Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing

logoBlackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing program that provide a cost effective alternative to meeting in person. Many universities and organizations across the globe are using this powerful platform to meet virtually for the convenience, time, energy and cost saving. Universities use this application to deliver distance learning to students who may not be able to physically be on campus but can attend synchronously online. In the case of Georgia State’s Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Profession, we use it to do some of the following:

• virtual online class sessions
• virtual meetings
• virtual study group activity
• Virtual review sessions
• virtual office hours
• virtual open house meetings
• virtual interviews
• Guest speakers/Invited lecturers
• dissertation defenses (inviting guests to participate virtually)
• Recording and Archiving audio or video lectures
• Exporting Audio to Mp3 or video to Mp4 for download or playback

Computer Requirements
Familiarize yourself with Blackboard’s system requirements to participate in our program. Blackboard provides tables showing minimum computer requirements and problems across operating systems like Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux. Compatibility issues between some browser versions, Java versions and operating systems may cause problems accessing a session.

To participate in a Blackboard Collaborate virtual web conference, one needs:

  • Working computer with 256MB memory
  • 100 MB Hard Disk Drive space
  • working sound card
  • internet access – broadband recommended
  • Java software
  • USB headset or USB audio device.

Java software and OS check

Best Practices
We recommend using a clean running computer, Pentium IV, with at least 1GB of memory, 1 GB free hard disk space and using a USB headset. Close other memory intensive programs and those that may use your sound card. Running multiple programs that may compete for memory, sound card and hard disk space while running a virtual session, will affect the quality of your session. You may be bumped offline. Wired network connection are better than wireless connections. Moreover, weather and location may affect signal strength of wireless connections.
Check your computer’s setting well before your first online session so you can fix any problems early. Try joining a virtual practice room from SNHP or the Collaborate website and run the audio setup wizard. Call 404413-1188 if you have problems.


Causes of Connection Problems and Dropped Session Connection

• Java needs updating
• Poor Wi-fi connection – being too far from Wifi base, poor weather conditions affecting signal, something at home affecting wi-fi signal strength, multiple users on network using up bandwidth, wi-fi router crashed or not working properly
• Internet traffic
• unconfigured audio using up CPU and memory
• Server overloaded or malfunction – rare but has happened
• Poor computer performance – may need a tune up, or to be cleaned
• Malware – may need to be cleaned
• Firewall disabling Java
• OS update, browser update, java update can cause a problem

USB Headsets are strongly recommended

for their ability to manage the audio in your session. USB headsets cancel echos and feedback when properly configured using the audio setup wizard of Collaborate. A webcam is optional.

Blackboard Collaborate Screenshots

Collab Interface

Collab Interface

img_collab_screenshot2

Training

Students and faculty are trained to use Collaborate which is quite easy to learn. We train year round; however, most training takes place at start of semester during new student or new faculty orientation. Training can be scheduled anytime by calling 404-413-1188 or email: mmuirhead1@gsu.edu.

Blackboard Mobile Web Conferencing
Blackboard Collaborate has a mobile app for handheld devices. The Blackboard Mobile app is less powerful than the desktop version. We urge you to use the desktop version for its features and stability. In the event that you are unable to connect from a desktop then use the app from your handheld device.
Downloads:
Android
Ipad
Iphone/Ipod touch

Instructor/Moderator Handouts/Tutorials
Blackboard Collaborate Launcher for Windows
Blackboard Collaborate launcher for Mac
Collaborate Overview
Audio Setup Wizard
Moderator Quick Reference Guide
Mac OSX 10.8 Workaround to launch Collaborate Session
Creating a Session (see SNHP intranet)
Creating a breakout room
Comprehensive Moderator User Guide

Student/Participant Handouts/Tutorials
Blackboard Collaborate Launcher for Windows
Blackboard Collaborate launcher for Mac
Participant Quick Reference Guide
Audio Setup Wizard
Joining a session
Recorded sessions
Mac OSX 10.8 Workaround to launch Collaborate Session
Creating a breakout room
Collaborate Mobile Quick Reference
Checklist for Collaborate Sessions