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Blackboard Collaborate is UGA's current online collaborative learning solution. Collaborate sessions can be setup and accessed inside and outside eLC by UGA users enrolled in courses, UGA users not enrolled in courses, and non-UGA users depending on the settings and permissions.  Users may participate in live Collaborate sessions via computer, mobile device, or phone.  Blackboard Collaborate also includes an archive feature that allows both audio and video recordings to be created for reviewing 15-30 minutes after a live session has ended.

When you have completed this tutorial, you will be able to set up and name a Collaborate session from within eLC, set dates and times that the session will be available, and establish participant roles and privileges.  You will be able to modify those roles and privileges if necessary, and remove attendees as well as add attendees who are not enrolled in your course.

Additional resources for instructors and students are available on the Blackboard Collaborate support website.

Step-by-step guide

Step 1: Select the Blackboard Collaborate tool

From your Course Navbar, under Tools, select Online Rooms.

Course navbar with Blackboard Collaborate tool chosen

Navbar Note

If you are not using the default navbar (if you have customized your course navbar, for example) you may need to add the Blackboard Collaborate link to the navbar you are using. See Course Navigation Bar Customization for more information.

Step 2: Create a New Session

Click on the Create Session button to create a new room.

New Session Button

Step 3: Session Information

Enter a Name for your session, the date and times your session is to be available, and how early participants may join the session.

New Session Information

Session End Dates

The same Blackboard Collaborate session can be used for the entire semester by simply leaving the end date set to "no end time". No need to set up a new session for every meeting!


Step 4: Session Options

The options tab allows instructors to set a variety of parameters and permissions.

  • Grant Participants full default permissions: By default, all participants have access to audio, video, whiteboard, and chat. Uncheck to disable access if you would prefer to grant these permissions manually during the session.
  • Hide Attendee Names in recordings: Names of session participants are hidden in the recordings and cannot be seen by anyone watching a recorded session.
  • Everyone is a moderator: Gives moderator privileges to all participants
  • Allow In-Session Invitations: Allows Moderators to send invitations to join the session from within the session
  • Enable Session Teleconferencing: Allows participants to join the session by telephone.
  • Private chat messages are supervised: Allows moderators to view all private chats between participants
  • Participants raise hand upon entering session: Notifies moderator with the Raise Hand indicator each time a new participant joins the session.
  • Recording Mode: Set to Manual by default. Select Automatic to start recording when the session begins or Disabled to not allow recording of the session.
  • Maximum Simultaneous Talkers/Cameras: The default setting is the maximum number of simultaneous cameras and talkers. You may select as few as 1.

Step 5: Content

To upload files to the session, click the Content tab. Files uploaded here will load automatically at the session's start.

Session Content Upload window

File Types

The Content tab allows users to upload Whiteboard files ( .wbd, wbp, .elp, .elpx) and multimedia files (.mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .m4v, .mpe, .qt, .mov, .swf, .wmv).

PowerPoint files can NOT be loaded into content here. Please see Uploading PowerPoint Presentations into Blackboard Collaborate Sessions for a tutorial on using PowerPoint in your sessions.

Step 6: Create Session

Clicking Create Session generates a confirmation message, a link for guest attendees, and telephony details.

New Session Details window

Sessions can be edited or deleted at anytime. Simply choose the session you want to edit from the list of sessions you've created to open the session editor.

Blackboard Collaborate Session List