Collaborate – Starting a session

First Time Audio and Video Check

You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to start or even join a session. This is necessary so that you are seen and heard. Once permissions are set, you can test your microphone and camera are working.

A Collaborate session interface showing a web browser pop up asking for permissions.

Audio and Video Test

Collaborate will first test your audio connection. You should select the desired audio input device from the dropdown list. Then say something into the microphone. If you see the audio bar moving when you speak, then select ‘Yes – It’s working‘ to continue your progress through the Audio and Video Check. Selecting ‘No – I need help‘ will take you to Blackboard Help for more information.

For the video test, select the desired input device from the dropdown list. No one else can see you. If you see yourself, then select ‘Yes – it’s working‘ to complete the technical check process. Again, selecting ‘No – I need help‘ will automatically redirect you to Blackboard Help for more assistance.

Once the checks are complete, users receive guidance prompts on the Interaction Bar icons, letting them know when they have everything set up right and are ready to start speaking. User must close the prompts in order for the dialogue box to disappear.

Collaborate interface showing a video preview from a webcam. There is a person with glasses and a beard in the example image.

First Time Tutorials

Tutorials are available entering Collaborate via a guided tour that walks you through any new features or changes made during a software update. You can navigate through the tour or close the dialog box to just join the session.

A Collaborate session interface showing an option to start a tutorial.

User Settings

The ‘My Settings’ panel is the place where users can upload a profile image, change both audio and video settings, modify notification settings, and report an issue.

Moderators can also manage session settings.

Collaborate interface focused on the settings page.

Your Profile Picture

The profile picture you upload will display throughout the interface. Once uploaded, the profile picture is stored as part of your browser cache. It will be displayed in following sessions automatically unless you clear your cache. Just as with your Audio and Video setup, if you are using Chrome’s incognito mode, you will have to upload a profile picture every time you join a session.

Audio and Video Settings

The Audio and Video Settings are available to all users. It’s from this area that you can set, or reset, your input devices. You access this option from the ‘My Settings’ panel by expanding the Audio and Video Settings. Select ‘Set Up your Camera and Microphone‘ in order to perform a new audio/video check.

If the moderator has assigned captioner rights to a session attendee, the ‘Enable Closed Captions’ checkbox will be active and you can select it to view captions as they are entered.

Notification Settings

Notifications are system messages sent by Blackboard Collaborate to notify users when certain important events occur within the session. Visual notifications are presented in a floating window.

The someone enters or leaves the room settings by default, displays a visual notification for all users on the entry and exit activities of session attendees. Audio notification can be enabled or disabled for this notification option.

Default settings display audio and visual notification anytime someone posts a chat message.

When a moderator assigns an attendee captioner rights, ‘Live Closed Captioning’ becomes available within the session and Collaborate notifies attendees with the option to use the captioning if desired.

Notification options for someone raising their hand are only available to session moderators. These users may opt to receive audio and/or visual notification when users use this feature. By default, both notification options are selected.

To enable or disable a notification setting, simply select the checkbox. Keep in mind, notification settings are unique to each individual user.

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