Class/Blackboard Collaborate - Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the name changing from Blackboard Collaborate to Class Collaborate?New

Collaborate was purchased by Class in 2022. Class began rebranding Collaborate in late-2022 to change the name from Blackboard Collaborate to Class Collaborate. Collaborate will remain available to NIU faculty for the duration of our contract through August 2026. 

If you would like to explore other options, NIU currently supports Zoom and Microsoft Teams as alternative web conferencing tools. 

What will change as a result of the sale of Collaborate to Class?New

At this time, we do not foresee many updates or changes being made to Collaborate as a result of the sale to Class. In addition, Class has committed to maintaining Collaborate through the duration of existing contracts (our contract ends in August 2026). 

In the meantime, the name has already changed from Blackboard Collaborate to Class Collaborate. We also expect the integration between Blackboard and other web conferencing tools, like Zoom, to be improved. 

Can I use Class/Blackboard Collaborate with a guest speaker?
Yes you can! You can easily invite a guest speaker when you are creating the session. To do so, edit the Settings for a particular session and ensure that the Guest Access setting is checked. Copy the Guest Link and send it to your guest speaker. 

Technical Requirements and Support

Can I access Class/Blackboard Collaborate sessions from my mobile device?

Yes, you can participate in Collaborate sessions directly in the browser on your mobile device. Participants can join the session by clicking a guest link (such as in their email or on a website) or from a Blackboard course. Students can access the course from the Blackboard app for students or by logging into Blackboard in their mobile browser. 

At this time, the options for presenting on a mobile device are limited. You cannot share content, such as PowerPoint slides, or application share from a mobile device. 

My webcam or microphone won't work with Class/Blackboard Collaborate. How do I give permission for Collaborate to use my webcam and microphone?

Because Collaborate runs entirely in your browser, you need to give permission for your web browser to use your webcam and microphone. Usually, you will be prompted to grant permission the first time you access Collaborate on your computer. If you inadvertently blocked the request, you can clear your cache and launch the session again. Your browser should ask you for permission again.

You can also change the permissions in your browser without clearing your cache. Here are the steps to do so in each browser:

In addition you may need to allow permission in your operating system to use the webcam and microphone


How long are Collaborate recordings retained?New

According to the Recording Retention Guidelines, Collaborate recordings are retained for 6 months. After that time, most recordings are never viewed again. 

For longer-term storage and use, we recommend moving your recordings to Microsoft OneDrive (for archival retention) or to Kaltura (for recordings that will be played frequently). 

How do I access a recording?

To access a recording:

  1. Go to Collaborate in your Blackboard course
  2. Click the menu in the upper left (three parallel lines) and click Recordings
  3. Use the Filter by menu on the right to view recent recordings (from the last 30 days) or recordings in a date range
  4. When you have found the appropriate recording, click on the name and select Watch now

click the menu in the upper left to access recordings

How do I download a recording?New

To download a recording:

  1. Access Class/Blackboard Collaborate in a course
  2. Click to open the menu (three parallel lines in the upper left, above the course room)
  3. Click Recordings
  4. Find the appropriate recording by using the Filter by options on the right to view recent recordings (from the last 30 days) or recordings in a date range
  5. Click the Recording Menu at the far right (three dots in a circle) and select Download

The recording will automatically download to your computer in an .mp4 format.

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