Blackboard Collaborate is a synchronous online tool that allows you and your students to communicate in real time via a virtual classroom. Blackboard Collaborate is easy to set up. Simply follow the steps below.
NOTE: Blackboard Collaborate has a number of different features. This basic setup guide is specifically for instructors just wanting to communicate with their students synchronously. This type of setup is ideal for beginning Blackboard Collaborate users as well as ED 301, ED 302, and ED 305 instructors.
- Login to Blackboard and enter into any section of the course you want to build your Blackboard Collaborate session in.
- Click on the Tools button on the left hand main navigation menu.
- Locate and click on Blackboard Collaborate.
- Click Create Session.
- Name the session whatever you want to call it and set the Start Time and End Time.
QUICK TIP: If you intend to use a given room more than once in the semester, set the End Time past the last day of the semester. This allows you and your students to reuse the room at a later date (for example: if you want to use the virtual room every Wednesday at 5:30 or sporadically throughout a semester).
- You can explore other options by visiting http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Services/On-Demand-Learning-Center.aspx, but for the purposes of most instructors, you will more than likely leave the default options set the way they are. THE ONE EXCEPTION is to click on Grade Center Integration and turn that off. Leaving that on will add columns to your Grade Center that you may not want. Once you have made these selections, scroll down and click Save.
- At this point, your room should be populated in your Blackboard Collaborate launch menu.
Allowing Others Classes to Enter Your Session
At this point, you are ready to teach your virtual class. However, you may want students outside of your class or guest speakers or other individuals to have access to your session as well. To do this, you will have to give them a guest access link. The steps below will explain how to obtain this link to send to individuals outside of your class (this link can also be used by students in your class to access the session):
- Go to the Blackboard Collaborate Launch Menu (where your created classes are listed from the above steps). Move your mouse over the session title and click the drop-down arrow that appears to the right of the name. Select Allow Guests.
- Make sure Allow Guests is turned on. Then, copy the Public URL provided. This is the link you will give to other students so that they can enter your Collaborate Sessions.