Web Conferencing

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

  • Tutorial: running and configuring Collaborate.
  • Information on the Collaborate Launcher
  • On a Windows machine, you’ll need to run Java to launch Collaborate
    1. Determine whether you have Java 7 installed. If you don’t, you can can download it from their website.
    2. Click on your Collaborate session
    3. Click “Launch room” to download the join.jnlp file.
    4. Click the join.jnlp file that you downloaded to allow Java to open it.
    5. Click “Run” when you see a notification that you are granting unrestricted access to Collaborate.
    6. Test your audio and video by joining the Configuration Room (linked to on the System Test Page). Follow the on-screen instructions to run the audio setup wizard.
  • On a Mac machine, you’ll need to use the Collaborate Mac Launcher to run your Collaborate session:
    1. Click on your Collaborate session
    2. Download the Collaborate Mac Launcher, linked below the session information (first session only).
    3. Click on the downloaded launcher file to launch it (first session only).
    4. Click “Launch room” to download the join.collab file.
    5. Click on the join.collab file to allow the launcher to launch it.
    6. Click “Run” when you see a notification that you are granting unrestricted access to Collaborate.
    7. Test your audio and video by joining the Configuration Room (linked to on the System Test Page). Follow the on-screen instructions to run the audio setup wizard.

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

Training

  • 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.