How to Join a Blackboard Collaborate Session

Blackboard Collaborate(Bb Collaborate) is Sonoma State's web conferencing system. Links to Join pre-scheduled Bb Collaborate sessions are located in your Moodle course/s. Instructors and students meet in a Bb Collaborate virtual classroom(online) to conduct lectures/presentations that may include video/audio, a shared-whiteboard, sequenced PowerPoint slides, screen-sharing, live chat discussions, polls, and other collaborative online activities.
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STEP ONE: GET YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM READY
Use the First Time User's Blackboard Collaborate System's Check to make certain your computer system is ready. If needed, the online tool will provide instructions on how to install an updated version of Java or a Blackboard Collaborate Launcher, an application that enables you to join a Blackboard Collaborate session by automatically launching a session meeting.

STEP TWO: JOIN THE SESSION
15 minutes before the Bb Collaborate Session is scheduled to start, log into your Moodle course. Click on the Blackboard Collaborate session link (activity name), which your instructor has provided, then click on the "JOIN" link at the top of the session information page. If prompted, also click on Launch Blackboard Collaborate Now link to proceed.

Note: If you have not previously preformed a systems check and completed any necessary installations of Java or a Blackboard Collaborate Launcher Application than Accept, Install, and Run any downloads prompted from Blackboard Collaborate, including:


  • A Blackboard Collaborate Launcher(if not done during original systems check from--Step One).

  • Meeting files: .collab (Mac) or .jnlp (Windows). These files should appear in your browser's download folder.

  • Click on Run or Trust for any security dialog boxes asking to confirm the application's digital signature/security certificate.

  • If you will not be using a Blackboard Collaborate Launcher to open a meeting file than you should download and install, a compatible version of Java. Once successfully installed, find the meeting file ending in the extension. collab (Mac) or .jnlp(Windows) in your Downloads folder and double-click on the file to launch the online session. It may take a few minutes for the file to launch. A new dialog window will appear.

Trouble shooting tips:


  • If the launcher application fails, search your downloads folder for the meeting file ending in the extension. collab (Mac) or .jnlp(Windows) and double-click on the file to launch the online session. It may take a few minutes to launch.

  • If you are unable to update your Java due to permission restrictions, click on Skip button and then click on the Continue button to proceed with your attempt to access the session.

STEP THREE: SELECT A NETWORK SPEED FROM THE POP-UP DIALOG BOX.
Select your internet connection speed from the pop-up dialog box, usually Cable/DSL if you are at home, or if you are on-campus select LAN. After making your speed selection click on the ok button. Wait a few minutes for the online session to launch in your browser. If you don't see this dialog box, it may be hidden behind your browser window. Move the browser window to the side to reveal the dialog box.

STEP FOUR: TURN ON AUDIO AND ADJUST VOLUME.
Turn your computer's audio on and adjust the volume to your desired level. Earbuds, headphone phones, or a USB headset is recommended but not required. If needed, use the Audio Wizard (microphone icon with asterisk) in the Audio & Video block (located top-left of the session platform) to set the audio input/output preferences.

STEP FIVE: PARTICIPATE.
Listen to the presentation and participate in the discussion by entering comments or questions in the text box at the bottom of the Chat block. Keep alert to any tasks that the instructor may assign during the session including providing feedback, respond to a poll question, or share links with the class by copying and pasting URL's in the chat text box.

STEP SIX: REVIEW RECORDING (OPTIONAL)
If the instructor provides a recording of the session, review it for concepts you may have missed during the session or to reinforce your understanding of the topics covered.


Additional Resources: