Faculty and staff from all UW institutions can set up and manage web conferences directly from the MyUW portal.
Blackboard Collaborate Original is a browser-based tool that allows people to communicate, collaborate, and participate in virtual meetings. The vendor provides a more contemporary tool, named Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, which is easier to use from a functional and technical standpoint (see the KB document titled, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - Overview for more information).
Attending a session
There are a few different ways that one can attend or join a Blackboard Collaborate Original web conferencing session.
Through the portal:
- Log into MyUW and launch the Web Conferencing app. If the app is not on your your homepage (but you would like it to be), you can search for "Web Conferencing" and then click Add to Home on the corresponding search result.
- In the Web Conferences list, click the Join Now link for the web conference you want to attend. If the conference instead says “Join in xx days, and xx hours,” then that web conference has not yet started.
Through an individual invitation:
Attendees individually invited to a web conference from an email invitation should click the link provided in the email to attend the conference.
The email sent to individual invitees will also include a calendar invitation which participants can import into most major online calendar systems. Participants who opt for this method should click on the link in their calendar.
Through a Guest Link:
Attendees who aren’t individually invited through the portal may still be given a generic Guest Link. Meeting creators can distribute that generic Guest Link anywhere a URL can be posted: on a website, in a mass email, in a tweet, etc. Anyone who clicks on the generic Guest Link can enter the meeting.
Launching the Collaborate Software
Follow these steps after you click the link to join the web conference.
- You will be prompted to download a file called meeting.jnlp that allows the Collaborate web conferencing software to be downloaded to your device. Accept the download of the file (you can save it to your desktop or another location).
- Some computers automatically launch the downloaded meeting.jnlp file and begin launching Collaborate. If that doesn't happen on your computer, launch the meeting.jnlp file.
- You may see another window that asks you to allow Blackboard Collaborate to access your computer. Click the Allow button to allow access.
- The first time you enter a conference room you will be asked to select your connection speed. Select your connection speed and click the OK button.
- You are joined into the web conference.
NOTE: If you see an application error stating "Unable to launch the application," it is recommended that you clear your Java cache. This is likely to solve the problem.
Be sure to take the time to become familiar with the Collaborate interface and tools. There is much more information about the features in the KB document titled Blackboard Collaborate Original - Overview.