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Blackboard Collaborate - Frequently Asked Questions General
This document includes answers to common questions regarding the Blackboard Collaborate service.
- Who is eligible to use Collaborate?
Any UW instructor or staff member is covered by our UW System-wide license for Collaborate. There are no restrictions on who may be invited into Collaborate meeting sessions by the moderator of the meeting session.
- Will there be a cost for using Collaborate?
There is no cost to obtain and use Collaborate meeting sessions. Collaborate licensing costs have been paid by DoIT through campus central funding. Other related services on campus are available at a cost including special audio conferencing capabilities, custom eLearning materials development, and custom training.
- How can I start using Collaborate?
There are three ways to access Blackboard Collaborate and create meetings for UW-Madison faculty and staff.
Faculty can access Blackboard Collaborate for instruction via the Learn@UW integration. To learn how to activate web-conferencing in Learn@UW see this kb doc. Link
Faculty and Staff can access Blackboard Collaborate via the UW Madison Portal. For more information about activating web-conferencing in the portal please see this kb doc. Link
Faculty can access Blackboard Collaborate for instruction via integration in some instances of Moodle. Please contact your local Moodle administrator for more information.
- How many meeting sessions can I have?
Our license allows you to have an unlimited number of Collaborate meeting sessions. We recommend that you carefully consider how you will use your meeting sessions and how many you actually need.
- Which version of Collaborate are we using?
We are using Blackboard Collaborate version 12.5 Different versions may be mentioned in various online articles, tutorials, and documentation.
- What browsers are supported?
Windows: IE 8, 9; Firefox 3.6+, Chrome 3.0.15
Mac: Safari 4.x; Firefox 3.6+
Not all supported browser versions are supported in all operating system versions. For further details and all system requirements, please see this Blackboard KB article.
- What Java versions are compatible?
Although numerous versions of Java are compatible with Blackboard we strongly recommend using the most recently updated and patched version due to the recent history of Java security vulnerabilities.
- Is Collaborate compatible with mobile devices?
Collaborate has a iOS app available from the Apple app store as well as an Android app available via the Google Play store. It does not provide the full desktop experience but does allow mobile users to view and interact with the meeting.
- Does Collaborate support non-Latin characters?
Yes. Blackboard provides more information on the topic in the Blackboard KB.
- Does Collaborate support live captioning?Yes. According to Blackboard, "The Closed-Captioning feature provides a mechanism, through closed-captioning text, to view a transcript of the session, while the session is in progress. Anyone in the session can view the closed-captioning text, but a moderator must give themselves, a participant or another moderator the permission to enter closed-captioning text. More than one person may be given the permission of entering closed-captioning text."
- How does Collaborate support HIPAA requirements for security and encryption?We strongly recommend that users refrain from using Blackboard Collaborate if there are concerns about complying with HIPAA requirements. Blackboard states that the customer "acknowledges that the Blackboard software is not intended and shall not be used for storage or transmittal of Protected Health Information or patient records of any type, and Customer shall hold Blackboard harmless for any and all claims resulting from the release of the above information."