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Webinar Instructions

Using Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Version 12.5 with Windows

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Tip: It is advisable to enter the webinar room early (before the session starts) so you can configure your Blackboard Collaborate interface to suit your particular needs. How early you can enter the room is set by the session creator. The default is 30 minutes but the session creator may change that.

To save time before a webinar event, we recommend that you Check System Requirements as well as Configure Your System ahead of time to make sure it is ready to use the CFILC's Blackboard Collaborate Webinar System.

  1. Step 1: Check System Requirements – Below is a listing of supported Operating Systems, supported Internet Browsers, and recommended system applications for using Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing.
    • Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
      Supported Internet Browser – Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
      Supported Java Versions (JRE) – Java 7, 8
    • Mac OS 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11
      Supported Internet Browser – Mozilla Firefox
      Supported Java Versions (JRE) – Oracle Java 7
    • Linux Ubuntu 11.10 (64 bit with 64 bit JVM)
      Supported Internet Browser – Mozilla Firefox
      Supported Java Versions (JRE) – Java 7, 8
    • Java Access Bridge for Assistive Technologies – The Java Access Bridge is a technology that allows assistive technologies (such as screen readers, magnifiers, etc.) to access Java applications and applets. In order to use Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing with the JAWS screen reader, Java Access Bridge version 2.0.3 is required. This version comes bundled with Java 7 (update 6), so there is no need to install it separately from Java. After you install Java 7 (update 6) and later, the Access Bridge must be enabled. On Windows Vista and later, you can enable the Access Bridge using the "Ease of Access Center" in the Control Panel. You can also enable the Access Bridge from the command line in all versions of Windows. To enable the Java Access Bridge, follow the instructions provided Behind the Blackboard in How do I enable the Java Access Bridge 2.0.3 in Java 7?
  2. Step 2: Accessing Blackboard Collaborate Webinar – Go to Ability Tool's Blackboard Collaborate Webinar System's Configuration Room to test your connection, settings, as well configure your audio to ensure your microphone and speakers are set to suitable levels (a USB headset with microphone/headphones is highly recommended).
    1. Log In to Session. Please enter your name as you want it to appear in the session. Example: Full Name, Organization.
    2. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar login screen.
    3. Downloading Session. If this is your first time logging in to the Blackboard Collaborate webinar platform, please go to "download the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher" link to being downloading
    4. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar downloading screen.
    5. Get the Launcher. By default, Windows is selected from the drop down menu. Choose and select your Operating System (Windows or Mac) then go to the "Download" button link and follow the Save As dialog instructions. The file name is "BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi".
    6. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar "Get Launcher" screen.
    7. Downloading Installer. When the installer is finished downloading, follow your on screen dialogs to run the installer.
    8. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar download installer screen.
    9. Open meeting.collab in your web browser's Downloads folder to join the sesion.
    10. Run the Audio Setup Wizard.
    11. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Auto Setup Wizard.

Screen Readers

JAWS version 13 or 14 is the only supported screen reader for Blackboard Collaborate. Note: JAWS 13 and 14 support both 32-bit and 64-bit OSs/JVMs.

To navigate through the Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing interface, be sure to do the following:

  1. Start JAWS before you log in to the session.
  2. Verify that the Java Access Bridge is working.
  3. Configure JAWS to read all access keys so the mnemonic keys are spoken aloud; other- wise, you won't be able to identify them. This setting is found under the basic settings of JAWS.

Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Room - User Interface

The Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing room consists of six main components:

  1. The Menu bar contains the File, Edit, View, Tools, Windows and Help menus.
  2. The Audio and Video panel enables you to participate in conversations either using a microphone and speakers (or headset) or via a teleconference. You also can transmit and receive Video during the session and preview your video before transmitting it. (Jump to Keyboard Shortcuts for Audio Panel Functions)
  3. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Audio & Video panel.
  4. The Participants panel provides a list of all Participants and Moderators in the session and information about their current activities, such as talking (Audio), transmitting Video, sending a Chat message, using the Whiteboard drawing tools and conducting an Application Sharing session. (Jump to Keyboard Shortcuts for Participant Panel Functions). Above the Participants list is a small toolbar containing buttons for raising your hand and stepping away from the session and menus for selecting polling responses and feedback options.
  5. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Participants panel.
  6. The Chat panel enables you to send Chat messages to everyone in the room or to Moderators only. By selecting names in the Participants list, you can send private Chat messages to individuals. Messages can be printed and saved to track session communication. (Jump to Keyboard Shortcuts for Chat Panel Functions).
  7. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Chat panel.
  8. The Collaboration toolbar contains three buttons for switching between the three content modes (Whiteboard Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Whiteboard icon., Application Sharing Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Application Sharing icon. and Web Tour Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Web Tour icon.), an Information menu for obtaining session information (e.g., connection type) and starting the Timer, a Load Content button for loading content into the session and the Record button.
  9. Screen shot of Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Collaboration toolbar.
  10. The Content area is the main presentation window. Moderators use this region to load presentations. Everyone can use the tools on the Whiteboard to draw or write. All the objects and images on the Whiteboard are dynamic and can be modified. Everyone can print the Whiteboard pages or save them to a file to review later (unless the Whiteboard has been protected).

Keyboard Shortcuts

Technical Assistance

If you continue to experience problems or have questions, please email Emily Flynn for technical assistance, via e-mail