EPD - eHelp - Technologies - Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that instructors and students use to deliver webinars and communicate in real-time in both credit and non-credit courses. Detailed information regarding system requirements, troubleshooting, and access is provided below.

Getting Started

Visit  EPD - Blackboard Collaborate - Quick Start & Setup for instructions.

Note: that the Configuration Room does not have the full functionality the EPD's Blackboard Collaborate room will have.


Blackboard Collaborate is completely cross platform, so it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and runs in a web browser using a small installed Launcher application provided by Blackboard. The Launcher is java based.

Well in advance of the web conference:
  1. First Time Users should Check the System Requirements to ensure that the computer supports Blackboard Collaborate, and that your computing environment (home or office) allows proper network access.

Mobile Devices

Download and install the appropriate native app in order to run Blackboard Collaborate on a mobile device. Please see the following information for accessing Blackboard Collaborate on mobile devices for Apple iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.


If there are problems, review 41100. Document 42531 is unavailable at this time. 45454  Document 45523 is unavailable at this time.

Audio Options

1) Teleconference Audio. A teleconference bridge connects participants who are dialing in via telephone and participants who are using the built-in VoIP. Users who dial into the associated teleconference provide with the web conference room will automatically connected into the web conference audio bridge.

Note: Not all webconferences have a teleconference bridge enabled.

2.) VoIP: Participants use their computer microphones or headsets and speakers to communicate directly from within the Blackboard Collaborate room. In order to speak using VoIP, the participant has to select the "Talk" button. By default, only six participants can talk simultaneously via VoIP. If a participant has their talk button activated, a small blue microphone appears next to their name in the participants' list. When a participant using VoIP has finished talking, they should deselect their talk button to turn off the mic.

Headphones/Headset and Microphone
A headset or headphones and a microphone are strongly recommended when using Blackboard Collaborate, as feedback can occur when participants use their built-in mic and computer speakers for audio. If joining the Blackboard Collaborate room from a location with background noise, a headset is strongly recommended.  Read more about best practices for good audio

3.) Text Chat: Use the chat window to send messages without audio. Many instructors ask students to post questions to the chat window while they are presenting to capture inquiries while limiting interruption. The moderator can also send announcements that create a pop-up on the participants' screens. 


Start Recording by clicking the Record button in the upper right hand corner of the web conferencing room. When Record is selected, a dialog box will appear and ask for confirmation. Select OK. The button will change to Recording and a red circle will appear to indicate that the recording has begun. Stop Recording by clicking on the Recording button again; a dialog box will appear to confirm that the recording should be stopped. Select OK. Only the Moderator role will see the Record button.

Note: If an instructor records a session, the archives will be accessible in the course management system. 


There are two roles: Moderator and Participant. All instructors are Moderators. Students can enter as Participants (with a restricted set of permissions) or Moderators, depending on the instructor's preference. Additionally, Moderators can individually promote participants as needed.

Loading Content Slides 

To upload slides to Blackboard Collaborate click Load Content in the upper right corner of the room and choose your content from the file picker. Blackboard will automatically begin to convert the PowerPoint (for example)into Whiteboard pages. The larger the PowerPoint, the longer it takes to convert, so it is important to convert the PowerPoint to Whiteboard files in advance of the web conference, then save as a whiteboard file via File > Save > Whiteboard. This will allow the user to upload the whiteboard file before the actual web conference and not have to re-convert the powerpoint slides. 

The following file types can be loaded directly into the whiteboard:
  • Whiteboard (.wbd and .wbp)
  • PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx)
  • OpenOffice.org (.ppt, .pptx, .sxi and .odp)
  • Image (.bmp, .gif, .jpeg and .png)
Use the Page Explorer to Organize your Slides:

Additional Tools


Web conference links can be accessed via the online course site or personal email, depending on the course.  

Keywords:EPD   Doc ID:42516
Owner:Leah N.Group:Engineering Professional Development - Department Resources
Created:2014-08-05 13:48 CDTUpdated:2015-06-14 19:05 CDT
Sites:College of Engineering - Online Learning Resources, Engineering Professional Development - Department Resources
Feedback:  3   1