Common Blackboard Collaborate Issues

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Troubleshooting Guide for Blackboard Collaborate

This guide will cover some of the common Blackboard Collaborate issues encountered by students and faculty with their solutions to ensure you are receiving the best experience. If you are experiencing any of the following issues listed below, please work through the suggested instructions. Alternatively, you may reach out to our helpdesk with a Service Request if you require additional assistance.

Common Bb Collaborate Issues
🛠️ Audio and Video Issues
🛠️ Application Sharing Issues
🛠️ Browser Notification Settings
🛠️ Collaborate Connection Error (Purple Wheel)

Audio and Video Issues

If you are encountering any audio or video issues that are prohibiting you from participating in a Blackboard Collaborate session, this section of Bb-Collab troubleshooting guide will provide you with the steps necessary so that you are seen and heard. Even if you don't plan to speak, these instructions should enable you to hear or see others in the session.

How to Check if Audio and Video Controls are Enabled on device (Mac/PC)

Please follow the steps below to reassure that your Audio and Video Controls are enabled:

  1. If possible make sure to use a headset, avoid using a computer's built in audio components. Using the computer's audio components causes the microphone to pick up environmental noise.
  2. Based on the user's operating system, ensure the correct speakers are being used:
    Windows - 'Control Panel' ➤ 'Hardware and Sound' ➤ 'Sound' or search for 'Sound' and select 'Sound' from the 'Control Panel' in the search menu.
    macOS - Apple ➤ 'System Preferences' ➤ 'Sound'.
  3. Check to see if the proper audio device is being used on Collaborate Ultra.
    'My Settings' ➤ 'Audio and Video Settings' ➤ 'Setup Your Camera and Microphone'.
  4. A few Anti-Virus applications block webcam and microphone from being allowed to be used in the browser, make sure the Anti-Virus software is not blocking your webcam or microphone.
  5. Make sure you have the most up-to-date browser and disable pop-up blocker. To learn more, please visit the Browser Update and Pop-Up Disable Steps page.
  6. Restart your computer

Enable Audio and Video Browser Permissions (Google Chrome)

  1. Click on the Menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Click "Settings" in the menu.
  3. On the left-hand side of the Settings menu, click on "Privacy and Security".
  4. Click "Site Settings" and scroll down to select Camera or Microphone.
    1. Turn on or off Ask before accessing
    2. Review your blocked and allowed sites
    3. To allow a site that you already blocked: Under "Blocked," select the site's name and change the camera or microphone permission to "Allow

Enable Audio and Video Browser Permissions (Mozilla Firefox)

  1. Click on the Menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen
  2. Click on "Options"
  3. On the left-hand side of the Options menu, click on "Privacy & Security" and scroll down to the Permissions section.
  4. Click the "Settings…" button for the Camera option.
    • A window will appear that displays the websites with saved Allow or Block permission on Firefox.
  5. Use the "Allow/Block" selector to change permission for the website. You can remove the site by selecting it from the list and clicking the "Remove Website".
  6. Select the "Block new requests asking to access your camera" checkbox if you do not want to give any other sites access to your camera.
  7. Click the "Save Changes" button.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 for changing microphone permissions.

Application Sharing Issues

Application sharing is one of the many key features of the Virtual Classroom (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) that allows attendees to view your application and/or screen. Below are some solutions to fix screen sharing issues within Chrome and Firefox.

Screen Sharing Issues (Google Chrome)

When sharing an application/screen in Chrome, if the Share button in the share permission prompt is grey, please select an image in the prompt first and then select Share.

If you receive a message that "Application sharing is starting", but the screen does not actually start sharing:

  • Stop and restart application sharing
  • Ensure that you are using the latest version of Chrome:
    1. Click on the "Menu Icon" located in the upper-right corner of your Chrome Browser
    2. Click "Help" from the Menu-list
    3. Click "About Google Chrome"
    4. Click "Relaunch" to apply the new update. If you can’t find the "Relaunch" button, then you are on the latest version

Screen Sharing Issues (Mozilla Firefox)

If you receive a message that "Application sharing is starting", but the screen does not actually start sharing:

  1. Stop and restart application sharing
  2. Check that Firefox has permissions to share your screen/application:
    1. Click on the "Site Information" button located to the left of the page URL
    2. If permission for screen share is "blocked temporarily", select the "x" button to clear the permission
    3. Click"Share Application/Screen" in the Blackboard Collaborate session
    4. Select an option from the "Window or Screen to share" drop-down menu
    5. Click "Allow"

Browser Notification Settings

Blackboard Collaborate allows you to enable or disable notification settings for chat messages, participants joining/exiting the session and when a participant raises their hand.

How to Turn On/Off Notifications in a Blackoard Collaborate Session

  1. Navigate to your "Course Home Page" and join your Virtual Blackboard Collaborate Session.
  2. Open the "Collaborate Panel" and select "My Settings" (gear icon located in the bottom right corner).
  3. Click on "Notification Setting".
  4. By default all of the settings are turned on. Review the settings to turn on/off the notification banners and sounds that you wish.

Enable browser permission to send notifications (Chrome)

  1. Click on the " Menu Icon" located in the upper-right corner of your Chrome Browser.
  2. Click “Settings” from the Menu-List.
  3. Under "Privacy and Security", click "Site Settings"
  4. Under "Permissions", click "Notifications"
  5. Next to the "Allow" section, click on the "Add" button.
  6. Enter the Blackboard Web Address (Important: Make sure the web address doesn't start with "http://")

Enable browser permission to send notifications (Firefox)

  1. Click on the bar on the top right of the browser.
  2. Click on "Options".
  3. Click on "Privacy & Security".
  4. Scroll down to the "Permission" section and click on "Settings".
  5. Add the name of the website you want notifications to be added and click "Allow".

Collaborate Connection Error (Purple Wheel)

Sometimes users experience a “purple wheel” when trying to open a BB Collaborate session, one of the main reasons for this can be your browsers "cookie settings". Steps to enable third-party cookies on Google Chrome and Firefox are provided here.

Enable Third Party Cookies (Google Chrome)

  1. Click on the "Menu Icon" located in the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser
  2. Click “Settings” from the Menu-List
  3. Along the left-hand side, click "Privacy and Security".
  4. Click "Site Settings" from the options provided
  5. Scroll down to the content section, and click on "Cookies and Other Site Data"
  6. Next to “Sites that can Always use Cookies” click “Add”
  7. Enter the Blackboard Collaborate address [*.]
  8. Select “Add”

Enable Third Party Cookies (Mozilla Firefox)

1.) On the right side of the Firefox page, click on the drop-down menu.

2.) From the menu, click on options.

3.) On the new page, find Privacy and Security and click on it.

4.) Under Cookies and Site Data, click on Manage Permissions.

5.) Add the URL, select Allow and click on Save Changes.

Managing Attendees

The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool has a number of features to manage attendees during a session and you can review those features by clicking on the links in this description area. Some options a moderator has includes the ability to mute an attendee, remove an attendee from a session, promote an attendee to a higher role to enable additional privileges such as file and screen sharing, and monitoring the chat. Further, moderators can detach the Attendees panel to see at a glance attendees roles, if they have their hand raised, their status and if they have their microphone on.

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