Blackboard Collaborate - Old Help guides - University of Derby

Blackboard Collaborate

Using the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher with the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block on Windows

What is Collaborate?

Collaborate is a virtual classroom tool that comprises audio, video, interactive whiteboard, PowerPoint display, application sharing, web tour, breakout rooms and session recording.

Collaborate can be used by staff and students to facilitate one-to-one meetings, tutorial space, student discussions or an informal chat. Collaborate is integrated with the University VLE.

Collaborate sessions can also be recorded to be viewed again at a later date. A chat tool is also available that can be used within the ‘virtual classroom’, meeting space or it can be used independently, allowing participants to send messages to one another.

Why would I use Collaborate with my students?

  • Create an interactive online environment to aid learning and collaboration among students that is not dependent on location.
  • Control of the virtual classroom can be passed on so that the student can become the moderator within the collaborate room, giving students a different perspective and an opportunity to develop their leadership skills.
  • Facilitate guest speakers to communicate with students by using Blackboard Collaborate, reducing time taken and eliminating travel for the guest speaker to participate.   
  • Share desktops with students for demonstration and instructional purposes.
  • Use Blackboard Collaborate for one to one feedback sessions with students and tutorials.  If the session is recorded then the verbal feedback and discussion can be referred back to; to support the students' self-reflection and evaluation.  
  • Blackboard Collaborate sessions can be recorded to use for review and recall and to give access to the same information to those who were unable to attend the online session.
  • Can facilitate group work between students, with the tool available for students to use independently within student individual group areas.  This can aid communication between students who are unable to attend University at the same time and place.

How do I use Collaborate with my students?

The Collaborate tool in Course Resources (Blackboard) has different room types:

Module room: A default room for all students on the module.

My room:  An individual room that is available on any course where you are an instructor. As the instructor you can prohibit students from a certain course from entering the room and only allow select students from a course you teach into your course.  For instance if privacy is a concern you can restrict access to the room to only you and one other student.

Group room: The Collaborate tool is available to all students within a group to Collaborate.  

  • Guests are permitted to enter and participate within a Blackboard Collaborate room.  Guests will need to be sent an URL to the session, after clicking the link they will be able to join the room.
  • There are a number of tools that are available within Collaborate:  private and public chat, whiteboard, application sharing, a group browser, a question and answer section, raising of hands, emotions, the ability to add and edit content whilst within the collaborate session, breakout rooms.

Please note:

  • There is a Launcher tool that all those who will be participating in the Collaborate session will need to download the before entering the session:  Launcher tool.
  • All participants will need speakers/headphones and a microphone if you would like participants to speak to one another within the room.  It is good practice to enter the room beforehand and check that the equipment is working and to advise participants to do the same.
  • The moderator of the Collaborate room will need to switch on which tools students have access to.  To do this click on the cross next to each tool you’d like students to be able to use above the chat pane within the collaborate room.
  • It is recommended that a link to the collaborate room you would like students to enter is added to the ‘community space’ within your Course resources course.
  • When recording sessions it is important to note that the ‘stop’ button must be pressed before exiting, otherwise the recording will not end and will not appear in the list of saved recordings.  Access to recorded sessions can be restricted to selected students only.

Accessibility Notes

It is important to note the following:


Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate Sessions

Keyboard Navigation in Blackboard Collaborate

Collaboration Tools




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