Blackboard - Participate in Collaborate
Blackboard Collaborate is a web conference tool accessible through your courses in Blackboard Learn. Blackboard Collaborate can be used for collaborating between students, or as a tool to instruct and learn from different locations. This guide will be a short introduction on how to join a Collaborate room as a participant, and some of the basic functions accessible in Collaborate.
Norsk versjon - Blackboard - Delta i Collaborate
Get started #
Get started with accessing Collaborate in Blackboard as a participant by going through some simple preparations. If you are going to be a lecturer/moderator in a Collaborate session, you will find guidance for this here.
Find Collaborate in Blackboard #
In order to join a Blackboard Collaborate session as a participant, your instructor must first create a session, and make a link available through the course content menu (1), or in the course content (2) or give you a link directly to the Collaborate session.
Note: These links can be named anything by your instructor. If you are supposed to have access to this tool but cannot find it, ask your instructor what it is called and where it is placed.
The Collaborate Session links may take you to an overview over sessions, as shown below. Her you will find:
- Direct-link to Join room (1)
- Links to planned sessions (2), if these have been created by your lecturer
If your lecturer has shared a direct link in e.g. an announcement, this link will take you directly to the Collaborate Session.
Technical preparations #
Before your first Collaborate session starts there are some technical preparation that is important to go through:
- Use a supported browser: We recommend Google Chrome. More detailed information on supported browsers is found here.
- Enter the Collaborate session that has been shared with you in one of the ways described above.
- Set up audio and video. If it is the first time you are entering a Collaborate session, you can simply follow the instructions on the screen. Otherwise, you can always access the set up for audio and video in My settings, as described under the Collaborate panel further down.
You can also join a Collaborate session from your mobile device. The Blackboard app includes Collaborate and is available for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices.
Get to know Collaborate #
In this screenshot, you can see the default view in Collaborate:
The large image is the Media Space (1). Here you will see the shared content from the presenter. The tools below the Media Space is called Session menu tools (2), and the pink button to the bottom right opens the Collaborate Panel (3).
Session Menu Tools #
The Session menu tools are the tools available below the Media Space. The tools you have are as follows from left to right:
- My settings/status: By clicking your profile picture or the default avatar, you will be taken to your settings menu. By clicking the smaller circle, you can update your status.
- Unmute/mute microphone: This option lets you unmute or mute your microphone. It is good practice to always mute your microphone when you are not presenting. Presenters can predefine participants microphone settings, and give permission to unmute microphone during a session.
- Share video: Clicking this button will enable your webcamera, and share it to all participants in the session. You will get a confirmation screen before the video is shared. We recommend not sharing video during a session, unless you are presenting. This can limit bandwidth problems, and increase the quality of the live presentation for all participants.
- Raise hand: This tool will notify the presenter that you have raised your hand. It is good practice to use this tool before asking questions.
The Collaborate panel #
The Collaborate panel is opened by clicking the pink button (1) in the bottom right corner, and will appear on the right side of your screen.
The tools are shown in order from the left to right
- The chat tool (1) is used to send and receive text messages throughout the session. This is a good tool for short comments, questions, and sharing content such as links. It is also possible to find other users in the Participants tool, and send a private message.
Note: Moderators may supervise private chats in the session. In that case, there will be a supervision message (2) at the top of the chat window.
- The participants tool is a list of all users currently in the session. Here you can also see who is presenters, moderators, and participants.
- The shared content tool (1) is a list of all content that is currently shared by presenters and moderators. Shared content can be files, the presenters computer screen, break out groups or a whiteboard. In this example, the presenter is sharing a pdf-file. A page of the pdf is appearing in the Media Space (2), and you can see the file being shared in the shared Content tool.
- The Settings Menu is where you can set up your webcamera and microphone, and adjust the volume of your speakers and microphone. Important Note: "Use your phone for audio" is not recommended in Norway. The number provided is based in the U.K., and your phone service provider may charge you a lot for calling abroad.
The session menu #
The session menu is opened by clicking the black button in the top left corner. This Menu has options for e.g. help and feedback. Always remember to Leave Session from the Session Menu. The "Blackboard Collaborate Help" Option will take you to Blackboards own Collaborate Ultra help resources, where you can find more in depth information help about the tools available in Blackboard Collaborate.
Best practice for online sessions #
As a participant in a Collaborate session there are some simple advice you can follow in order to make the session a great experience for you and all the other participants. If you are going to be a lecturer/moderator in a Collaborate session, you will find guidance for this here.
- Join the session early: This gives you time to learn about what is possible in the session, add a profile picture and do technical preparations like setting up audio and video.
- Be on time: If you are unable to be early, at least be on time. Let the moderator know if you are going to be late or absent. Note that everyone can see when someone is joining a session and may see who is joining when.
- Introduce yourself: Let people know who is speaking the first few times. Let the teacher know who is participating and give everyone a chance to get to know you.
- Wear a headset: This way you avoid everyone else hearing feedback sounds when you are speaking.
- Mute yourself when not speaking: This way you avoid everyone being distracted by annoying background noises and private conversations that can give the impression that you are not paying attention.
- Be professional: Remember that you are not alone even if you are participating from somewhere private. Don't talk over someone. Raise your hand if there is no opening to speak, type questions and feedback in the chat and watch your behaviour and facial expressions.
For more tips and advice, please see the Blackboard help pages.
See also #
- Orakel Support Services can help if you have questions or if you encounter difficulties.