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Create And Edit Sessions

Login to Blackboard and locate the module you will run the session from.

From within a content area select Tools, Blackboard Collaborate.

Collaborate Tool

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.
  • Copy the moderator link for your personal use, such as adding to a personal calendar item. Anybody using this link must be able to sign in with the session creator credentials.
  • Set guest access for the meeting. Click On to allow participants to invite additional guests.
  • You can send the copy of the guest link to your students, or other guests. You can also decide if your guests join as participants, presenters, or moderators by default.

    Session links can be long and break when sent. Use a URL shortening service, such as TinyURLTM, to create a short alias for your session.

  • Decide if guests join as a participant, presenter, or moderator. Permissions can also be set during your meeting.

Please note: Only supervisor and administrator accounts can create sessions.

Getting Set Up

You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. This is necessary so that you are seen and heard.

You'll be asked to do this when you first join a session or when you first go to share your audio or video.

It's OK if you're not ready to do this right away. You can set up audio and video at any time in My Settings.

  1. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings.
  2. Select Set Up your Camera and Microphone.
  3. Choose the microphone you want to use. Collaborate tells you that you sound great when it is receiving your audio. Select Yes, it's working to proceed.
  4. Choose the camera you want to use. Collaborate tells you that you look great when it is receiving your video. Select Yes, it's working to proceed.

By default, you are hidden and muted after you complete the setup. Select the microphone and camera icons to begin full meeting participation.

Adjust your speaker and microphone volume any time in My Settings.

Session Settings

Decide who can do what in your sessions from the scheduler.

  • Schedulers can 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.

Recording A Session

You can have multiple recordings during one session. If you decide to continue recording a session after you have stopped, a new recording is saved and added to the list of recordings for that session.

Open the Session menu and select Start Recording. The recording camera appears on with a red dot while recording is in progress.

To finish recording, open the Session menu and select Stop Recording.

If you are sharing a file, allow 8 seconds for the recording to include the shared file before moving on.

How do I find the recordings?

From a Blackboard Learn course, select Course Tools and Collaborate (location depends on how the menu is organised in the specific module).

Can I Download Recordings?

Yes. If the moderator has allowed session recording downloads, you can now download recordings from the same place you view the recordings as well as on the recording play back page.

Add a Profile Picture

Having a social presence can be critical to a successful online learning experience. Something simple as adding a profile image can make learners more comfortable with participating online.

  1. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings.
  2. Point to the avatar and select it.
  3. Upload any image or use your device camera to take a photo. You can choose to use this profile picture for every session.
  4. Adjust the image area.
  5. Select I Like it!

Get Audio / Video Set Up

You will need to setup Audio and Video to speak and be seen during a session, but you don't need to set them up if you just want to watch and listen to a session.

Moderators and Presenters should be comfortable with these settings.

You must complete audio and video set up at least once before you can use them.

Don't want to set it up right away? No problem. You can complete the set up at any time.

After you are set up, select the microphone and video camera icons any time during a meeting to turn them on or off.

Session Menu

The Session menu opens a collection of high level session actions and information. Open it using the Session menu button at the top left of the screen.

Tools and features you use only once or twice during a session are conveniently grouped here.

Find details about the session.

If you are a moderator you can record your sessions.

Connect your phone for audio.

Get help or report an issue.

Media Space

The media space in Collaborate is where the content of the session is displayed. Content you share is automatically the main focus of your screen. The picture-in-picture shows you who is speaking.

We've maximized the size of this space to create an inherent full screen experience at any screen size.

Tools that appear in the media space relate directly to what is happening in the session at that moment. You know immediately what you can do.

If you're not sharing content, the focus is on participant profiles and video. You can switch between a grid view and a view that follows the speaker. With the follow-the-speaker view, the focus moves to the current speaker as the discussion unfolds.

The Ultra experience switches to follow-the-speaker view automatically when there are more than five participants.

Collaborate Panel

The Collaborate panel takes your session experience to the next level. You now have a single space to go to engage other participants with all the great collaborate tools.

Chat with everyone in the session or privately with other moderators.

Manage participants (if you are a Moderator).

Share content or start polling or breakout groups(if you are a Moderator).

Set your personal and session settings(if you are a Moderator).

All the icons explained!

Main Interface Icons

Icon Tool Description
Share audio icon indicating audio is offAudio on shows a microphone in green Audio Turn your audio on. Lines through the microphone icon means that it is turned off. Select Share Audio to turn it on.

With your keyboard, press Alt + M to turn your microphone on and off.

Share video icon indicating video is offShare video icon indicating video is on Video Turn your video on. Lines through the camera icon means that it is turned off. Select Share Video to turn it on.

With your keyboard, press Alt + C to turn your camera on and off.

Hand raise iconHand raise icon indicating hand is raised Hand raise Raise your hand to answer a question or get another moderator's attention. Select Raise Hand.

With your keyboard, press Alt + H.

Open Collaborate panel icon Collaborate panel Open the Collaborate panel.
Open Session menu icon Session menu Open the Session menu.
Follow speaker view icon Follow the speaker view Switch to the follow-the-speaker view.
Grid view icon Grid view Switch to the grid view.
Picture-in-picture icon Picture-in-picture Change the focus of your screen. If shared content is on your main screen, switch to watching the speaker. Select the picture-in-picture to bring that content to your main screen.
Change status iconStatus away is yellow Status Show yourself as away. Point to the green checkmark by your avatar image and select Set as Away. Select I'm back! when you return.

Session Menu Tools

Session Menu Tools

Icon Tool Description
Start recording icon Start/Stop recording Open the Session menu and select Start Recording.
Use your phone icon Use your phone Use your phone for audio during a session.
Report an issue icon Report an issue Report an issue with the session.
Get help icon Help Go to Blackboard Collaborate help on help.blackboard.com.
Learn new user interface icon Learn about new UI Open the new user interface tour.
Leave session icon Leave session Exit the session and complete a quick survey to tell us about your experience.
Close Session menu icon Close Close the Session menu.

Collaborate Panel Tools

Collaborate Panel Tools

Icon Tool Description
Open chat icon Chat Chat with participants. Open the Collaborate panel and select Open Chat.The emoji pack for Collaborate with the Ultra experience supports diversified emojis and Unicode 8 characters.

Use one of five supported skin tones on any human emoji. Add underscore, tone, and the supported tone number (1 through 5) to your emoji when typing. Don't forget the colons on either end of your emoji text.

Example: :wave_tone5:
Collaborate's chat history only has 50 messages displayed at any given time.

Open Participants panel icon Participants panel View the list of participants. Open the Collaborate panel and Select Open Participants List.
Open Share Content icon Share Content You can share a blank whiteboard, an application, PDFs, PowerPoint® presentations, and images in GIF, JPEG and PNG formats. You can also poll participants. Open the Collaborate panel and select Share Content.
Open My Settings icon My Settings Add a profile image, set up your audio and video, your notifications, and session settings. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings.
Close Collaborate panel icon Close Close the Collaborate panel.
Share Whiteboard icon Share Whiteboard Share a blank whiteboard from the Share Content panel.
Share application icon Share application Share your entire desktop or a single open application from the Share Content panel.
Share files icon Share files Share PDFs, PowerPoint® presentations, and images in GIF, JPEG and PNG formats.
Start polling icon Polling Start a simple poll to share with your participants.
Breakout groups Start breakout groups.
Open options icon Options Open the participants options menu.

Content Editing Tools

Content Editing Tools

Use these tools to edit and mark up shared files and the whiteboard.

Icon Tool Description
Select icon with a sketch of an arrowSelect icon active Select Use the arrow to select an object on the whiteboard. After you select it you can resize, move, and delete it.
Pointer icon with sketch of hand pointingPointer is active Pointer Use the hand to point to different areas of the visible slide. Participants see wherever you are pointing on the slide.
Pencil icon with a sketch of a pencilPencil is active Pencil Use the pencil to draw free hand on the slide.
Shapes icon with a sketch of a squareShape tool is on Shapes Use the Shapes icon to draw a rectangle, ellipse, or a straight line. Your choice.
Text on with a letter TText tool is on Text Type text on the slide with the "T".
Clear icon with a sketch of an eraserClear is on Clear Use the eraser to undo everything.
Show view controls with sketch of paper and magnifying glass View controls Show or hide your zoom, fit, and size controls.
View controls open View controls opened Zoom in, Zoom out, Best Fit, Actual sizeBest fit takes advantage of your screen real estate. Content adjusts to be completely viewable in the available area. It displays as large as possible while keeping the aspect ratio intact.
Preview and next arrows Slide navigation controls Move to the previous our next slide.

With your keyboard, press Alt + Page Down to move back a slide and Alt + Page Up to move forward a slide. On a Mac, press Alt + Fn + Down Arrow or Alt + Fn + Up Arrow.

Select the slide name to view all slides.

Stop icon with a square in a circle Stop Stop sharing content.

Audio and Network Indicators

Audio and Network Indicators

Tool Description
Video is visible indicator icon On-air Collaborate tells you when others in the session can see your video. If you see an eye, your video is the focus of everyone else's screen. If you see an eye while content is shared, others see your video as their picture-in-picture.
Participant's mic is on indicator Audio status See who is speaking and who has their microphone turned on. Microphones appear next to participants who have their audio turned on. A dark microphone is used to represent the current speaker., which moves to the current speaker as the discussion unfolds.
Network status indicator icon Network status You can tell at-a-glance who is in your session and who might be having trouble connecting. Network indicators have been added to the Participants panel. These tell you when someone is in the process of joining your session, if users are connected, and how their connection is. Move your pointer over participants in the Participant panel to see the indicators. Move your pointer over the indicator to see network status information.