Accessing & Participating in a Class on Blackboard Collaborate (Students)


Is your class being held on Blackboard Collaborate? Follow the guide below to access Collaborate and participate in the class.


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Students)


Accessing Collaborate

Blackboard recommends either Firefox or Chrome with Collaborate Ultra, but users have found that it works best in the Chrome browser.

  • Known browser issues:
    • Safari - Video cuts out, microphone does not work
    • Edge - Audio is intermittent
    • Opera - Screen sharing does not scale properly for the instructor

There are three ways to access your class being held on Blackboard Collaborate:

  1. Through your Blackboard course page where your instructor can provide a link to Collaborate in the menu on the left (this is the easiest method)
  2. Guest Link (must be provided by your instructor)
  3. Dial-In number and PIN (must be provided by your instructor)

After accessing Collaborate through your course’s Blackboard page, by dialing in, or through the link provided by your instructor, you will be brought to the central area of the room called the main stage. Your personal settings are available in the buttons on the bottom.  Options to record and report issues are available in the upper left.  Options to chat and share content are available on the right. These options will be explained further in the sections that follow. 

Managing Your User Settings 

Your status in the class as participant has been set by your instructor. Your instructor, or the person who is holding the class, will appear as the moderator for the Collaborate session. Participants in the class can manage their settings using the buttons in the bottom center of the window. 

Here are the options for each button: 

My Status and Settings icon displayed as a grey person inside of a circle with a check mark inside of a green circle beneath them.

My Status and Settings – Users can provide feedback to the moderator from here. You can indicate that you need the instructor to speak faster or slower, indicate that you are confused, agree or disagree with a point, or let the moderator know that you need to step away. To manage your audio and video settings, click on the gear icon next to your name.

Share Audio icon displayed as a green microphone.

Share Audio – Click on this icon to enable your microphone. The first time you do this, you may be prompted by your browser to confirm whether you want to share your microphone. When your microphone is shared, you will see a white bar moving up and down on the microphone icon. 

Share Video icon displayed as a blue video camera.

Share Video – If you would like the instructor or your classmates to see you, click on this icon to enable your webcam. The first time you do this, you may be prompted by your browser to enable your video. Collaborate will let you preview your video before you begin sharing, so you can adjust your angle and positioning as needed. When you are ready to go, click on Share Video.  When your webcam is shared, the video icon will be blue.  You will see a small thumbnail of your own video in the lower left corner of the page.  

Raise Hand icon displayed as a purple person and a red circle with a number displayed above.

Raise Hand – Participants can click on this icon to raise their hand during the session. Your instructor will receive a notification that a hand is raised. Click on the icon again to lower your hand.

Sharing Content in the Class 

On the lower right side of the Collaborate window, you’ll see a purple tab that allows you to share content and interact with participants.  Click on the tab to open the following options: 

Chat icon displayed as a purple chat bubble. Chat – Click on this icon to chat with all participants, or to send a message to the moderators. If your instructor records the session, the chat transcript will also be recorded. 

Participants icon displayed as purple colored people and a black circle containing the number of participants beneath them.Participants – View the list of participants, moderators and presenters in the session.  Click on the round button next to a participant’s name to send a private chat message or view the user’s role in the session. 

Share icon displayed as an open purple rectangle with a purple arrow inside.Share – Your instructor may use these tools in a variety of ways:

  • Share Blank Whiteboard
  • Share Application/Screen 
  • Share Files 
  • Polling 
  • Breakout Groups 

Settings icon displayed as a purple gear. Settings – Configure your audio, webcam and notification settings here. 

Accessing a Recording of the Class 

The instructor will have access to recordings of the class session and can share this recording with you after the Collaborate session has concluded. 


Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that can be used to hold classes online. Collaborate Ultra is browser-based, and therefore does not require any separate downloads or applications to use. Blackboard recommends either Firefox or Chrome with Collaborate Ultra, but users have found that it works best in the Chrome browser. 


Article ID: 95832
Tue 1/14/20 1:51 PM
Tue 5/11/21 3:02 PM