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EDU Support Blackboard Student Student portal (Nestor) Video​ Blackboard Collaborate​

Blackboard Collaborate​

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, often called just Collaborate, is a virtual classroom environment which is used to give both lectures and tutorials online.

How to join in Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate environment

The most common way for students to join the Collaborate environment is from a course. Within a course, there might be a menu item (in the grey area on the left) which directly redirects you to Collaborate. Often these items are called “Collaborate,Online lectures” or something alike. Thereby, there could be an item within a content area which enables you to join the Collaborate environment. A content area is a menu item which redirects you to a seperate space in which instructors usually upload content and add links to tools. In such a content area a Collaborate environment is shown by the following icon:

Moreover, sometimes you will receive a guest link to join a Collaborate session directly. These links are often sent by e-mail. When entering a session using such a link, you will have to enter your name in order to join. When joining from a course, your name will be induced from Nestor.

Sessions and rooms in course

When entering the Collaborate environment, a course room and (multiple) sessions will be shown. The environment will look as follows:

The upper button, called Course Room, is a common room which is accesible for both students and instructors at all times. The buttons below are called sessions and are only available at the pre-set time periods. Below the name of the sessions, this time period is shown and whether it is in progress, not yet started or ended. You can join a session by clicking on the concerned session and click on Join Session as shown below:

The button in the top left corner opens the Collaborate environment menu and is used to switch between sessions and recordings. More about recordings could be found below on this page. Moreover, sessions could be filtered by all upcoming sessions, all previous sessions and sessions within a time range. This could be done in the top right, under the button Filter by.

In a session

Set up microphone and camera

When entering a session, you will have to give browser permission for the camera and microphone in order to use audio and video in Collaborate. When opening a session, this will be asked automatically.


Collaborate remembers the choice you make. You might have skipped this before. Then, you will have to enable permission for audio and video in your browser.

Session Menu

The menu which opens when clicking on the three stripes in the top left corner is called the Session menu. This menu will appear in the left of your screen:

This menu contains the following buttons:

Use your phone for audio - You can use this to receive your audio through your (mobile) phone. Below, under common issues, this will be further elaborated.

Report an issue - This button will open a menu in which you can report an issue regarding Blackboard Collaborate.

Tell me about Collaborate - This button contains a brief introduction to Collaborate and a short explanation about the private chat.

Blackboard Collaborate Help - Use this button to navigate to the Blackboard Collaborate Help page.

Privacy Policy - This button will redirect you to the privacy policy of Blackboard Collaborate.

Leave session - You can leave the session using this button.

Collaborate Panel

The purple button in the lower right corner will redirect you to the Collaborate Panel. This panel exists of four main tabs which are, from left to right, Chat, Attendees, Share Content and My settings.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Chat⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Attendees⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Share Content⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀My Settings⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Close Panel


Use the chat to send messages to your teacher and/or fellow students, both in a group or privately. The chat option will not always be available, since your teacher can disable this function for students. The teacher could as well disable the possibility to chat privately with other students. Then you are only able to chat privately with the teachers.


You can use the tab Attendees in order to receive a list of all the attendees in the Collaborate session. Behind everyone’s name, the following two buttons appear.

Use this button to check the internet-connection of yourself or anyone else in the Collaborate session.

Use this button and sequently click on Send a chat message to privately chat with another participant of the Collaborate session.

Share Content

Sometimes you will have to give a presenation or share content within a Collaborate session as a student. In order to do this, the teacher will have to make you a Presenter (or Moderator). Once you are a presenter, you will have the following options under the Share Content button:

Share Blank Whiteboard - Use a whiteboard sketch, doodle or type on a blank screen.

Share Application/Screen - Use this button to share an application which is actively running on your computer. You could as well share your whole screen. This option is not reccomended for sharing a powerpoint.

Share Camera - Use this button to share your camera or webcam.

Share Files - Use this button to shares files such as images, powerpoints and PDF files.

Share Audio - For sharing audio, use the Google Chrome browser. Open the to-be-shared application in one of your Chrome tabs (e.g. Google slides, Youtube, mp4, etc.) and use the Share Application/Screen button in Collaborate to share this specific tab. The tab is listed under the header Chrome Tab. Do not forget to check the Share audio box in the lower-left corner of the pop-up menu before pressing Share.

My Settings

The settings tab looks as follows:

Profile photo - Click on your user icon to set a personal profile photo.

Audio and Video settings - You can use this button to set up you camera and microphone, to use your phone for audio, to adjust the speaker volume and to (if applicable) enable closed captions.

Notification settings - Here, you can enable and disable personal notifications within the Collaborate session.

Report an issue - This button will open a menu in which you can report an issue regarding Blackboard Collaborate.

Chat support - Use this button to receive immediate support from Blackboard Collaborate using a chat.

Breakout groups

Your teacher can break you and your fellow students up into subgroups within the Collaborate session. These subgroups are called breakout groups. When these breakout groups are created, students can interact only with the subgroup. You, as a student, will automatically become a presenter within this group. Therefore, you are able to share content with the group.

Note: when the teacher ends the breakout groups and calls everyone back to the main room, your microphone and camera are still enabled if you have enabled them in the breakout group.

View modes

You can change how you view presenters by clicking on the View button on the top right of your screen. Gallery View allows you to view up to 25 presenters! Presenters will be displayed in alphabetical order and moderators will always be at the top of the list.

Status and feedback

Click on the round profile icon in middle of your screen to open the status and feedback settings.

You can use this settings to let other participants know that you are away from the session. This button also automatically disables your microphone and camera. Moreover, you are able to give direct feedback to the teacher and/or other participants. You could do this by simply clicking on one of the feedback buttons. Use the button Leave Session to leave the Collaborate session.


You can access the Blackboard Collaborate recordings by clicking on the menu icon in the top left corner:

Here click on Recordings to open the recordings menu. By default, only the recordings from the last 30 days will be shown. If you want to view earlier recordings, use the filter button in the top right corner. Select recording in a range and give up a time period from which the recordings should be shown.

Common issues

Audio issues - If you cannot manage to make the audio work, but you need immediate audio access to a session, you can use your (mobile) phone to connect your audio to the session. Through the Session Menu or Collaborate Panel (see above) a number will be shown which you can use to dial in for the audio. When calling, you will be asked for a conference number. This is the PIN-number shown beneath the telephone number to dial in.

Loading-icon - It might be that you encounter a loading screen which does not proceed to the Collaborate session. If so, you need to allow third party cookies. You can do this through the settings of your browser. Per browser, the procedure to do so differs. Note that in incognito-screens the third party cookies are often blocked by default. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a incognito-screen when using Blackboard Collaborate.

Chat support - For direct help for your Collaborate issues, please use the chat support as described in the Collaborate Panel section above. Moreover, you can also call Nestorsupport on every weekday from 09:00 to 17:00 on 050 - 363 8282.

Last modified: 14 December 11:06 AM
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