Preparing for your first Bb Collaborate Session
You should have either (a) received a link via email directing you to join a Blackboard Collaborate conferencing session on a certain day at a certain time, or (b) know where to access the session via your Blackboard course. Let’s make sure you have no troubles getting online and making yourself heard!
Check your browser settings
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra requires the use of an internet browser that supports WebRTC. We suggest using Google Chrome or Firefox for the best results.
You will need to check that your browser is up to date on the computer you will use for the conference.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra runs best in Chrome and Firefox – see Blackboard’s information on browser support.
- Open the Chrome browser
- Locate the three dots on the top right of the screen and click to open menu
- Click on ‘Settings’
- On the settings page, locate and click the ‘About’ button
5. When you access the ‘About’ page, the browser will automatically check for updates and update automatically.
See https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/Support for more Chrome help
- Open the Firefox browser
- Locate the three lines on the top right of the screen and click to open menu
- Click the question mark icon [?] at the bottom of the menu
- Select the ‘About Firefox’ button
5. Opening the About Firefox window will, by default, start an update check. If an updated version of Firefox is available, it will be automatically downloaded
See https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/Support/Firefox_WebRTC_Support for more help on Firefox
Check your computer settings
Answer the following questions. If you answer no to any questions, please make sure that you are able to resolve the issue yourself or that you can receive help to resolve the issue.
- Is your device audio turned on? (vital)
- Is your device mic turned on? (vital)
- Is your web-camera operational? (not vital, but ideal)
- Do you have a headset or earphones? (not vital, but ideal)
Before the event
You maybe requested to check your systems before a webinar, to ensure you can access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and participate during the event. We strongly recommend that you do so in advance, as the moderators will only be able to offer limited technical support once the session is in progress.
See https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Participant/Get_Started for additional information on how to get started and find your way around.
Yes – you don’t have to have a microphone to be able to participate. To ask a question, you will be able to raise your hand or write in the chat window, and to agree or disagree with a comment you can use the happy/unhappy face icons or the tick/cross. These can all be found in the Collaborate panel, using the icons below the list of participants.
If you do intend to use your microphone to speak in the session, please find a headset or earphones to use to prevent audio feedback when it is turned on. This is much preferred to using your computer's in-built speakers.
During the event
If you can’t hear the speaker, you can turn up the speaker volume using the controls in the Collaborate panel under My Settings (bottom right-hand corner).
If this does not work, try using the audio setup wizard (‘Set up your camera and microphone’), on the same page.
You can also troubleshoot audio issues with this Blackboard support page or try to use another browser (e.g. try in Chrome and in Firefox).
If you still can’t hear, please post in the chat window and a moderator will help you.
If your microphone is very quiet or is not working, check it is not muted on the icon in the bottom middle of the screen.
You can turn up the volume using the controls in the settings tab. If you still can’t be heard, please post in the chat window and a moderator will help you.
Note that the maximum number of simultaneous speakers is often limited in a session, and you may need to wait until others have turned off their microphones before being able to speak. You can also troubleshoot audio issues with this Blackboard support page.
You can ask a question by typing in the chat window or raising your hand by clicking the hand icon in the bottom middle of the screen. The speaker or moderator will then allow you to ask your question.
If you want to chat to another participant without all other participants seeing your message, you can select who receives your message using the function above the chat window.
You can send a message to the moderators of a session by selecting ‘moderators’ from the chat box.
To agree or disagree with something, you can use the happy/unhappy face, the tick/cross or the clapping icons. These can all be found in the bottom right-hand corner, in the drop down next to the text input box and in the settings tab.
If for any reason your session drops out – don’t panic! Make sure you close your browser down completely, then go back into the session again – if you don’t close the browser you may still be logged on in another window.
See more troubleshooting insturctions here.
AFTER THE EVENT
Have a question not answered above?
See https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Participant/ for additional information help.