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Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate) at MBC

At MBC we have two 50-seat virtual “Classrooms” where students can meet and learn. Within a Blackboard Collaborate / Elluminate session instructors can share their slides, share their desktop to show applications, and “chat” via text box.  All 49 students can hear and see the presentation, can”chat” and can participate in polls, and up to 6 participants can talk conversationally/simultaneously. Instructors can choose to record a Blackboard Collaborate session, for students who missed the synchronous class or ahead of time in the classroom as a way of recording a lecture.

Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate:

Frequently Asked Questions:

My audio doesn’t seem to be working
I can’t access my Blackboard Collaborate classroom
How many people can simultaneously use Blackboard Collaborate?
How can I make the webcam image full screen?
I hear an echo – how do I get rid of it?
I keep getting kicked out of Blackboard Collaborate

Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate

To book a Blackboard Collaborate / Elluminate classroom email Drema Hernandez (dhernand@mbc.edu) and ask for a time and date. Dreama will send you an email with the Moderator Link (yours) and the Participant Link (the one you copy to email your students or paste into Blackboard) The Moderator can assign moderator privileges to someone who is signed in as a Participant.  A Moderator can share their desktop, initiate a web tour or load a Powerpoint presentation into the white board space. Note!  Please test the link after you have copied it to make sure it works. When you click on this link, you will see a screen that looks like this.  Type in your name and click Log In.  Do not X out of this page in your Browser. You may get a message that looks like this: If you do, click on Keep.  In Chrome, you may see this in the lower left of your screen.  If you do, click on it. Java will start and you’ll see a message that looks like this: If you are working with a MAC and get a security error, look at directions here for the work around. When it has finished loading, you may get another message, asking you about your network connection.  Whatever your network connection, LAN or WIRELESS or DSL, click on that speed. Now you are in Blackboard Collaborate!  In order to make sure you can be heard, run the Audio Setup Wizard.  See here for directions:  http://www.mbc.edu/oit/files/2012/08/AudioSetupWizard.pdf When you are sure you can hear and be heard, click on the Talk button at the left to make your microphone LIVE.  Click on the Video button at the left to make your camera live. To run Blackboard Collaborate / Elluminate you will need to have the latest Java:

Go to Control Panel, Java and Open. Then under General, About, if you are NOT running Java 7, click on Close, then click on the Update tab, then click on Update Now.  This will install the latest version of Java.
If you wish to record this session, choose “Yes” when asked.  To find the link to your recording, email OIT with the request and include the Classroom (1 or 2) and the Time and Date of the recording.  OIT will email you back the link.

A good tutorial on how to run a Blackboard Collaborate Session is available here: https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2012-06-27.0714.M.875546EA538BCBDAD44EA8D3874623.vcr&sid=7

Frequently Asked Questions:

My audio doesn’t seem to be working

You need to have clicked the Talk button for your students to hear you.  If there is a blue microphone icon on the Talk button, then it is enabled. If your recording doesn’t seem to be picking up audio, or your students can’t hear you , test your audio with the AudioSetupWizard.  You’ll need to click the Talk button OFF to run Audio Setup Wizard.  Don’t forget to click it back ON again later. If you can hear audio from youtube but you CANNOT hear audio during Audio Setup Wizard, then try clearing your java cache.  To do this, click on Start, Control Panel then double click on Java and under Temporary Internet Files click on Settings.  Then click on Delete Files and OK.  Then refresh your browser and the Blackboard Collaborate Audio Setup Wizard again.

I can’t access my Blackboard Collaborate classroom

If you are getting a Failure to Launch error or for some other reason your Blackboard Collaborate session is not working, check your Java software to see if that is the problem: Go to Control Panel, Java and Open. Under General, About, if you are NOT running Java 7, click on Close and follow the instructions below to de-install the previous version of Java before installing Java 7.

  1. Click the Start button. The Start menu opens.
  2. Click Control Panel. The Control Panel window opens.
  3. If you are using icon or classic view, skip to Step 4.
  4. If you are using category view, click Programs. The Programs category opens.
  5. If you are using icon or classic view click Programs and Features.
  6. If you are using category view, click Uninstall a program.
  7. Locate the Java version you wish to remove and click Uninstall.
  8. Click Yes.

After you have de-installed the previous version of Java, install the latest version as follows:

  1.  Go to Control Panel, Java and Open.
  2. Click on the Update tab, then click on Update Now. This will install the latest version of Java.

 How many people can simultaneously use Blackboard Collaborate?

50 people can see and hear what is happening in the virtual “classroom”.  All 50 have access to the Chat box and can send messages to the Moderators and/or the entire class. Up to 6 people can talk and be seen via webcam at the same time.  The webcam will focus on the person who is talking.  A Moderator can “pass the mic” to a person to include their voice in the conversation, but only 6 can be talking at the same time.  One way to regulate this is for people to “raise their hand” if they want to speak. The default simultaneous talkers may be set to 4.  To increase this to 6, click on  Tools, Audio then Maximum Simultaneous Talkers and change that from 4 to 6.  Do the same with Maximum Simultaneous Cameras, to change that to 6.

 How can I make the webcam image full screen?

To show the image on the webcam as full screen, click on the little options menu at the top right of where the video is displaying.  Then choose Detach Panel.  After you have detached the video panel, you can stretch it to full screen by hovering over the corner with your mouse and then clicking on the double sided arrows to stretch. detachpanel

I hear an echo – how do I get rid of it?

What you hear is the sound coming out of the speakers of someone else on the call and feeding back in through their microphone.  This doesn’t happen always, if a participant is on a high-bandwidth internet connection, the sound comes back in to the Blackboard Collaborate Session soon enough to be recognized as an echo, and it is suppressed.  However, if a participant is on a slower line, and it is not recognized as an echo, then the participants will need to have earphones or earbuds in order that the sound not come through their speakers.

I keep getting kicked out of Blackboard Collaborate

If you keep getting “kicked out” of Blackboard Collaborate, lower your connection speed.  From the choices you are offered, LAN is faster, dial -up is slower.