Topics Covered In This Article
- Before joining each session
- Need Help?
- Recommended Hardware
The instructions below are for Collaborate Ultra, which runs entirely in the browser.
Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and a headset are highly recommended.
First time in Collaborate Ultra?
- Join the Collaborate room well in advance to ensure that you can connect and test out your audio and video. If there are issues with your technology refer to our technology troubleshooting guide or contact Blackboard support listed below.
- A headset is highly recommended to ensure a good experience participating in synchronous sessions with any software, including Collaborate. A headset will prevent audio feedback that is caused by audio from the speakers going into the microphone. A USB headset is recommended for most devices and can be purchased for as little as $20-25 at places like London Drugs, Best Buy, The Source, Walmart, etc.
- Use Google Chrome if available. Otherwise, we recommend Firefox or Microsoft Edge. Safari will work but does not support screen sharing. If you have issues, try Chrome.
- Operating systems supported are Windows 7+ and Mac OS 10.9+ (more details on system requirements).
- Android: We recommend connecting with the Chrome browser on Android. After selecting the Join Session button in the Collaborate activity in Moodle, select Blackboard, and then select Join from a browser. All features work except sharing your screen (others can share their screen with you though). Collaborate in Chrome on Android works well.
- iOS (iPhone/iPad): iOS browsers do not currently have the features required for Collaborate, so you will need to use the app which has reduced functionality (e.g., you will not be able to see polls). When you select the Join session button in the Collaborate activity in Moodle you can select Don't have the Blackboard App? to navigate to the Blackboard app install page, or you may select this link to the Blackboard app install page. Once the correct app is installed, which is just called 'Blackboard', return to the Collaborate activity in Moodle and select the Join session button and then select the Blackboard option. If you're in the Blackboard app and you are asked for a school name, go back to the Collaborate activity in Moodle and select the Join session button. If you receive a 'Safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid' error, ensure that the correct Blackboard app linked to above is installed.
- Watch this three-minute video for an overview of what you'll want to know as a participant (we recommend watching the video full-screen):
Please Note: If you are calling in to join a Collaborate Session via the telephone, long distance charges may apply as the number is located in the US.
Before joining each session
- Login 15 minutes BEFORE the start time of your session and ensure that your audio and video are working:
- Click on My settings at the bottom of the screen. It's the first icon on the left.
- Click Set up your camera and microphone.
- If there are issues with your technology and you aren't sure how to solve them, refer to our technology troubleshooting guide.
If there are issues with your technology please refer to our technology troubleshooting guide that will walk you through solutions to various problems.
Support for Collaborate is provided through Blackboard, the company that makes Collaborate. Their support staff are experts in solving Collaborate related issues, so please don't hesitate to contact them if you are experiencing issues with Collaborate.
Visit Blackboard Collaborate Support or call them at their North America toll free number: 1.877.382.2293.
Image quality is usually not that important, so a built-in camera or cheap webcam should be fine. If you'd like a high-quality webcam the Logitech C920 and C922 are both excellent and are often on sale.
Sound quality is very important. Good sound quality makes it easier for people to understand and focus on what you're saying. A headset is recommended and will usually be much better than a built-in microphone on a laptop or webcam (especially if there's background noise). Many people have earphones that include a mic that work reasonably well, but if you'd like to buy a headset to improve the sound quality then the following are recommended.
- Logitech USB headset H390 (~$55)
- Headsets by Logitech, Sennheiser, or Plantonics are usually good.
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