Blackboard Instructor Help

person working on laptop

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn provides a course site to manage your classes; share resources and files; post, receive, and grade assignments; hold online discussions; and more.

Blackboard Collaborate 

Collaborate is a powerful, flexible web conferencing tool provided by Blackboard for holding synchronous online classes, office hours, student meetings; and more.

  • Collaborate Ultra 

    Blackboard Collaborate Ultra 

    When you set up your Blackboard Collaborate session in your courses, you will be able to choose Blackboard Collaborate (Original) or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

    Collaborate Ultra is an online web conferencing tool that opens in your browser, - no need to install anything. Both versions allow you to share files and applications, use virtual whiteboards, communicate via audio/video/chat and much more. Collaborate Ultra is recommend‚Äčed for new users and those who are interested in a more modern interface with a video focus.  

    Collaborate Original is recommend‚Äčed for experienced users and those who utilize the whiteboard as the main focus of the class. Both versions have breakout rooms and polling options, but the whiteboards in Collaborate Ultra have more limitations. The markup on the whiteboards disappears and cannot be saved when you move to another view. 

    Please contact an instructional designer for help determining which version is right for you.


    Bb Support for Collaborate Ultra

  • Blackboard Collaborate Instructor Help

    Go to Blackboard Collaborate Instructor Help for online instructions and tutorials on how to best use Bb Collaborate as your online classroom tool.

    Blackboard Collaborate Instructor Help
  • Adding Accessible Content in Collaborate Ultra 
  • Add Collaborate to Left Navigation
    1. In your Blackboard course shell select the + symbol at top of left navigation bar
    2. Select Tool Link
    3. Name the link: Collaborate (or whatever you want)
    4. Select from the pull down "Type" menu: Blackboard Collaborate Scheduling Manager
    5. Select the Available to Users box
    6. Submit
    7. The new link will show up at the bottom of the left navigation bar. Move it by selecting its left side and dragging it up to the location of your choice in the list
  • First Time Use: Download Collaborate Launcher

    At least a day before the first class, install or verify you have the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. Share these instructions with your online students so they are prepared to join the class session.

    1. From your Blackboard course, go to Blackboard Collaborate
    2. Click on the session name to start Collaborate (If it is not active, you can edit the start time or create a new session)
    3. The first time you start a Collaborate web conference on a computer, you will be prompted to install the Collaborate Launcher
    4. You will need administrative access to load the Collaborate Launcher on the computer

    Directions for installing the Launcher on Windows or MacOS

  • Open/Start a Blackboard Collaborate Session

    At least 15 minutes before the class starts:

    1. From your Blackboard course, go to Blackboard Collaborate
    2. Click the Session Title
    3. On the Room Details page click Join Room
    4. It takes a few minutes for the session to start
    5. Sometimes the file meeting.collab downloads (locate it in your downloads folder and double-click it)
    6. Select the correct connection speed if prompted
    7. Once you are in the Collaborate session (and each new session) run the Audio Set Up Wizard
      • Tools > Audio > Audio Set Up Wizard. Follow the instructions until the final dialog box gives you the "set up is complete" message
        Note: If using a headset, select the correct audio input in your computer audio settings. If you cannot get your audio set correctly call UAA IT Services at 907-786-4646
  • Online Class Moderation Tips

    Instructions to Post on the First Whiteboard Page:

    1. Go through Audio Setup Wizard at: Tools>Audio>Audio setup wizard
    2. Press "Talk" to talk. Press "Talk" again when you are done speaking
    3. Let the moderator know if you feel you need to call in using the telephone for your audio (if your computer audio is not working or you are experiencing a slow connection)

    Teaching Tips:

    • Create slides in PowerPoint and upload using the Load Content button. Note: Slides convert flat, animations and sound currently do not present within Collaborate.
    • When presenting a class lecture, break every few minutes for questions, feedback. Use prompts on slides to encourage discussion.
    • Toggle the "Talk" button off/on occasionally to let the audio and internet connection stay in sync
    • Watch the "chat area" for questions
    • Use the Polling features as a quick check in with your students
    • Try the breakout rooms for group work

 UAA Resources

If you would like assistance on how to better take advantage of Blackboard functionality to enhance course design, assistance with Quality Matters, or additional academic technologies, contact Academic Innovations and eLearning (AI&e)  at 786-4496 or via email at:  Located in the Library #213. Open Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 pm, walks in welcome.
If you need assistance with computer or software support; internet or wireless issues; username or password help; or technical questions regarding Blackboard, please call UAA IT Services at 786-4646 (option 1) or (877) 633-3888 (option 1) or via email at:  The IT Call Center is open Monday through Friday 7:00 am -10:00 pm and on the weekends from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.
UAA Disability Support Services: Contact UAA DSS with questions, concerns or if you need additional information regarding student requests for assistance. DSS staff will gladly assist you with any questions you may have.  You can reach DSS at 786-4530 (voice) or at 227-9609 (text only). 
The accessibility site is designed to help the UAA community understand the rights and responsibilities, as well as the opportunities and obligations, that are integral to ensuring equal access to inclusive environments for a diverse population. More information at:  UAA Accessibility
If you are using software or apps for teaching and learning you are federally mandated to supply accessibility options to all students. For the most updated supported software list at Univ. of Alaska visit OIT Educational Technology Support.