Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing

Blackboard Collaborate (formerly eLive) is available within Blackboard to deliver an effective learning experience through online, blended, and mobile learning. Instructors can use this tool as a meeting space to engage online students in real time discussion, use for online class office hours, provide a space for students to collaborate, and open their virtual classroom to guest speakers. Some instructors use the tool to record lectures. Users can join from MAC or PC and on their mobile devices.

eLive and Collaborate are both available in Blackboard through Fall 2013. Starting in Spring 2014, you will no longer be able to creare new eLive sessions in Blackboard, but you will still be able to access previously recorded elive sessions. For more information visit the Collaborate Transition page.


Getting Started

UAA Academic Innovations & eLearning is available for training and workshops.

Add Blackboard Collaborate to your Blackboard Course

"Add Tool Link" in your Blackboard Navigation Menu.
Be sure to select "Available to Users" .



Blackboard Collaborate Video Tutorial


Known Issues and Workarounds

Mac OSX 10.8+ Collaborate Launcher

If you are using Mac OSX 10.8 and above and you are using collaborate for the first time, please download the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher for Mac before you start your session.  This is a one time setup install. You may need to adjust your system application security to allow applications from anywhere before you can install the application.  If you have any troubles please see the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing - First Time Users article on the Blackboard Collaborate Knowledge Base.

PC Users

If the launch sequence for Blackboard Collaborate gives you a message regarding Updating JAVA, select the LATER option. Collaborate will continue to open correctly using your computers most current JAVA.


Telephone Option: Audio Conference Bridge

One of the most exciting upgrades in Blackboard Collaborate is the option for our students to call in using an audio conference number. This can help with bandwidth and other issues students may have using audio on their computer. It allows for the video feed to come through better on the user's end as well.

Setting up Teleconference Options

There are two options for Collaborate Teleconference setup. 

Option 1: Default to use Blackboard Collaborate Conference number which is long distance through California. This will potentially incur long distance charges for students.

Option 2: This option is is valid if you have a toll-free UA audio conference number through UA OIT and your department. Your usual UA audio conference charges will apply to your department.

From within BBC Scheduling Manager, Go to Set Defaults Enter your unique numbers using the following parameters:

 Create Session in BB









Teleconference Options

Room Details Page

Activate Teleconference Option in Live Collaborate Session

Once in Session, you will need to connect to the teleconference to make it active by going to Tools>Telephony>Connect session to teleconference. A "teleconference" user will show up in your participant window.


* Be sure to "Disconnect from Teleconference" when your session is over, before closing your collaborate session.

Participant joining Audio conference

Use the telephone icon in the Audio/Video window:


Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 3



A dialogue box will open with the active phone number and PIN to use to call in.


Once the choose "OK" , their Audio feed to/from the computer will cut off, allowing the video/display feed to come through more clearly. All whiteboard, chat and feedback functions will still work for the student, and their audio will be recorded.

*Please note that the student may need to mute their phone when not talking. 

*Breakout Rooms: The student using teleconference AND the generic "teleconference user" will BOTH need to be moved to the same breakout room if you are using breakout rooms.







Instructions and Resources for Student Support

Info to post on the whiteboard for your students when logged in to every session:

  1.  Go through Audio Setup Wizard. Tools>Audio>Audio setup wizard
  2.  Press "Talk" to talk. Press again when you are done.

Template Powerpoint slides to use for Student Orientation for your first live session (feel free to manipulate)

Example "Getting Started" email or Blackboard Announcement message for your students:


Please complete these simple Getting Ready steps well before the first session:  

Review and/or print this "Participants Quick Reference Guide for Students (pdf)" and visit this Online Orientation.

On the computer you will be using for the meeting, complete the system check:
Visit the Blackboard Collaborate 1st Time Users Portal

  1. Is Java successfully installed on the computers to be used in the meeting?
  2. Was your computer able to successfully log into the Configuration Room (Step 2)?
  3. Was the audio wizard (Tools > Audio > Audio Setup Wizard) completed successfully to test your microphone and speakers?

If you are having trouble getting Collaborate to run on your computer, please call UAA IT Callcenter at (907) 786-4646.  I will be available 20 minutes before the first session if you need orientation to the tools before class start. Please join ahead of time to test audio and ask any technical related questions. 


Workshops and consultation are available from Academic Innovations & eLearning