Blackboard Collaborate Quick Reference Guide


Blackboard Collaborate™ provides an online environment with chat, audio and video for interactive sharing between desktops or whiteboards for rich media, breakout rooms, and session recordings. Therefore students and instructors can engage as if they were in a traditional classroom.

Preparing for a Blackboard Collaborate Session

  1. Find a comfortable place with no distractions.
  2. Be sure to join the session five to 10 minutes prior to the start.

Accessing a Blackboard Collaborate Session

When you are inside your eCampus course, click on the link to the Blackboard Collaborate Session the instructor has provided in an eCampus course or organization, or by e-mail.

Example of a Session link inside a course:
Image of Blackboard Collaborate content page
The instructor has placed a Blackboard Collaborate link in the Content folder.

Images of Blackboard Collaborate tools window and list page

If the Tools link is available, it allows access to all Blackboard Collaborate sessions. 

Example of an email with a Blackboard Collaborate link:
Image of Blackboard Collaborate email link  

Launching a Session

  1. When you click on the session's link, select Join Room in the Blackboard Collaborate page. 
  2. screenshot of launching a session.  
    • Important: Even if you already installed the launcher, you may be treated as a first-time user and be prompted to download the launcher. This can happen if you cleared your cache and cookies the last time you exited your browser, used a secure/private browser or used a different browser.
    • If this happens, you do not need to re-download the installer. Instead, click on the "Launch Blackboard Collaborate now" link inside the "First time using Blackboard Collaborate?" pop-up window to bypass the download and then open your collaborate file. 
      • screenshot asking if you need to download software.  
  3. A pop-up window reminds you to install the launcher. Do not select OK until after you have installed the launcher. 
    1. screenshot showing the OK button to launch Blackboard Collaborate.  
      Internet Explorer and Firefox users: If you do select OK now, your prompt to open and run the installer file will be hidden behind a prompt to open the "meeting.collab" file. 
  4. Open the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard. Different browsers handle this request differently and the behavior of each browser may vary depending on how you configured your browser settings. 
    • If your browser also prompts you to open the collaborate file, do not do so until you have installed the launcher.
    • When you run the installer, you may possibly see an "Installer Information" dialog box that says, "the cabinet file is corrupt and cannot be used." It means the download of the installer was incomplete. This will happen if you lost connection during the download, in which case you will need to download the installer again. 
  5. Select Next to start the setup wizard and select Finish when complete.
    1. Screenshot showing to click next  
      The setup wizard installs the Windows launcher and adds it to the Start menu.
  6. In the pop-up window reminder, select OK to confirm you installed the launcher.
    1. Screenshot showing the OK button  
  7. Open the "meeting.collab" file to join your session or choose "play.collab" to play your recording. If you don't see a prompt to do so, open the file in your Downloads folder.

Joining a Session

Set your Connection Speed to the Internet, the drop box will offer options. Select your speed and then click OK.

Screenshot showing you how to join a session

In Session

Screenshot showing you what a session looks like.

Important: Remember that running other applications on your computer can slow your connection to the session.