Getting Started in Collaborate



Blackboard Collaborate is a web-based conferencing system that allows you and your instructors to meet and communicate via voice, video, text, and desktop sharing. Collaborate allows your instructor to create virtual classrooms, offices and office hours, and meeting spaces that offer greater opportunities for interactions.

Collaborate already exists inside CourseWeb and is an easy to use system that does not require Pitt students to install any plugins, software, or download any desktop applications.

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Main Components of Collaborate with Video

Navigating through Collaborate is an easy experience due to its clean interface.

A labeled screenshot of the Collaborate interface for students

1. Session Menu 6. Raise Hand Option
2. Leave Session 7. Chat
3. Your Status 8. Session Attendees
4. Audio 9. Share Content
5. Video 10. Personal Settings

These buttons will be explored more fully described in the Collaborate Interface page.

The following video from Blackboard (length 2:14) gives an overview of the main features and uses of Collaborate.


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Helpful Tips and Guidelines

Before getting started in Collaborate, there are a few helpful tips to follow to maximize the quality of your sessions:

  • Chrome is the recommended browser. Other browsers tend to have issues. See the following on recommended browsers.
  • Use a headset/microphone, not the internal PC microphone or microphone built into a web camera.
  • A wired internet connection is preferred.
  • Do not run other applications in the background during meetings, particularly web applications (email, chat, Skype, etc.). These compete for CPU and bandwidth to the internet which can cause problems.
  • Keep your microphone muted while not speaking to help audio clarity for all participants.

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Join A Session

To join a session:

    1. Log into CourseWeb with one of the supported browsers.
    2. Select the course from your My Courses menu that will be hosting the Collaborate session.
    3. Once in your course, navigate to the Collaborate link located in the left-hand navigation menu and click on it.Select the Collaborate link in the left tool bar
      • Note: your instructor may name the link differently (some names could be Collaborate, Blackboard Collaborate, Virtual Collaboration). So look for the name your instructor has indicated.
    4. This will take you to the Blackboard Collaborate Sessions menu. Select the session you would like to join.Collaborate session page
    5. Collaborate will open in a new tab within your browser

    Notice of Recorded Sessions

    Please note that your instructor may record your Collaborate sessions. Your instructor will announce they are recording at the beginning of each session and a red video icon will appear in the top left of your screen indicating the session is being recorded.Video icon with red dot indicates session is being recorded


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