Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate) at Mary Baldwin

Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate) at Mary Baldwin

Blackboard collaborate is a virtual classroom/meeting space solution that is available to everyone in the Mary Baldwin Community.

Faculty can initiate Blackboard Collaborate Sessions for online synchronous classes, for office hours, or they can enable Sessions for their students to meet together without the instructor to do ‘group work’.  Faculty can also invite Guests who are not registered in Blackboard to attend Sessions.

Staff who do not have access to Blackboard can host or participate in Blackboard Collaborate Sessions. Contact OIT to request a session.

For Faculty:

For Students:

For Staff:

Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate at Mary Baldwin

Blackboard’s documentation for Instructors and Moderators (.pdf)

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
How can I go back and forth between Powerpoint and Blackboard Collaborate?
I got an Authentication Failed Message

Link to Blackboard’s Collaborate Help Documentation

Blackboard Tutorial for Collaborate (video)

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, first make sure that your audio for the Collaborate session is turned up. Click on the little speaker icon at the bottom right of your PC and then click on Mixer to check the levels. If the level for the Blackboard Collaborate session is high, next 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.

If your audio is breaking up or “chirping” try turning your computer all the way off, waiting 30 seconds and then turning it back on again and rejoining the session. This seems to work in most cases.

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?

About 100 people can see and hear what is happening in the virtual “classroom”. All 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 large picture in the video window will show 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 3.  To increase this to 6, click on  Tools, Audio then Maximum Simultaneous Talkers and change that from 3 to 6.  Do the same with Maximum Simultaneous Cameras, to change that to 6. The Moderator can control which camera displays on the big screen by clicking on Tools, Video, and check Make Video Follow Moderator Focus. Then whichever webcam window the Moderator clicks on will show on the big screen.

 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 always happen. 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 use earphones or earbuds instead of their speakers.

I keep getting kicked out of Blackboard Collaborate

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

If you need to change your connection speed during a session, from a PC, select Edit, Preferences, Session, Connection to get the speed choices. From a Mac’s Finder, select Blackboard Collaborate, Preferences, Session, Connection.

How can I go back and forth between Powerpoint and Blackboard Collaborate?

If you are planning on presenting a PowerPoint and using a single monitor, you will want to set the slideshow up in “Windowed mode” so that you may easily swap between the Blackboard Collaborate Session and the slideshow. To do this, click on Slideshow, Set up Slideshow, and then click on Browsed by an individual (window). Then when you begin your slideshow, you can size it to be not quite full screen, which will enable you to navigate back and forth between the Powerpoint Slideshow and the Collaborate Session (for example, if you are pausing for discussion and would like to see the person’s face).

BrowsePPT

I got an Authentication Failed Message

You may encounter this error when trying to access a Blackboard Collaborate session by using an older downloaded .jnlp or .collab file. These files were setup for “one time use” as a security measure. When you try to re-use the previously downloaded .jnlp/.collab file you will be confronted with this error.

aUTHENTICATIONfAILED

To avoid this error and view your recording use one of the following options:

Launch the session again using the session URL/link.
Use the JNLP/COLLAB file; however only use it once. Feel free to delete these older ones after they have been used.