Blackboard Collaborate

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Students

Getting Started

Your Blackboard Collaborate sessions are hosted in Virtual Offices organized on your CLEW Site. Select the appropriate class tab, follow the left navigation menus and select “Virtual Office”. A screen will pop up, outlined in purple with the Blackboard Collaborate logo, as well as a prompt to enter a name for a Session Login. Screen names can have spaces and are case sensitive. Your screen name will be visible for the entirety of the session in the Participant pane. After hitting submit, you may be asked to accept a download which will contain the Blackboard Virtual Office session you have just joined. The browser you are currently in will prompt you to keep it open until the session has been launched. To note: A security warning screen may pop up asking “Do you want to run this application?” Verify that the Publisher is Blackboard Collaborate and then click Run. Clicking on the download will open up the Blackboard Collaborate session you are either a moderator of, or a participant in. Once you are logged in to the session as a Participant, you will be able to see your name listed in the Participant window. There will likely be a coloured hand icon highlighted next to your name when you first enter the room, this is you "raising" your hand, and you can click it to remove it. You may use this feature in the future as a way to alert the Moderator or presenter that you have a question or statement. You will also be able to see beside your name in the Participant window, a listing of the features you will have control of while inside the Collaborate session. Things like whether your audio is hooked up and in use, whether you have access to video capabilities etc.

A Guide for Accessing the Collaborate Virtual Classroom in CLEW on PC or Mac is available below.


Setting Up Audio

In the main screen of Blackboard Collaborate, select “Tools” from the top list of drop down menus. The options are listed in alphabetical order. Hover your cursor over “Audio” and a sub menu will appear. Click on the first option entitled “Audio Setup Wizard”. Tools > Audio > Audio Setup Wizard The tool will prompt you to press play on a pre-recorded selection to test the audio level that you will hear throughout the session. Once you have established the appropriate volume level, the Audio Setup Wizard will then prompt you to setup your input device. In the event that multiple choices are listed, choose the best option and click on OK.

Note: it is recommended to use either a high quality external microphone, a headset, or a webcam with audio capabilities. Your participation in your session will rely heavily on these devices, take care to set them up properly for an optimal experience.

You will be prompted to record a short test to make sure the microphone is working properly and with good clarity and sound. If you are happy with the recording once you are prompted to play it back, you may click OK. If you are unhappy with it, or if no recording is distinguishable, you have the option of retrying as many times as necessary until you are happy with the sound, simply by selecting “No” to indicate you need to continue with Audio Setup. Once you are successful, select “Yes”. In the far left of the screen, you will see the box entitled “Audio & Video” and at the bottom two buttons: Talk (with a microphone) and Video (with a magnifying glass and blank avatar). These will start off greyed out as they are unselected. By clicking Talk, you will see the button highlighted in blue and featuring a blue microphone icon, indicating your audio is active, and while speaking the indicator above the button will adjust up and down with the volume you are speaking, verifying that you are active in the session. The camera will follow the loudest speaker- meaning that if your Video device is set up and active along with your Audio device and you are speaking, the camera view seen by all participants in the window pane will be the view of you!

Setting Up Video

In the main screen of Blackboard Collaborate, select “Tools” from the top list of drop down menus. The options are listed in alphabetical order. Hover your cursor over “Video” and a sub menu will appear. Click on the first option entitled “Camera Settings”. Tools > Video > Camera Settings Within the Preferences menu that pops up, you will see a few options with regards to the video options you can customize for your Blackboard Collaborate session. Perhaps most important is to verify that the webcam or internal camera you wish to use is both listed at the top drop-down menu and highlighted/selected. You may, from there, adjust the video frame rate, allow your screen name to be broadcast to other attendees under your camera’s view during the session, and have the option of disconnecting your camera when not in use. Note: it is recommended to keep your camera on during the entirety of the session to allow for full and uninterrupted participation in the Blackboard Collaborate session. Push OK once all your preferences have been selected, and you will be taken back to the main room. In the far left of the screen, you will see the box entitled “Audio & Video” and at the bottom two buttons: Talk (with a microphone) and Video (with a magnifying glass and blank avatar). These will start off greyed out as they are unselected. By clicking Video, you will see the button outlined in a dotted blue line, as well as a red webcam icon featured beside the word “Video” indicating your video is active. You should also, in the window above, a live action shot of what your webcam is viewing and broadcasting to the session attendees.

Note: the video follows the speaker, meaning that if you are the loudest speaker, your webcam view will be brought up as the featured view in the pane.

Troubleshooting Video Set Up

- There will likely be a bit of a sound delay, please remain patient with your fellow attendees.

Student Documentation

Student Quick Start Guide Audio Quick Start Guide-PC Audio Quick Start Guide-MAC