Web Conferencing

Coming 8/25/16: A new, java-free version of Blackboard Collaborate is available for faculty to test drive during the fall semester. The new version, called Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, will be available for testing in all Northeastern Blackboard courses and runs directly in your web browser, no installation required! Go to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra page to read more about this upgrade. Email ats@neu.edu with any issues you encounter.

Overview of the Blackboard Collaborate Platform

The most popular use of the Blackboard Collaborate platform is the webconferencing module. This tool allows faculty and students to meet in an online space using video and/or audio chat, whiteboard features, slideshow features, and screensharing features.

The Blackboard Collaborate platform consists of two other modules: Instant Messaging and Voice Tools. Screencasts that provide an overview of these two tools are listed below.

Where to access Blackboard Collaborate

NU Faculty, Students: go to myNEU and log into Blackboard on the Self-Service tab. Once you select one of your courses, Blackboard Collaborate can be accessed under the “Tools” tab located on the left hand menu. Depending on the setup of your individual course, a Blackboard Collaborate or “Live Sessions” link may be visible on the left navigation menu. This is an alternate way to access Collaborate sessions.

What you need to access and participate in Blackboard Collaborate Web Conference, Instant Message and Voice Authoring:

  • A computer with an Internet connection
  • A Northeastern myNEU account (faculty and students may visit myNEU to obtain their myNEU account)
  • Headset with microphone – See the headset recommendations (PDF) here
  • Webcam (optional)
  • System Test Page – click the link to automatically check the user’s computer to assess whether the necessary requirements are present to run a Blackboard Collaborate web conference session. You will need the latest version of Java:

Running and Configuring Collaborate

Trouble opening Collaborate? Download the launcher:

For Faculty:  Getting Started

For Faculty: Screencasts

Several of the following links are actual recorded Collaborate sessions. Please refer to the instructions above for running Collaborate sessions. You will need to run Collaborate in order to watch these recordings.

For Faculty: Quick Start Guides

For Students: Screencasts


  • Instructor-led Classes: Go to our Training page and look for ‘Introducing Blackboard Collaborate’ in the Calendar of Upcoming ITS Training Classes
  • How-to Solutions: Answers to commonly asked Blackboard Collaborate questions may also be found in myKnowledge, the ITS Knowledge Base.

Contact Information

Troubleshooting Problems with the Collaborate Platform on Macs

Other Resources

Alternative Web Conferencing Tools

These web conferencing tools may be helpful in specific contexts, but they are not supported by ATS.