Using Blackboard Collaborate

A Guide for Faculty Members

Preparing for your First Collaborate Session

  • You will need a microphone/headset for our session; we highly recommend a USB headset.
  • See the Student Guide to Using Collaborate
    • Complete the "Getting started" and "Learn how things work" sections

Uses of Blackboard Collaborate

  • Live audio interaction with students and/or a guest speaker
    For guest speakers, see the iSchool Collaborate Guest Speaker Guide GuestSpeakerGuide.pdf [PDF: 2 pages; 100Kbytes]
  • Narrated PowerPoint presentations (live or recorded) (see more information on this at the bottom of this page)
  • Live polling and quizzes
  • Brainstorming
  • Application sharing (demonstrating processes on your computer that students can watch as they listen to your explanation)
  • Student presentations
  • Student breakout groups
  • much more


You can have a student assistant to help you with your use of Blackboard Collaborate. Many faculty have found this to be very helpful. Request a student assistant. Contact Debbie Faires with questions.


How to get started

  1. Learn about Blackboard Collaborate
  2. Obtain your Collaborate links for the semester

    Debbie Faires will send you a moderator link, a student/participant link, and a link to a page that will list all recordings for your own online Collaborate room. You can use this throughout the semester for class meetings, office hours, or to record lectures.

  3. Distribute the session information to participants

    You will need to provide the link to your online classroom to your students.

    Tell students they should go to the specified URL and login a few minutes prior to the session start time. They should use their first and last name as their name. They will not need to enter a password when joining the meeting. With this method of scheduling, anyone who has the URL can join the meeting. Be mindful of the fact that the names users enter are not verified.

  4. Logging in for your class session

    Be sure you use your moderator link to join your class session. If you use the student/participant link, you will not have moderator status and will not be able to upload slides, record, or use application sharing.

  5. Recordings

    You can record a Collaborate session by clicking on the record button in the upper right-hand corner of the Collaborate screen (near the Blackboard logo).

    To access a recording, allow 15 minutes after the last person has exited the Collaborate session and then check your page with the list of recordings. You will see recordings listed by time/date. There is no option to add titles to this listing. Note that it is important to ensure that everyone exits the session in order for the recording to be generated.

    You can handle recording links in either of the following two ways:

    a) Provide students with the link to the page that lists all recordings for your room


    b) Provide students only with the links for individual recordings (gathered from the main listing)

    Helpful tip: If you find it difficult to remember to begin the recording, you can include a slide at the beginning of your PowerPoint that says "Recording in Progress.". Also, when the moderator first joins the Collaborate session, they'll receive a visual notification that will prompt them to begin recording the meeting. If you do not wish to immediately begin recording the session, you may want to keep the "recording reminder" open and move it to a prominent position to serve as a reminder that you need to begin recording the session.

    See more information in the Blackboard Collaborate - Getting Started with Recordings Quick Reference Guide [PDF]

More information on how to use Collaborate