Recommended Equipment for Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Sessions

To get the most out of using Blackboard Collaborate it is advisable to have:

  1. a USB headset with built-in microphone and earphone so you can fully participate in live sessions
  2. a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see below)

Optional: Blackboard Collaborate offers good quality video conferencing. Users who wish to take advantage of the video conferencing option in Blackboard Collaborate will need to acquire and set up a Web camera. However, this is completely optional.

Headsets and Microphones

Options include:

  • a USB headset with attached noise-canceling microphone (highly recommended)
  • a microphone and computer speakers

Note: Headsets generally produce much higher quality audio. The school strongly recommends the headset option.

There are two types of connection plugs:

  • USB plug Recommended: USB connector, which will plug into any USB port on your computer. 
  • Phono jack type plug Not recommended: Two 3.5mm connector plugs that connect to the microphone and headset ports on your computer.
    (Note that this is different than single-connector 2.5mm telephone headsets.)

Gigaware headset with microphone

Most USB microphones and headsets work fine so feel free to pick any you'd like. However, some students have used the following headsets or microphones and found they worked well.

Gigaware USB Stereo Headset with Microphone
This digital headset fits comfortably and doesn't give headaches from a too-tight fit. (Digital, model 4300079 available from Radio Shack.)

Behind the head style headset

Plantronics Behind-the-Head Stereo Headset with Microphone
Easy to use, very comfortable, can be purchased in-store or online. (Analog, available from Best Buy, Fry's and other sources.)

Headsets from Microsoft and Logitech (with noise-canceling mics)

Computer Minimum Specifications

For a list of minimum specifications, please see the following article published by Blackboard Support.


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