Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing


Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing is an application for moderating classes, meetings, or other group collaborations where participants can share whiteboards and screens, chat by voice or text, and engage in other ways like taking polls and answering questions.

Jump to a section: Get Started | Support

Getting started How do I get started?


Consider how you will use web conferencing first. Some ideas:

  • Conduct Lectures and Presentations: Without the constraints of a physical space, your lectures and presentations can hold as many people who are interested in attending. You can also co-facilitate with a colleague from another institution, invite guests, take polls and surveys, moderate discussions in smaller breakout chat rooms, and share a recording of your presentation later with those who were not able to attend.
  • Facilitate Project Meetings: Schedule meetings without worrying about travel arrangements or booking rooms. Take advantage of the interactive whiteboard to brainstorm and work out ideas, share documents, and enable the session recording to have an archive of your meeting. You can have a maximum of 6 video participants at the same time.
  • Hold Office Hours: Hold online office hours at any time of day. You can hold open discussions or bring students into private, one-on-one sessions by using breakout rooms.


Setting up web conferencing depends on where you plan to use it.

If web conferencing will be used inside a Connect course, you will set up a conference session after logging into your course:

  1. From within your Connect course, click "Course Tools" in the Control Panel list on the lower left-hand side of the window to expand the "Course Tools" list.
  2. Select Blackboard Collaborate.
  3. Click the "Create Session" button on top of the page.
  4. You are now on the Create Session form. Complete the form and click "Save".

When you are ready to make the link available to your students:

  1. Go back to Control Panel, then Blackboard Collaborate. Hover over the session, and click the downward-facing arrow. Click "Add Link".
  2. Check the box next to the content area(s) where you want students to find a link to join the session.
  3. Optionally, click "Details" to add a description and comment on the session. If student participation in the session is mandatory, check the "Required" box.
  4. Once you are satisfied with all your session settings, click "Save".

If web conferencing will be used outside a Connect course, you will first email for access to the external tool. After receiving access, set up a conference session through the online portal:

  1. From your homepage, click "Schedule a Meeting" on the left-hand side of the page.
  2. On the new page, create your web conferencing session.
  3. Click the "Create the Session" button in the top right corner of the page to save/create the session.
  4. To make sure your students can also join the session, they need the "Guest Link URL" sent to them by email.
  5. Once you have emailed the URL: If your students are running Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4 or above), they will be prompted to download a .collab file when visiting the URL. Otherwise, your students will be prompted to download a .JNLP file. These files are necessary to join the session.

Note: External Collaborate accounts also give you access to a new version of Collaborate called Ultra. Ultra is a modern and simplified version of Collaborate that has fewer system requirements. Ultra recordings are stored outside of Canada and therefore should not contain any student personally identifiable information (PII). Email for more info.

What tools can I use with this?

Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing works well inside Connect, but it can also be used on its own.

Available support What support is available?

Contact with questions. Support is provided by the Learning Technology Hub and individual instructional support units. Additional expertise is available during workshops offered through CTLT’s Learning Technology Institute and Connect Institute. Check the events calendar for upcoming workshop times.

Collaborate also offers a "24/7 Technical Support" line that is available to all users, including participants and moderators. This line can be quite handy at resolving technical issues during a live session:

  • North America, Toll-Free: 1-(877)-382-2293
  • International, Non-Toll-Free: 1-(606)-274-2370

tagged as: