessions, Should I or shouldn't I?

ou can now allow for a large session. By doing this it turns off audio and video for all participants and without the option to turn it on. You should not use this (unless you speak to the Learning Technologies Team about why you may need to enable this beforehand)

How do I join from my phone?

Mobile device users, who are using the Blackboard Student or Blackboard Instructor app to connect to a session, can't use the teleconference dial-in simultaneously with the app audio for communication during the session. Up to 25 attendees can call into a session from the phone. If the maximum number of dial-in attendees has been reached, nobody else can call in. There is more than one way to call into a Collaborate session with dial-in available.

  • From in the session: If you have joined a session on a browser and want to use your phone for audio, open the Session menu and select Use your phone for audio. Select the number listed and enter the temporary personal identification number (PIN). On iPhones, the PIN is inputted for you. You don't need to write it down first. With this personal PIN, you appear as yourself in the session. This PIN is associated with your personal account. Don't share it with anyone.

  • From the list of sessions: Select the name of the session you want to call into. Select the Anonymous dial-in information from the menu. Your device calls into the session. You appear as an anonymous caller to other attendees in the session.
  • From dial-in information sent to you: Call the number and enter the Anonymous dial-in PIN sent to you. You appear as an anonymous caller to other attendees in the session.

How do I mute my phone?

Select *6 on your device keypad to mute and unmute your phone. This also works if a moderator mutes you or all attendees in the session. Select *6 to be heard.

Can I create private sessions with my students?

Yes you can! You can use Groups to random enrol students into private groups that contain Collaborate. These will only let you and that student enter so there will be no accidental interruptions from other students. To do this follow the instruction below or view a tutorial here. 1. In your Blackboard course go to Users and Groups > Groups 2. Create Group > Random Enrol 3. Give the group a relevant name 4. Untick the tools you don't need (wikis, blogs, discussion boards etc.) 5. Ensure you leave Blackboard Collaborate Ultra ticked, as this will allow students to access the collaborate sessions. 6. Scroll down and choose how many students will need to be in the group (if it's one to one then type one). 7. Select submit. 8. You will now see all the groups with students enrolled, next to the group name you can select the grey down arrow to open/edit the group. (you may wish to edit the group to have the students name, choose open to see which student is in the group and copy and paste their name and then choose edit group to change the name) 9. You can access the collaborate by clikcing on the group name, and then choosing collaborate. 10. Click join session and then you are in a private collaborate session that only you and that student can access

My camera or microphone is blocked. How do I unblock it?

You can quickly unblock your camera by pasting chrome://settings/content/camera into the address bar of your chrome browser. The find the address and under the permissions for items find Camera/Microphone and set the permissions to allow. You can also get here by clicking the three dots in the top right hand side. Then choose Settings > scroll down and choose Site Settings. Then under Camera and Microphone choose these and select allow on the site.

How do I allow guests to join?

If you wish to enable Guest access (a direct open link to the session) you will need to tick the Guest Access box to create the link - it will no longer be enabled by default. When you have ticked this box get the link and send that to your guests.

How do I access Recordings?

You can access your collaborate recordings by choosing the three horizontal line menu, and then selecting recordings. Here you will find recent recordings. To find older recordings in the top right hand side choose the filter by: setting and choose Recordings in a Range. This will let you select dates of and allow you to view all recordings.

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