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Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Blackboard Collaborate

What training is available for those desiring to teach with Blackboard Collaborate?

Online support document and links to tutorials are available at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/communicate/collaborate.shtml. Hands-on training workshops are offered throughout the year by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. The current listing of upcoming Faculty Development workshops is available at http://www.niu.edu/facdev/programs/fscurrent.shtml

What are the minimum technical requirements for students and presenters using Blackboard Collaborate?

Minimum system requirements are listed here.

What if I experience technical difficulties? Who can I contact for support?

Blackboard Collaborate offers 24/7 support for both students and faculty. For support, contact Blackboard Collaborate using any of the following:

phone: 877.382.2293
online knowledgebase: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com

Is it possible to use Blackboard Collaborate in a Blackboard Community?

Yes, Blackboard Collaborate is available in all NIU Blackboard courses and communities from within the Control Panel by clicking "Organization Tools" and then "Blackboard Collaborate".

My department would like to use Blackboard Collaborate for live online meetings. Is it possible to receive access to Blackboard Collaborate to create and manage live sessions that aren't associated with a specific course section?

Yes, NIU departments can request a Blackboard Collaborate Community Portal free of charge to create and manage Blackboard Collaborate sessions. To request, the department designee should complete the Computer Access Request form here.

Once at the form, make the following selections:

  1. Select your account type (Faculty / Staff Account)
  2. Select "Blackboard" and then click the "Continue" button
  3. Select "Collaborate" to request creation of a new Blackboard Collaborate Community. Note: One Community per Department. Contact the Department Community Leader to be added to an existing Department Community. Click the "Continue" button.
  4. Follow the remaining prompts to enter the community leader's Account ID, college / department, and requestor's Account ID. Then, click the "Continue" button to submit your request.

I received an error that says "No Application Found." What should I do?

This is most likely due to an issue with the Java installation on the system you are connecting from. Java may need to be installed or updated. You can check that your system is set up by going to “For First Time Users: Getting Started” before your session.

If everything seems to be in order, but you are still unable to launch Blackboard Collaborate, you should try clearing your Java cache. The latest instructions can be found at How do I clear my Java cache at the Blackboard Collaborative Support Center.

Finally, you can contact Blackboard Collaborate support by phone: 877-382-2293 or by going to the online support portal

Can I use Blackboard Collaborate with a guest speaker?

Yes you can! You can easily invite a guest speaker when you are creating the session.

Make the following selections:

  1. Select Blackboard Collaborate from Course Tools
  2. Select Create Session and complete the session information
  3. At the top of the page, click the Participation tab
  4. In Section 2, enter a Display Name and Add Email Address for the guest, then click the Add button
  5. Repeat Step 4 to add any additional guests
  6. Click the Submit button to create the session and invite the guests

You can also generate a generic link that can be shared with anyone to allow them to join the session. To do so, follow steps 1-3 above. Then, in Section 2 click the checkbox to Allow Unregistered Guests. When you click the Submit button, you will see a green banner with the Guest Link. Copy the guest link and send it to your guests or post it on a website for your guests to use.

Can I invite guest participants to a Blackboard Collaborate session? 

Yes, you can invite participants who are not enrolled in your course.  However, it is recommended that you create a Course session type and then invite additional guests.  The Public session type would allow any NIU Blackboard user to enter your live session.

Make the following selections:

  1. Select Blackboard Collaborate from Course Tools
  2. Select Create Session > Session Information select the Course button
  3. At the top of the page, click the Participation tab
  4. In Section 2, enter a Display Name and Add Email Address for the guest participants, then click the Add button
  5. Repeat Step 4 to add any additional guests
  6. Click the Submit button to create the session and invite the guests

You can also generate a generic link that can be shared with anyone to allow them to join the session. To do so, follow steps 1-3 above. Then, in Section 2 click the checkbox to Allow Unregistered Guests.When you click the Submit button, you will see a green banner with the Guest Link. Copy the guest link and send it to your guests or post it on a website for your guests to use.

Can I have students from two different courses use the same Blackboard Collaborate session?

Yes, this option is available for instructors with more than one course.

In order for the same session to appear in two different courses begin by going to Control Panel > Course Tools > Create Session in one of the courses. Then, in Section 1: Session Information, select Shared for the Session Type. Then, click the Additional Courses box and select the desired courses. Complete the remaining fields on the page then click the Submit button.

Can I access Blackboard Collaborate sessions from my mobile device?

Yes, a free mobile app for iOS devices is available that allows students to participate in a session directly from their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Blackboard anticipates that this feature will be available to Android devices in the Spring of 2013. Learn more about the mobile app at http://blackboard.niu.edu/blackboard/communicate/collaborate.shtml.

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Last Updated: 2/12/2013