Using Blackboard Collaborate

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These support pages are to help you get up and running using the various features that Blackboard Collaborate has to offer.

Blackboard have extensive detailed help pages that can be found on their Blackboard Collaborate Ultra pages.

Starting a Blackboard Collaborate Session

This guide takes you through what happens when you join a session for the first time and how to change the settings.

The Collaborate User Interface

When you start a Collaborate session for the first time you will get an optional tutorial. Should you need a reminder this guide covers the basics of the Blackboard Collaborate User Interface.

Using the whiteboard

Moderators and presenters may open a whiteboard and draw on it during a session. They may also use the drawing tools to draw over a presentation or other shared file. This guide shows how.

Recording your Blackboard Collaborate Session

Moderators can record their Blackboard Collaborate session and, if they wish, make that recording available to participants watch back.

The University has limited capacity to store recordings, so we recommend moving your recordings to Panopto and then deleting them from Blackboard Collaborate. 

​Using Breakout Groups

During a session moderators can assign participants into breakout groups, placing them into a temporary group collaborate room where they can work together before re-joining the main group.

Currently breakout groups cannot be premade before a session, a change coming to Collaborate will allow this. For more information look at the guide.

How Student Groups can use Collaborate

You can allow student groups within your Blackboard course to have their own individual Collaborate rooms. Here shows you how this can be set up.

Dialing into a Blackboard Collaborate Session using a phone line

There may be times when you can’t use a computer or mobile device but you want to join a Collaborate session.  You can dial into a session with any phone.

Important: It will cost you to do this, so please check with the person who pays the bill before you pick up the phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have collated the questions most frequently asked by UoS colleagues about Blackboard Collaborate and have compiled this useful list.

If you already have a question or technical issue, you may find the answer here.

Setting Up Collaborate Sessions

A ‘Course Room’ is automatically available for every Blackboard course that allows you to jump straight into a session. However you will also need to create sessions to suit different purposes, this guide takes you through the process.

Roles, permissions, and external guests

Moderator, presenter, participant, what do these roles mean and what can they do? How can I invite guests from outside the University of just outside of the course?

Sharing Content

During a session, moderators and presenters may share content so participants can see it. This could be sharing your screen, sharing a browser tab, sharing a presentation, or file. This guide shows how this is done.

Engaging with your audience

During a session participants may send messages in the chat or raise your awareness by using interactive tools such as agreeing or asking the presenter to slow down etc. This guide shows you these tools and how to manage your participants.

Using the Poll tool to quickly gauge opinion and knowledge

In a session it is quick and easy to create an interactive poll. You may use this, for example, to ask participants to make a choice, to indicate an opinion, or as a test of knowledge. This guide shows you how.

​Reporting on Collaborate Session Attendance

After a session you may wish to review who attended/joined the session. You can generate an attendance report of a Collaborate session. To see how look here.

Using a virtual background with Blackboard Collaborate

Find out how to make a virtual Background like MS Teams, the following guide has a how to video along with a number of backgrounds are ready for you.

How to enable automated captions

Watch this video to find out how to enable automated captions in Chrome for Collaborate.