Blackboard Collaborate for Students

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Getting Started

Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

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

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

Blackboard Collaborate LogoWhat is Blackboard Collaborate?  What can I do with it?

Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool integrated into every Blackboard course that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate opens right in your Chrome or Firefox browser, so you don’t have to install any software to join a session.  It will work on phones and tablets without needing an additional app.  Find out more in this guide.

Headset iconRecommended Technology and Equipment

Which technologies (such as browsers and operating systems) and what equipment (such as microphones and headsets) works best with Blackboard Collaborate?

How to resolve technical issues

Blackboard Collaborate is a new service that we introduced in a very condensed time-frame.  As such there may be teething problems that would normally have been addressed during a pilot phase.

Whatever the issue facing you, please review these steps that should resolve most issues.

accessibility iconAccessibility Information

Blackboard Collaborate was designed with accessibility in mind.  Follow this link to review the vendor’s latest guidance on using tools such as screen-readers with Blackboard Collaborate.

How to enable automated captions

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

Use a virtual background with Blackboard Collaborate

Watch this video to find out how to set up virtual background in collaborate.  A number of backgrounds are ready for you.

Using Blackboard Collaborate

StartStarting / Joining a Blackboard Collaborate Session

How do you kick off a session on Blackboard Collaborate?  It could be a the built-in “Course Room” or a session you have created for a specific purpose.

This guide takes you through what happens when you join a session.

User InterfaceThe Collaborate User Interface

The Collaborate User Inteface is minimal and easy to get to grips with.  A tutorial even starts when you use it for the first time.  If you should ever need a reminder this guide covers the basics of the Blackboard Collaborate User Interface.

Engaging with a Blackboard Collaborate Session

RolesRoles, permissions, and being made a presenter

Moderator, presenter, participant, what do these roles mean and what can they do?  What happens if I am made a presenter by the session moderator?

Share iconSharing Content

During a Blackboard Collaborate session, moderators and presenters may share content so that they other participants may see it. 

This could be sharing your screen, sharing a browser tab, or sharing a presentation or file.

whiteboardUsing the whiteboard

During a Blackboard Collaborate session, moderators and presenters may open a white board and draw over it.  They may also use the drawing tools to draw over a presentation or other shared file.

Graphic from Collaborate where students can state their feedbackExpressing Sentiment or Situation

During  a Blackboard Collaborate session participants may enter messages in a chat or share their sentiment about the session such as agreeing or asking the presenter to slow down for example.

You can answer polls, these are covered in a separate guide.

poll iconAnswering poll questions

During a Blackboard Collaborate session you may be asked to complete a poll.  This may be for example, making a choice, indicating an opinion, or confirming knowledge.

BreakoutTaking part in Breakout Groups

During a Blackboard Collaborate session, moderators may assign you into a breakout group.  This allows you to do some short discussion as part of this group before rejoining the main group to share your ideas or answers.

Using mobile devices or dialling in

Mobile DeviceUsing Collaborate on a Tablet or Smart Phone

You don’t need a special app to use Blackboard collaborate on your phone or tablet.  Just use Chrome on Android or Safari on iOS.

A phone iconDialing 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 in with an old fashioned phone, or even make a call on your mobile.  It will cost you to do so however, so check with the person who pays the bill before you pick up the phone.

Accessing Recordings

Accessing videos of sessions that have been recorded

At the moderators discretion, Blackboard Collaborate sessions may be recorded.  While we expect recording to mostly be held in Panopto via Recorded Sessions in your Blackboard course menu, you may find that you can also access session recordings directly from Blackboard Collaborate.

Using Collaborate within a Blackboard Group

GroupsHow Student Groups can use Collaborate

If you are put into a group on your Blackboard course, the instructor may have enabled a Blackboard Collaborate area just for your group.