One-to-one, or one-to-many.

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 your course. By default, the room is titled with your course name and is always available.

  • 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.
  • You can completely turn off your Course Room at the course level, if you want.
  • Use your Course Room to acclimate students to your course setup, introduce new concepts, host question and answer 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 controls whether My Room and Course Room are available. You can make one or both of the rooms unavailable at the course level.

Blackboard Collaborate page

Find your Blackboard Collaborate rooms in the Tools menu of your course.

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.

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

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

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 don't need to install and maintain the system version of Java.

More on the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

Add a course link

Use course links to grant student instant access to a Collaborate room. Select 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 select 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 opening the URL, they can access the same Join Room link as your students to initiate Blackboard Collaborate.

Search for 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 specific occasions, such as test reviews, a 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. Select Set Defaults 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.

Session information

Provide a descriptive name to help students easily select which session to enter.

You can set the session to start and stop at designated times, and repeat at regular intervals. You can also specify how far in advance of the session participants are allowed to enter.

Room options

You can create a session that is specific to this course, or that is shared with other 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 to access the session.
  • For the VoIP option, users can hear the audio broadcast online, through their computer speakers.

    Blackboard Collaborate can only visually indicate which participant is speaking when VoIP is used.

Grade Center integration

With the Add a grade column? setting, you can automatically add a Grade Center column after a session is over. Provide the points you want to assign for this activity.

View session attendance

After a session ends, you can access an attendance report and push points to the Grade Center. The points are solely for attendance. In the session's menu, select View Session Attendance.

On the View Session Attendance page, you see a list of the students who attended the session. If a student exited the session and returned, his or her name appears in the list again.

To automatically award the predetermined points for attending the session, select Post Attendance to Grade Center. You can't select which users receive points, but you can adjust points for individual users from their Grade Details pages in the Grade Center.

In the Grade Center, point to the column heading to view more information about the column on the Grade Information Bar. You can edit the column title in the column heading's menu.

Built-in Teleconference and VoIP Options

With Blackboard Collaborate, you can 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.

With the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) 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. A microphone icon appears next to the participant's name when he or she speaks. For large classes, this can help you understand who is grasping the material or who needs additional help.

You may choose to use a third-party option for your sessions. You need to supply participants with the information to access the session.