Blackboard Collaborate with the Original experience provides many controls to help moderators communicate effectively with participants during an online session.

Audio & Video Panel

In the interface, audio and video share a panel.

  1. Expand/Collapse
  2. Microphone level slider
  3. Talk function
  4. Audio Setup Wizard
  5. Options menu
  6. Primary video display, with the name of the user speaking
  7. Speaker level slider


During a session, you can participate in conversations using VoIP-Voice over Internet Protocol-with a headset or microphone and speakers. If your institution offers teleconferencing services with Blackboard Collaborate, you can use the telephony feature for your in-session communications.

Mobile users cannot use a teleconference for audio communications.

While using VoIP, you can allow up to six simultaneous talkers in a session. If a session is connected to a teleconference, teleconference participants are not counted as simultaneous talkers.

Allow Maximum Simultaneous Talkers

From the Tools menu, point to Audio and click Maximum Simultaneous Talkers. In the Maximum Simultaneous Talkers window, move the slider to the amount of speakers you want to allow. If you allow simultaneous talkers in a session, advise them to use either a headset or an echo-canceling microphone to prevent an echo for everyone else who is listening.

If you lower the number of simultaneous talkers to a value below the number of users currently talking, those users can continue to talk until they release the Talk function. You can also remove a user's permission to talk.

Enable Your Microphone

To enable your microphone, click Talk. A microphone icon appears, and participants can hear you. Click Talk again to disable your microphone.

When you enable the microphone, the audio activity indicator (

) appears next to your name in the participants list.

In the example, Vivian and Lisa enabled their microphones.

In the primary video display, you may see the video transmission or the profile picture of the speaker. The speaker's name also appears.

Disabled Talk Function

Attendees may not be able to use the Talk function. It may appear grayed out for the following reasons:

  • Moderators can remove their audio permissions.
  • The maximum number of simultaneous talkers has been reached.
  • You are using the teleconferencing feature for audio communications.

Microphone and Speaker Levels

In the Audio & Video panel, the microphone level slider shows the volume level when you speak. The speaker level slider shows the volume level when another user speaks.

If all talkers set their microphones properly, listeners do not need to adjust their speakers for changes in volume. Before a session, run the Audio Setup Wizard to set proper microphone and speaker levels.

To increase or decrease the microphone or speaker volume during a session, press the slider and drag it right or left.

Remove the Audio Permission

The audio permission is included in the default set of global permissions that you turn on when you create a session. All participants are granted the permission to talk when they join the session.

You can turn the audio permission off. For example, you might want to eliminate distractions and focus the participants' attention on your presentation. When you remove the audio permission of participants, their Talk functions are disabled. They cannot use their microphones. Participants can still hear everything in the session and adjust their own microphone and speaker levels.

Activity, Permissions, and Status Indicators

In the participants list, you can monitor the state of audio activity, permissions, and status through indicators described in the following table.

Activity Indicator Descriptions
Activity Indicator Description
User enabled the microphone.
User is experiencing a delay in receiving audio.
All users have the audio permission. However, the moderator revoked this user's audio permission.
User has the audio permission, but the moderator did not grant it to all users.
User is running the Audio Setup Wizard.
User is connected to the telephone conference.
User is connected to the telephone conference, but has no audio permission. Therefore, the teleconference is muted.
User is using telephony mode for audio communications and using the phone for audio.
User is using telephony mode for audio communications and using the phone for audio, but the teleconference is muted.