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Blackboard Collaborate Support

Collaborate allows you to talk, chat, present PowerPoints, share your screen, and invite guests. It is similar to Skype or Google Hangouts except it can support up to 400 people. Because Collaborate runs with Java, make sure your Java is up to date. You can install (or re-install) it from Java.com, just make sure to uncheck the boxes to not install McAffee anti-virus or the Ask toolbar as these are unneeded programs. People can also use iOS and Android phone and tablet devices to view (but not present) Collaborate sessions. Just install the app from the App store or the Play store and when you click on a link for Collaborate it will launch within the app. To sign up for a workshop, click here.

BASIC DOCUMENTATION ON COLLABORATE

Basic Directions for Instructors

DOWNLOAD BY CLICKING HERE

Basic Directions for Students

CONTENTS

TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR FACULTY

ONLINE HELP FOR FACULTY

ONLINE HELP FOR STUDENTS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR FACULTY

The Blackboard Support Group offers hour long workshops (click here to go directly to the sign-up page) for faculty on Blackboard Collaborate. See below for a workshop description:

Introduction to Collaborate

Using Collaborate, the newest web-conferencing product on the market, professors can talk with students, share applications, files and images and record these sessions for future use. Please join us to learn how Collaborate can help you offer a remote review session or office hour, face a weather emergency, or teach a hybrid class. And with Collaborate, you can also set up groups so that your students can use all the features of Collaborate for their group projects without you in attendance.

This workshop will walk you through the steps to launch your own "Live Classroom" in Blackboard, provide an overview of its uses and hands-on practice with: starting sessions, uploading and managing content, using the White Board, application sharing, adding quizzes and providing feedback.

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FACULTY WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

All workshops will be held in the Library, Room 306, unless otherwise noted. Registration is preferred. Laptops will be available, but the workshops are more useful if you bring your own.

Please click here to sign up for one of our Blackboard or Collaborate workshops!

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ONLINE HELP FOR FACULTY

Looking for help with Blackboard Collaborate? Below, you can view online documentation and video tutorials that provide basic help as well as detailed answers for the most common questions and problems.

Online Documentation

The Basics:

Tip Sheet and Step-by-Step Guides

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In-Collaborate Video Tutorials

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Blackboard Collaborate Webinars

Are you an instructor interested in using Collaborate to increase accessibility, hold class during inclement weather, or other pedagogical aspects of Blackboard Collaborate or a staff member interested in how to use Collaborate to engage prospective students?

Visit Blackboard Collaborate's Webinar Recordings page to view archives of their Distinguished Lecture Series. These lectures are delivered by members of universities around the country, invited by Blackboard, to present on a variety of topics, and available through Blackboard's resources free of charge.

Topics include:

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ONLINE HELP FOR STUDENTS

If you are a student and having issues using Blackboard Collaborate or just getting started, please use the links below to find step-by-step guides and a video orientation tutorial.

Finally, remember that not all professors use Blackboard Collaborate, but if and when they do, you should make your best effort to prepare in advance of the start of the session. If you need help troubleshooting you may always contact us or come by our office with your laptop, and we can help you get started with Collaborate!

ONLINE DOCUMENTATION

The Basics, Tip Sheet, and Step-by-Step Guide

VIDEO TUTORIAL

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What is Blackboard Collaborate?

Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaboration software for engaging, collaborative learning designed specifically for education.

Blackboard Collaborate's capabilities include two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, rich media, breakout rooms, and session recording for later playback.

Blackboard Collaborate can be accessed from within Blackboard at http://blackboard.american.edu.


What happened to Wimba?

Wimba has been replaced by Blackboard Collaborate. We have created this webpage to get faculty, students and students acquainted with this new tool, as we transition from Wimba to Collaborate.


Why Collaborate?

With Collaborate you can share applications, and load web pages and PowerPoints much faster than was possible in Wimba. We have also seen fewer connectivity issues as students have used Collaborate.

There are uses beyond real time classes from remote locations or inviting in remote speakers. You can keep a Collaborate session open for up to a year and use it as a place for office hours. You can also create a session where students can work on group projects without you needing to be in the session. Just remember to give them moderator status for this session.


What is the Future of Collaborate on Campus?

American University has been using Collaborate for 2012 and will continue at least until the end of 2013. Wimba is being phased out, so contact us if you need help saving archived recordings in Wimba.


What are the minimum system requirements, and what do I need in order to use Collaborate on my personal computer?

Before you can get started in a Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing session, you should ensure that your computer is able to support the needs of the collaboration environment.

NOTE: For all users, we strongly recommend that you use a headset (or at least headphones and/or an echo canceling microphone) rather than speakers when using simultaneous talkers. This will eliminate potential echoing and feedback issues and improve the group's overall audio experience.

Each user's computer should meet or exceed the following minimum requirements:

Windows
Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 or 64 bit) or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit), Pentium III 1 GHz processor

Mac OS X
Mac OS X 10.5 (32 or 64 bit) or Mac OS X 10.6 (32 or 64 bit)
G4, G5 or Intel processor

Linux
Ubuntu 9.10 (64 bit)
Pentium III 1 GHz processor

In addition to the above requirements, all clients require the following:

Java version 1.5 or higher

Note: For a 32 bit OS use a 32 bit JVM and for a 64 bit OS use a 64 bit JVM. If the correct version of Java is not detected, Blackboard Collaborate will prompt you to install a new version.

256 MB RAM
20 MB free disk space
28.8 KBps Internet connection

Windows or Linux: sound card with speakers and microphone or headset (or telephone for Telephony users)

Macs: internal, USB, or external iSight microphone (or telephone for Telephony users)


What is meant by "Moderator", "Participant", "Session Attendee", and "Invitee"?

The following terms are used when referring to Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing users:

Moderator – Moderators have access to all Blackboard Collaborate features, including the ability to grant Moderator status to Participants. The person scheduling and conducting a session, such as the instructor of a Blackboard course site or the leader of a Blackboard organization, is a Moderator in the Collaborate session by default. In most cases, faculty and instructors of courses will be moderators in Blackboard Collaborate sessions.

Participant – Participants have restricted access to Blackboard Collaborate features. Students are typically Participants, although Moderators can grant Participants Moderator status. Emailed invitees to the session are also Participants.

Session Attendee – This term applies to anyone attending the session (both Moderators and Participants).

Invitee – Anyone invited to the session (both Moderators and Participants).


Does Blackboard, Inc. have a site with documentation and training for Blackboard Collaborate?

Yes, Blackboard Collaborate maintains a comprehensive support site for the product to meet the Collaborate users' learning needs.

In order to access documentation, in PDF format, presentation and recordings on How to Use Blackboard Collaborate, you can visit:

http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Services/On-Demand-Learning-Center/Web-Conferencing.aspx

Please note that the documentation on this page is divided as follows:

*For Participants - Students and guests may view this material to help them with Collaborate.

*For Moderators - Faculty and staff that are instructor users in Blackboard courses may view this material to help them with Collaborate.

For interested faculty an staff, you may also visit the following page on Blackboard Collaborate's site to view webinars on using Collaborate's web conferencing tools for a variety of educational purposes and to view demos:

http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Resources/Webinars-and-Demos.aspx

Have another question that's not included here? Feel free to give us a call, send us an email or visit our Blackboard Support Office in the Library!

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Shortcuts

CONTACT US

If you are unable to find answers to your questions online:

Blackboard Support Group

(202)-885-3904
blackboard@american.edu

Bender Library, Room 321
Mon. - Fri. 9:00am - 5:30pm

Top 10 Online Blackboard 9 Tutorials

Here are a few step-by-step tutorials from Blackboard that are really great for getting used to some of the new features.