Collaborate in Blackboard Instructor
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Blackboard Instructor includes Collaborate with the Ultra experience for synchronous web conferencing. You can host virtual classes and share files and video. You don't have to install anything other than Blackboard Instructor to join a session.
Collaborate with the Original experience isn't supported.
Collaborate isn’t supported for Blackboard Instructor on Windows at this time.
You can share video and use voice, whiteboard, and chat. You'll need to use the browser view of Collaborate for the full range of moderator capabilities.
If you can, join your mobile Collaborate session early and get to know your way around.
- You must install the Blackboard Instructor app before you can collaborate.
- Open the Collaborate session link in your device's mobile web browser.
- If you open a moderator link, you'll have the available moderator functions in the app.
- If you open a participant link, you'll have only the participant functions in the app.
- Follow the instructions on your device.
If you aren't already logged in to Blackboard Instructor, you'll need to provide your username and password. Use the same credentials you provide to access your Blackboard courses on a computer. If you don't have a Blackboard login, you can join as a guest.
For more information on joining sessions, see detailed steps to join a session.
You can join a session in the web view of Collaborate with the Ultra experience, while participants join on mobile. If participants join sessions on various devices, you'll collaborate in the same space.
To invite participants to join a mobile Collaborate session, you can send the guest link to participants in email or post the guest link as an item in a course. With either method, the Collaborate link automatically opens the app. Participants can log in with Blackboard credentials or join as guests.
If you want any participants to join as moderators, provide them the moderator link.
Get session links
Session links aren't found within the app. Find guest and moderator session links in these ways:
Blackboard courses. Depending on system settings, Collaborate may be available in the web view of your course. The Collaborate course tool isn't available in the app.
Original Course View
- Select Blackboard Collaborate under Course Tools.
- Open the menu next to Course Room.
- Select Copy guest link —OR— Edit settings to copy the moderator link.
Ultra Course View
- Select Course Room under Details & Actions.
- Open the menu next to Course Room
- Select Get guest link —OR— Edit settings to copy the moderator link.
Administrators. The administrator that maintains Collaborate for you may provide you with session links.
Outside of Blackboard. If you have access to the Collaborate session scheduler website you can create sessions and copy moderator and guest session links.
Large sessions in Collaborate have over 250 and up to 500 users in the session. To make large sessions easier to manage, some participant features are turned off.
If you expect over 250 participants in your session, you must submit a large session request to the Collaborate support team on Behind the Blackboard BEFORE the session begins.
You can perform these tasks:
- Tap your profile picture to change it, set your status to Away, or access help information. Use the controls to share video or voice, raise your hand, and chat with others. When files or the whiteboard show, your video appears in the lower-left corner. The current speaker appears in the lower-right corner.
- Tap the arrow in the icon bar to access drawing tools. The arrow only appears after a session moderator turns on the whiteboard or shares a file. Select the pencil or a shape to draw. You can pinch and zoom while drawing.
- Tap the menu near the session name to see who is in the session or to select a shared file.
- Leave the session.
Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in.
Activity notifications. You can see new chat messages, raised hands, when someone joins or leaves a session, and when recording starts and stops.
Multitask. If you leave the app to perform another task on your device, tap the status bar on your screen to return.
Mute all. If you mute all participants from the web version of Collaborate with the Ultra experience, all microphones are turned off in the mobile app as well.
Wi-Fi provides the best experience. A Wi-Fi connection reduces the amount of mobile data used. Make sure you're fully charged or plugged in. Versions prior to iOS 9.0 and Android 4.4 can experience rapid battery drain.
Having trouble? If you experience problems with Collaborate, submit a case on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only).
Do more with different roles
If you access Collaborate with a guest link, you’ll only have access to participant features in the app.
A moderator on the web version of Collaborate can make any participant on a mobile device a moderator or presenter.
Moderator or presenter
If you access Collaborate with the moderator link, you'll have additional moderator functions in the app. Users with presenter or moderator privileges can tap the menu near the session name to access these additional functions:
- Upload and share content.
- See hand raise notifications and lower hands.
- Turn on the whiteboard functions so that participants can draw on shared files.
- Record sessions if you're a moderator.
In Blackboard Instructor, the presenter and moderator roles have the same capabilities. Collaborate with the Ultra experience on your web browser provides additional capabilities to moderators.
If you have presenter or moderator privileges, you can show files to the rest of the participants. You can display an image, PowerPoint, or PDF while you talk about it and navigate through a document or presentation. When you share a file in the app, the whiteboard turns on automatically so that participants can draw on the shared file.
To be sure users have permission to draw, a Collaborate moderator on a web browser must allow whiteboard drawing in Session Settings.
All files uploaded by presenters or moderators can be accessed by all other users with file sharing permissions.
- Tap the folder icon. This icon appears only if you have presenter or moderator privileges.
- Tap Add File.
- Select a file from your mobile device or a course.
- Choose from My Device: In iOS, you can share only photos from your device. Android allows you to upload GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, and PowerPoint files.
- Select a course: You can share files that you previously added to a course. The file selection screen displays only items that you can share. For example, tests and assignments aren't shareable.
- Stop Sharing ends the participants' view of the file.
If you join a session as a guest, you can share files only from your device. You can't share files from courses.
To remove an item from the Shared Files list, swipe left and tap Remove.
A session moderator on the web browser view of Collaborate can divide participants into groups for smaller projects and collaboration. In the app, you're notified when you're placed in a group or moved out of a group.
Only group members see the audio, video, chat, and shared files in a breakout group. Every participant in a group is a presenter, so all can share the whiteboard, files, and applications with the rest of the group. Breakout group interactions aren't captured in session recordings.
Content shared in a breakout group isn't available when breakout groups end. If you want to keep anything for future use, you can take screen captures of files and whiteboards your group shared.
If you've used Collaborate with the Ultra Experience on a web browser, you'll feel right at home collaborating in the app. To use the following functions, use Collaborate on a web browser as these features aren't available in the app.
- Breakout group creation
- Make a participant a moderator or presenter
- Closed captioning
Give students a great Collaborate mobile experience!
Students join Collaborate sessions on the Blackboard app for students. You can provide easy access and conduct a well-run session.
- On your mobile device, tap the Collaborate session link to open it.
- Tap Blackboard Instructor.
- If you're already logged in to Blackboard Instructor, you're joined to the session automatically. If you aren't logged in, you can type your name to join as a guest or tap Log in in to Blackboard.
- Join Session. Start collaborating!
If your school isn't set up to use the Blackboard Instructor app, you'll always tap Join as Guest.