Blackboard Collaborate: Features
This article outlines some of the features found in Blackboard Collaborate.
- To access your whiteboard, click the whiteboard icon located at the top left of the screen.
- The tools that you can use to draw and markup the whiteboard with will appear on your screen. (You can move this around to your preference.) From top to bottom, these tools are available:
- Filled Shape
- Empty Shape
- Screen Capture
- Clip Art
- To share your screen, click the screen sharing button, which is located at the top left of the screen.
- If you are prompted to elevate priveleges, click OK.
- Select the open application that you would like to share; or to share your complete Desktop, click Share desktop at the top.
- Your application or desktop will now be shared with others in the session. They will be able to see what is in the yellow box around the selected screen (Note that if you are sharing only a specific application they will see a grey box if you switch to a different application within the yellow box).
- To screen capture, pause or exit screen sharing.
- Select the web tour button in the top left of the screen.
- Type in the URL for the webpage that you would like to show the participants.
- Check the Follow Me button to have participants see what you are showing with the webpage.
- If you select the dropdown button , you will be able to post the URL to the chat room so others can have it. Otherwise, you can open it in your own browser, instead of through blackboard.
- In the top right, you will see i, Load Content, and Record.
- If you click on the i, you will have the option to start a timer.
- Clicking the Load Content button will allow you to choose a file you would like to upload to blackboard. Once you select a file, it will load into blackboard as separate pages, or it may ask you if you would like it attached to the same page.
- When selecting the Record button, you will be able to record the blackboard session.
- The recordings will be saved in the MyUW system where you created the session.
- Note: Recordings will not show up right after recording, it can take up to an hour.
If you are having trouble hearing others, check these issues:
- Make sure your computer speakers, or headphone speakers, are turned on and are loud enough for you to hear.
- Check to make sure the volume is turned up within blackboard.
- Make sure your microphone volume is turned up loud enough for people to hear.
- Make sure you selected the Talk button.
- Check the Audio Setup Wizard to make sure the correct microphone is selected.
- If you are not the moderator, check with them to make sure they have granted you access to be able to talk.
- Make sure the people listening have followed the steps outlined above for hearing sound.
- Click on View> Show Side Bar and make sure it is checked to display the Audio & Video sidebar.
- To control the primary video display, click Tools>Video, and then select which view you would like to have:
- Make Video Follow Speaker (Default) - the primary video display will always display either the profile picture or the video transmission (and the name) of the person current or last person to speak (even if that person has left the room).
- Make Video Follow Moderator Focus - forces everyone in the room to see the same thing. This can only be set by the moderator and overrides an individual's ability to manually select what video stream to show in the primary display.
- Maximum Simultaneous Cameras - allows multiple simultaneous cameras, but it can cause problems when bandwidth is an issue.
If others are having difficulties viewing you, check these issues:
- Make sure you have Video selected, so that your webcam will turn on.
- If you would like to preview what others will see before you turn on video, click the preview button to the right of Video.
- Check your camera settings by selecting Tools>Video>Camera Settings and make sure you have the correct webcam selected.
- If you are not the moderator, check with the moderator to see if you have been granted access to video permissions.
- Make sure the viewers have the panel showing View>Show Side Bar checked, and have them check their video settings as outlined above.
The Chat panel allows you to exchange text messages with other people in the session. Moderators will often turn off audio and video to participants during a presentation to eliminate noise and bandwidth issues. In that case, Chat is a very useful feature; and it allows you to communicate without disrupting other participants. The following features are available in Chat:
- Scroll-able conversation pane
- A box for participants to type messages
- Tabs to switch between conversations
- An Emoticon menu
The Participant pane is basically a control panel for conducting a session. From here, moderators can control who has access to the different features, clear polling results, and invite participants.
Participants and moderators also have access to the following:
Emoticons Step Away Raise Hand Participate in Polls View Profiles Private Chat Feature Indicators