Bb Collaborate Ultra Troubleshooting

Having an issue with your technology? Choose the issue that you are  experiencing below and work through the suggested solutions.

Cannot connect to Collaborate
Connection Error: Spinning Purple Wheel

This issue occurs when third-party cookies are blocked by your browser. To fix the problem, you will need to change your browser permissions to ensure third-party cookies are allowed

Cannot rejoin a session after leaving or crashing
  • This issue is only relevant if you try to reconnect and get a message that says "Uh-oh! you're disconnected" and then you end up in a room with nobody else.
  • Please close the browser you were using to connect to Collaborate (the entire browser and not just the browser tab), wait a couple minutes, and then try again. Alternatively, you can reboot your computer, ensure at least 2 minutes has elapsed, and try again.
    • If that doesn't work: contact the instructor and they can provide you with the guest link for immediate access, or access the room again directly from your Blackboard course link.
Audio noise/feedback

Feedback is caused by audio from your speakers going back into your microphone. Feedback cancellation is used to try to prevent audio feedback but is not always successful. If you or someone else are causing audio feedback when the microphone is turned on:

  • Switch to a headset (or even just headphones).
  • Mute your microphone when you're not talking.
  • Turn down your speaker volume as low as possible.
Frequent audio dropouts

This is usually caused by the quality of your internet connection. If possible, connect to the internet through a wired connection (not wireless). Alternatively, you can use phone access: click on My Settings at the bottom on the left and click Use your phone for audio (Note that UK phone long distance charges will apply).

You may also try an internet connection at another location.

(as of 2020-04 the following feature is temporarily limited in functionality and will only tell you if your internet connection is poor, good, or excellent) To see the quality of your internet connection while connected to Collaborate, hover your mouse over the network quality icon to the right of your name in the attendees panel (shown below). Ideally the 'Loss' will be zero, and for most people it will be zero. Above zero and below 3% usually causes only minimal audio glitches, 3-5% is more significant, while above 5% can seriously impact your experience. Audio loss means that some of the audio being sent from your computer to the Collaborate server is being lost, and this is caused by the quality (not speed) of your internet connection.

Microphone is not working(attendees cannot hear you)
  • Ensure that you have turned on your microphone in Collaborate. The microphone icon will appear green when it is on. If you do not see the microphone icon at all then moderators will need to give you permission to share audio.
  • Collaborate is reporting a permissions error or the microphone icon is not turning green when you try to enable it
    • Refer to the Blackboard Collaborate troubleshooting page that will help with browser permissions for your browser.
    • Try switching web browsers, preferably to Chrome or Firefox.
    • Try rebooting your computer, as sometimes other applications will lock the microphone, and rebooting your computer should fix this.
  • In Collaborate, your microphone icon is turning green to indicate that it is on but nobody can hear you
    • Ensure that you have the correct microphone selected and that it is working: Select My status and settings at the bottom left, select Settings (the gear icon), and selectSet up your camera and microphone. Follow the prompts. If your computer has multiple microphones ensure that the correct microphone is selected.
  • Some headsets have mute and/or volume controls on them or on the cable. Ensure that the microphone is not muted and that the microphone volume is turned up.
  • Test your microphone here to see if it works
    • If this does not work, ensure that the microphone is not muted in the operating system and that the microphone volume is not set really low in your operating system. You may also try rebooting your computer.
  • Try switching web browsers, preferably to Chrome or Firefox.
Microphone sounds distorted (Windows 10)

You use Windows 10 and you're finding that your microphone sounds distorted to others and possibly also too quiet. Try the following steps:

  1. In Windows 10, right click on the Speakers icon by the clock and select Open Sound settings

2. Under Input, select Device properties.

3. Select Additional device properties at the bottom

4. The next window will look different based on the computer. Look through the tabs for any options pertaining to 'audio enhancement'. Disable any audio enhancement. If there's nothing here on audio enhancement then these instructions won't be able to help you.

5. Test the microphone again to see if disabling audio enhancement helped.

Video/Webcamera is not working
  • Ensure that you have turned on your video (camera) in Collaborate. The video icon will appear blue when it is on. If you do not see the video icon at all then moderators will need to give you permission to share video.
  • If you click on the video icon and nothing happens (it doesn't turn blue), then it's likely a browser permissions issue. Refer to the Blackboard Collaborate troubleshooting page that will help with browser permissions for your browser.You could also try rebooting your computer, as another program may have locked your camera.
  • If you click the video icon, it turns blue, but you don't see an image, try the following:
    • Test the webcam here to see if the same thing happens. After giving the website permission to use your camera you should immediately see your camera image at the to right. If it does not work here either, try the following:
      • Ensure the camera is pointed at you and you are in a well-lit environment.
      • Ensure that the camera does not have a physical privacy switch on it that is blocking the camera.
      • Ensure that the webcam isn't turned off or set to privacy mode with the webcam software. This is a common problem with Lenovo laptops, and there is an article here explaining how to fix it (just the first 6 steps).
  • Other possible solutions: ensure that the camera is plugged in if it's an external camera, try rebooting the computer, or try switching web browsers.
No sound (you can't hear other attendees)
  • Ensure that the correct audio device (speakers) is selected.
    • Windows 10 users, select your audio device by selecting the Speaker button near the clock as shown below:
  • Mac users please refer to the following article:Change the sound output settings on Mac
  • Ensure that sound volume on the computer is not muted or set really low.
  • Ensure that sound volume on the desired audio output device (e.g., speakers or headset) is not muted or set really low. Some headsets have a mute or volume knob on them.
  • Ensure that cables going to speakers or headset are all firmly plugged in.
  • If the above do not work, try rebooting the computer and/or try another web browser.
  • Try playing a YouTube video to see if there is sound. Collaborate will produce sound using the same audio device (e.g., speakers or headset) as other websites such as YouTube.
Speaker or Microphone volume is too low or too high

Speaker and microphone volume are controlled by the operating system, so this will need to be adjusted in the operating system. There is a speaker volume in Collaborate on the settings tab, but this defaults to 100% and can only reduce the overall speaker volume of the operating system, so we recommend controlling speaker volume through the operating system.

Click here for a site where you can test your audio to hear how you sound.

How to adjust the speaker volume in Windows 10

Select the Speakers icon near the clock and adjust the speaker volume as needed.

How to adjust the microphone volume in Windows 10

Right click on the Speakers icon next to the clock and select Open Sound Settings.

Scroll down to Input and select Device Properties.

Adjust the volume as needed.

How do I avoid the tunnel view, or infinite-window effect, when sharing my screen in Collaborate Ultra?

When sharing an application or screen in Collaborate Ultra, you may  experience a tunnel view, or infinite-window effect. This will occur  when you share the screen or browser that is displaying the active  Collaborate session.


How to avoid the tunnel effect:

  • Simply click away from the browser window or tab in which you are running Collaborate Ultra and remote viewers won't see the tunnel view
  • Do you have more than one monitor or screen? If so, share the screen that is not currently hosting your Collaborate session.
  • Share an Application Window or an individual Chrome Tab rather than the entire screen.
  • Share a PowerPoint by uploading it into Collaborate and sharing the file.

For more information on sharing content in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, go to Share Content.

Recording is not appearing or I have difficulty viewing them
  • Ensure that a moderator started and stopped recording.
  • Recordings can take up to 24 hours to appear. If the recording was started and stopped and has not appeared after 24 hours please contact us.  
What are the options for larger classes (+250 students?

The size limits for the various tools available to you in NUI Galway are:

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra -  up to 250 participants with full features (eg including Breakout Groups, Polling, etc)
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra  - 250-500 only allows, essentially 'broadcast' by the presenter (with video and slides) but Chat can be activated once the meeting starts
  • MS Teams - full features available with up to 300 participants (Teams is currently rolling out its Breakout Groups feature, but currently allows 40 videos per screen and the 'Together Mode' will place participants into a virtual lecture theatre).
  • MS Teams - Live Meeting - essentially a 'broadcast' to up to 20,000 simultaneous viewers. This works a little bit differently in terms of presenting but has some good features for sharing content and multiple presenters. It also has text based Q&A
  • Zoom - not yet available on site licence  - but up to 250 participants. A special (additional cost and limited licence numbers) webinar mode can go to higher numbers, again only in a reduced 'broadcast' mode.

All allow recording, Collaborate Ultra recording into the Blackboard module, MS Teams recording into your own private space in MS Stream, and Zoom has its own storage, though is limited to ave of 500MB per user, though videos can be downloaded and hosted elsewhere.

MS Teams Live Events

Given that MS Teams licences are available for all staff and students (and can also invite external participants to events) as part of Office 365, it might be worth knowing how to use it for large events (which might include large lectures, of course). An overview is available here:

I seem to be in ghost room?

It may happen that users are redirected to a ghost room. In those cases where rooms may be open for several hours, or even days, Blackboard Collaborate will monitor your room to confirm it is still needed. If your room becomes empty for several minutes, the Blackboard Collaborate software will close your room and open another one when needed.

One of the reasons why Blackboard Collaborate administration systems were implemented this way is that in multiple server systems, such as that used by Blackboard Collaborate Inc. itself for its hosted customers, a smart scheduling algorithm is used to identify which web conferencing server is the most appropriate to host the session. As a result, it is not possible to identify in advance which web conferencing server will be hosting your session. Therefore, it is important to always launch your sessions from links generated by the Blackboard Collaborate software and not ones that have been saved to your system.  This will ensure that all users will be joining the same room on the same server.

To workaround the issue please clean the browser cache.

Please clean your browser cookies and re-join. This is the only way to avoid to end up in ghost sessions.

Cannot connect to Collaborate