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Instructors often use Blackboard Collaborate to meet with their students in a virtual environment. During a Collaborate session, users can share audio and video or simply chat with one another. There is also the option to share files and give presentations, use the built-in whiteboard for notes and lessons, and participate in polls and breakout groups. Before you do any of this, though, it is a good idea to become familiar with the Collaborate platform and learn how to access its features.
Google Chrome is the recommended web browser when utilizing Blackboard Collaborate for the best overall experience.
- First, make sure you have a reliable internet connection. Blackboard recommends at least 128 kbps speed or above. To test your internet speed, click here.
- It is a good idea to test your ability to access the Collaborate session before the scheduled session time. To do this, login to your course Blackboard site.
- Locate the Collaborate link within your course; it is usually located in the left sidebar on the Course Menu.
Click the Collaborate link to view the Collaborate sessions available to you.
Your instructor may name the link differently than the example shown above. Be sure to ask your instructor which link is the correct one.
- Click on the session name to enter the session.
- If this is your first time signing in to the session, it will ask you to setup your microphone and camera. If your instructor plans for you to use those features (for example: when giving a presentation), click Yes.
- Once you get through the setup, you should see an image like the one below. Since you are just testing your access, you will probably be the only person in the room. During the actual session you will be able to see that your instructor and classmates are also signed in.
- Notice that the microphone and video icons have a line through them. This means your audio and video features are turned off. Keep these features turned off until you are ready to present or until your instructor tells you to turn them on.
- The purple arrow () in the bottom right corner of the screen allows you to access all of the session features and settings.
This menu gives you access to the Chat, Participants, Share Content, and My Settings tools. The Chat feature is the default when opening this menu.
- Once you have opened this menu, click Share Content (the boxed arrow ) to access the file sharing options.
- Select Share Files to add images, PDF files, or PowerPoint presentations to the session. You can test this feature before the session starts to make sure everything uploads correctly.
If you are presenting a document during the session, simply upload the file and select Share Now. This will allow you to then select the page or slide you want to start with. Click the arrows on the bottom of each page or slide to progress through the presentation.
You can also choose to share your audio and video if you want others to hear and see you while presenting the document. Just remember to click on the microphone and video buttons at the bottom of the screen to turn on your microphone and camera.
If you experience technical difficulties you can also call into the Collaborate session with your phone. You won't be able to see the session, but you can hear and participate in any discussions or listen to presentations.
- Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the session to open the menu.
- Once the menu opens, click Use phone for audio.
- The unique phone number and PIN for this Collaborate session will appear. Write these down in case you become disconnected from the session and cannot log back in.
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