Blackboard Collaborate


    Blackboard Collaborate is an online web conferencing platform for live communication, presentation, and interaction. Blackboard Collaborate can be used to host:
    • online classes
    • online meetings
    • virtual office hours
    • recorded presentations
    blackboard collaborate screen parts

     Blackboard Collaborate Logo   

    Blackboard Collaborate has beneficial features designed for education including student and moderator privileges, polling, a raise your hand button, supervised chat, whiteboard drawing tools, audio/video, a simple PowerPoint upload tool, and application sharing. 
  • First-Time Users

    What to Expect When Logging into Collaborate

    • Click the meeting link. 
    • Wait a few seconds for the meeting to begin downloading. You may see a pop up message to load Java. 
      • If you are using Internet Explorer watch for the alert bar at the top, click on the bar and select download file.  
      • If you are using Firefox. A popup box will appear click Open (it should say open with Java Web Start Launcher), then Click Ok. 
      • If you are using Google Chrome watch for the alert at the bottom.  Click keep, then Click Open.     
      • If you are using a Mac watch for a .jnlp meeting file in your downloads.

    • A window will open to say Java is starting. Java make take a few minutes to load.  
    • You may see a security warning. Click Run or Allow.  
    Opening meeting jnlp Java

    Security Warning Click Run 
    • You may also see a Blackboard Collaborate status window while the session is loading.
    • The first time connecting from a new computer, you will be asked to accept the Session Participant Agreement. Click on the Accept button. 
    • Select Connection Speed (LAN, Wireless...etc.) and click Ok.
      Blackboard Collaborate Loading

    Watch a Video Orientation


    Video Icon Small   This video will introduce you to the tools in Blackboard Collaborate.

    Click the video link or copy and paste the link into a web browser.


  • Required Equipment

    Blackboard Collaborate offers audio and video components.  All Blackboard Collaborate users must have computer audio and a microphone or they will have to call in via telephone.  Some instructors/classes may also require a web-camera.

    Headsets (Strongly Recommended) 

     Headsets are headphones with an attached microphone.  These all in one headsets are recommended, because they reduce background noise and provide a better microphone volume and quality.  The best headsets have a USB connector and noise-cancelling microphones.  Headsets can be purchased at retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, and many online stores.  Companies such as Logitech sell headsets that range in prices from $15 to $50.   Headset


    At the minimum you will need computer speakers and a microphone.  Many laptops have a built in microphone and speakers.  Microphones are also sold as separately to plug into computers, such as desktop computers.



    If you do not have computer speakers or a microphone, you will need to call in via Telephone.  Once you join the session click the blue telephone icon in the audio and video panel.  It will give you a phone number and pin to enter.  Full directions for joining teleconference.


    Web Cameras

    Many laptops come equipped with web cameras.  Web cameras are also sold separately to plug into computers.  The instructor should tell students in the syllabus and at the beginning of a course if web cameras are required. web camera

    Computer System Requirements 

    Visit  Blackboard Collaborate's website for information on compatible operating systems and web browsers. 



  • Support

    Blackboard Collaborate Technical Support  is available 24/7 for BOTH faculty and students.  The best way to get immediate help is to contact them via phone at 1-877-382-2293.  They can help you join a session or troubleshoot issues during the meeting.  For less immediate issues you can speak with them via chat or submit a support ticket on their website at


    For training and non-immediate questions you can contact the CETL.  We would be happy to show you how to use Blackboard Collaborate, how to schedule a session, and how to host your own online meeting.

  • For Faculty

    Training Documents


    documents small icon
    The CETL hosts workshops and training for Blackboard Collaborate.  We are also happy to schedule a one-on-one training with the instructor or the entire class (online or face-to-face).
    Here are some documents from previous workshops:
    • Introduction to Blackboard Collaborate (PowerPoint)
    • How to use Breakout Rooms (PDF)
    • 4 Steps to Create a Recording (PDF)


    Collaborate FAQs



    Question mark
    Does Collaborate work on Mac?
    Yes Collaborate works on both Mac and PC.  Use the test link above in the First Time users section to check your operating system and version of Java.

    Can I use Blackboard Collaborate if I do not have a course in Blackboard?
    Yes, Collaborate can be used as a stand alone product or it can also be integrated into a Blackboard course.  The easiest way to schedule a session for a class is to add the Blackboard Collaborate Scheduling Manager to the course menu in Blackboard.  For meetings not associated with a course in Blackboard, the CETL can create a stand alone session and email you the meeting links for moderators and participants.

     How can I use Collaborate to record a lecture?
     You can record a live online class or meeting and make the recording available for students that were absent.  Instructors can also enter a session alone to record a lecture for an online class or record a lecture for a face-to-face class if you plan to be out of town.

    If you have a Blackboard course you can schedule a session with the date and time you plan to conduct the recording.  In Blackboard the session link will turn blue and become clickable on the start time you assign.  When you enter the session load your materials, turn on your microphone, and don't forget to PUSH RECORD.  The recording will automatically be saved in your Blackboard course under the Blackboard Collaborate Scheduling Manager.  Tell students to click on recordings or put a link to the recording in your content area or weekly folder. 

    How do I find a Collaborate recording?
    When you create a Collaborate session from a Blackboard course, the recordings are automatically saved (so long as you clicked record) in Blackboard under the Collaborate Scheduling Manager.   There are two tabs: sessions and recordings.  Click recordings tab.  You may have to adjust the Start and End Dates on the search and click go.
    Remember: Not all sessions are recorded, the moderator selects whether or not to record to session.  You should also make sure to get permission from all participants before you record.

    How do I load a PowerPoint into Collaborate?
     Uploading a PowerPoint