The Main Blackboard Collaborate Page

You can enter an existing room, edit settings for existing rooms, set defaults for sessions you want to create, create new sessions from this page, and search existing sessions and recordings.


For every course, Blackboard Collaborate generates two types of rooms that require no scheduling.

Course Room: A default room provided for your course that lasts as long as the duration of your course. Default settings can be modified so that users enter the session with a role the Instructor chooses.

  • By default, students enter your Course Room as participants. Instructors and administrators enter as moderators. You can allow all participants to join as moderators so that collaboration can start without your presence.
  • Depending on the permissions your System Administrator sets, you may have the ability to disable the Course Room at the course level.
  • Use your Course Room to acclimate students to your course setup, introduce new concepts, host Q and A sessions, lead study sessions, and grade group presentations.

My Room: A default room provided for each instructor that lasts as long you retain an account on the system. By default, the room is titled with your name and is always available.

  • My Room is accessible from any course where you have the instructor role.
  • You can disallow participants from a certain course to enter your room.
  • By default, students enter your room as participants. You can allow all students to join as moderators or only allow select users from a course you teach to join your room.
  • Use My Room to provide office hours or help to users across all your courses. When privacy is a concern, create a new session and restrict access to only the user you need to discuss an issue with.

The teaching assistant role does not have a default My Room, but can schedule a session and enter as a moderator.

Your institution can make My Room and Course Room unavailable at the system level, which will affect all courses. You can also make one or both the rooms unavailable at the course level.

Begin Collaborating

Click Join Room to enter a room. The Join Room function appears only if the session is ready to be launched. On the Room Details page, click Join Room to initiate Blackboard Collaborate.

Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher is a utility for Windows and Mac that provides a convenient and reliable way for you to launch your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing sessions and recordings. The launcher uses a .collab file to launch Blackboard Collaborate, using a known and stable version of Java. Because the launcher includes the required Java, you do not need to install and maintain the system version of Java.

Edit Settings

You can customize any of your rooms. Click Edit Room to adjust settings for simultaneous speakers, private messages, the recording options, and more.

Add a Course Link

Click Add Link to create a course link to the room in one of your course areas, such as a content area or folder. When you add a course link, students can access the room at a designated time alongside the relevant content in your course.

Allow Guests

You can send guests a URL to access your Blackboard Collaborate session. In the pop-up window, add your guests' email addresses and click Send Invitations. In the email from you, your guests will be able to view the session details such as when the session starts and ends. After clicking the URL, they can access the same Join Room link as your students to initiate Blackboard Collaborate.

Search Sessions and Recordings

Type a keyword or phrase in the Search box to locate a specific session or recording. You can also provide a date range for the search. Results are limited to the scheduled sessions or available recordings listed in the course you are in.

Create a New Session

You can create individual sessions for test reviews, specific group activity, and for touring and discussing content in your course. When privacy is a concern, create a new session and restrict access to only the user you need to discuss an issue with. Click the Set Defaults link to create settings you can use whenever you create new sessions. For example, you always want six simultaneous speakers and want recordings of the sessions to start automatically.

Information Settings

Provide a descriptive name to help students easily select which session to enter. Session names must begin with a letter or a digit.

You can set the session to start and stop at designated times, and repeat at regular intervals. For example, you might host a session every Monday at a set time where you introduce a new chapter and objectives for the week. The start time you provide must fall in 15 minute increments, such as 0, 15, 30, and 45.

You can allow students to enter a session before the start time.


Click the quick tip icon to learn more about your selections.

For Type, you can create a session that is shared with one or more additional courses that you teach. Select the courses you want to include.

Select the Teleconference Options:

  • Blackboard Collaborate provides the ability to select built-in teleconference, which will dynamically generate the conference call number, leader PIN, and participant PIN. Students and guests accessing a session will see this information before they enter the room.
  • For the Use third party option, you need to provide the information users require for access to the session.
  • For the VoIP option, users can hear the session through their computer speakers or a USB headset. With a headset, outside noises and echoes are diminished.

    VoIP also helps you distinguish among speakers. Microphone icons appear next to participants' names when they speak. For large classes, this can help you understand who is grasping the material or who needs additional help.

    When you select the third party or built-in teleconference options, Blackboard Collaborate cannot visually indicate who in the participant list is speaking.