Download and Install Blackboard Collaborate for Canvas

What is Blackboard Collaborate?

Blackboard Collaborate is a system that allows participants to collaborate online with each other. It has been designed with educational uses in mind and has a multitude of features including:

  • Audio-conferencing
  • Real-time polling and quizzes (including multiple choice questions)
  • Application sharing (allowing applications on one computer to be seen by all participants)
  • Text chatting (instant messaging)
  • File transfer
  • Whiteboard (a shared space that everyone can see, allowing attendees to e.g. draw/write on and import graphics, photos and PowerPoint files)
  • Shared web browsing – called “web tour” (allowing attendees to follow one person as they browse the web)
  • Break-out rooms (for small group discussions and collaboration)
  • Recording of sessions (allowing playback at a later time) and capturing of content generated in a session e.g. text chat and Whiteboard.  

In addition, Blackboard Collaborate incorporates management functions to support those running a Blackboard Collaborate session. The most important is the division into two types of users:

  1. Moderators - have access to all the functions and features of Blackboard Collaborate and can assign and withdraw “rights” of participants e.g. the ability to speak. There can be multiple moderators who can “upgrade” participants to moderator status – allowing them access to a greater range of features.
  2. Participants - typically make up the bulk of the users of a Blackboard Collaborate session and have reduced access to the features of Blackboard Collaborate.

Install Blackboard Collaborate Launcher for Windows or Mac

The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher for Windows and Mac must be downloaded and installed to join or playback a Blackboard Collaborate session. It is a utility for Windows and Mac and provides a way to launch your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing sessions and recordings. When you click to join a session or open a recording link, Blackboard Collaborate checks to see if you have the launcher installed. If you do not, Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download it.

Launch Blackboard Collaborate form Windows

To download and install the Windows Launcher to a personal computer:

  1. Verify that the desktop or laptop meets the minimum system requirements to download and install the Windows Launcher.
  2. Install the Windows Launcher
  3. Join a Session on Windows

Launch Blackboard Collaborate from Mac

To download and install the Mac Launcher to a personal computer:

  1. Verify that the desktop or laptop meets the minimum system requirements to download and install the Mac Launcher
  2. Install the Mac Launcher
  3. Join a Session on Mac

Install Blackboard Collaborate Mobile for Android or iOS (Optional)

The Blackboard Collaborate Mobile application can ONLY be used if the instructor has approved using mobile devices in Blackboard Collaborate sessions.
With Blackboard Collaborate Mobile, participants can:

  • View Whiteboard content, including images, presentations and annotations
  • View shared applications and desktops
  • Communicate with moderators and other participants via text chat and two-way audio
  • Respond to Yes/No and multiple-choice polling questions
  • Raise their virtual hand for questions or comments
  • Use emotions to indicate laughter, confusion, or approval
  • View the names, polling responses, and emotions of other attendees
  • Participate in breakout room sessions

Participants will NOT be able to:

  • Participate in a private text chat
  • Create annotations on the Whiteboard
  • Receive a file transfer
  • Watch embedded media files
  • Participate in a Web Tour
  • Watch a recording playback
  • Be given moderator privileges

Blackboard Collaborate Mobile for Android

Blackboard Collaborate Mobile is a free application available to download and install from Google play. To download and install Blackboard Collaborate Mobile to an Android device:

  1. Verify that the Android device meets the minimum system requirements to download and install Blackboard Collaborate Mobile.
  2. Open Google Play on your Android device and search for Blackboard Collaborate to find the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile application.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile application for your Android device.
  4. For additional information download Getting Started with Mobile (Android) Web Conferencing for Participants from Files in the Sidebar.

Blackboard Collaborate Mobile for iOS

Blackboard Collaborate Mobile is a free application available to download and install in the App Store. To download and install Blackboard Collaborate Mobile to an iOS device:

  1. Verify that the iOS device meets the minimum system requirements to download and install Blackboard Collaborate Mobile.
  2. Open the App Store on your iOS device and search for Blackboard Collaborate to find the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile application.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile application for your iOS device.
  4. For additional information download Getting Started with Mobile (iOS) Web Conferencing for Participants from Files in the Sidebar.

Become Familiar with Blackboard Collaborate Features

After installing Blackboard Collaborate Launcher on Windows or Mac OR installing Blackboard Collaborate Mobile on Android or iOS, the next step is to enable audio and video, and become familiar with the Blackboard Collaborate main room and related functions. The Blackboard Collaborate main room includes:

  • Whiteboard / Content Frame - the large panel outlined in green in the  image above is the Whiteboard. This is the area where presentation slides and other materials will be displayed.
  • Whiteboard Tools - the icons located on the left side of the Whiteboard and outlined in purple is the Whiteboard tools palette. The Tools palette contains drawing and text tools you can use to create and manipulate objects in the Whiteboard workspace.
  • Audio / Video Controls - in the top left corner of the session window outlined in red will be the audio/video panel. When joining a Blackboard Collaborate main room select the audio settings button to setup audio for the session. The button, circled below in red, looks like a blue microphone with a red gear symbol on top. There is also a button to connect with your telephone.

For additional help using the Audio Setup Wizard:

  • Telephony - For additional help using Telephony (using your telephone) download Using Telephony for Participants from Files in the Sidebar.
  • Participation Controls - below the AUDIO & VIDEO panel are the participation controls outlined in yellow. In this panel you will be able to see the names of all the participants and moderators. Small indicator icons will tell you when someone is speaking or typing. Use this panel to raise your hand, to speak, respond to questions and polls, and express yourself.

  • Text Chat Area - below the PARTICIPANTS panel is the CHAT panel. This is an instant messaging area to ask and answer questions, express your opinions, and interact with other attendees.

Additional Resources

There are additional resources available:

  1. The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher Quick Reference Guide is available for additional help installing the Launcher for Windows and Mac.
  2. Blackboard Collaborate for Participants is available for additional information on Blackboard Collaborate features. To save a copy of the Blackboard Collaborate Participant's Guide look for Download the Participant's Guide in the middle of the page.
  3. The Accessibility Guide is available for additional information for web conferencing users with visual, auditory, or motor disabilities.
  4. Attend a Blackboard Collaborate Introduction session if offered by your instructor.

To learn more about these topics and others, visit the TWU Blackboard Support Center. For additional support, please contact the Technology Service Desk. You can also partner with your instructional designer on how to effectively use this tool in your class.