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Blackboard Collaborate at UW

Web Conferencing

What is Collaborate?

Collaborate is a web conferencing technology that enables a group of people, at their own computers, to conduct a real-time meeting or class, over the Internet. A Collaborate web conference can include two-way audio among participants, a presentation screen for PowerPoint and other text or media presentations, an interactive whiteboard, application sharing, directed tours of websites, and more.

Collaborate brings to your classes or meetings the ability to discuss and present without everyone having to be in the same location. Each participant, at his or her own computer, has a front-row seat for the presentation. Conversation and discussion in the online meeting is conducted through VoIP (Voice over IP) technology (real time audio communication through the computer), or by text chat. Participation in conversation is best through a microphone headset, and is free to all participants. If participants are not equipped for audio participation, the Collaborate meeting interface includes an online chat window in which participants can raise questions or add comments.

Visit the Collaborate corporate site for more information, demonstrations, and free training.

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Eligibility

All UW faculty and staff who have a UWYO network account are eligible to use Blackboard Collaborate. Accounts are issued through Information Technology’s Application Security Office. Request a Blackboard Collaborate account through their online Account Actions Form.

  • Go to the Application Security Office web page.
  • Launch the Account Actions Form located in the middle of the page.
  • Login is required, using your UWYO credentials.
  • Complete the required personal information.
  • Open the Blackboard Collaborate Account Action section of the form, and select the account action you request.
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Training and Support

The Collaborate website will be an invaluable resource to your becoming a Collaborate-savvy online moderator. They provide free, instructor-led online training; on-demand, general and specific recorded demonstrations; an extensive Knowledge Base of support documents; and, a 24/7 Help Desk.

Self-Directed Training

  • Go to the Collaborate website and begin getting oriented to their extensive support resources. Explore their Services, Resources, and Support pages. Don't try to digest everything in your first visit, but orient yourself to the organization of the web site so you can efficiently find the help and instruction you want when the need arises.
  • Visit the First Time Users page, and go through the simple steps of preparing your computer for Collaborate sessions.
  • Try out a Collaborate session! Go to the Recorded Demos page and launch session recordings of interest.
  • Explore the resources at Collaborate's On-Demand Learning Center.
    • From the On-Demand Learning Center, you can sign up for free, live, instructor-led training. This is the most beneficial thing you can do because no one else is going to be able to train you as thoroughly on how to use Collaborate!
    • Review the quick reference guides under the “For Moderators” section. Explore the Collaborate library of Quick Reference Guides. You may want to start building a favorites folder or binder of these.
    With this basic training, and maybe some of the pertinent quick reference guides at hand, you're ready to begin preparing your own presentations and developing your moderator skills. Plan some practice sessions, either on your own, or with a colleague. The more you use Collaborate, the more comfortable you will become with it.

Support: Get 24/7 help directly from Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate provides online support resources, and a live, 24/7 Help Desk.

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How to Get Started

Collaborate Manager

The UW Collaborate Manager site is where you will schedule Collaborate sessions, modify your profile, and generally manage your UW Collaborate activities. Go to the UW Collaborate Manager page, and log in (upper right) with your UW Collaborate account credentials.

Schedule a UW Collaborate session

In the UW Collaborate Manager site, you can schedule your Collaborate session and invite participants.

  • Launch a session schedule from the link in "Schedule a Meeting."
  • Title your meeting (Session Name) and schedule it.
  • Continue with "Create the Session."
  • On the session confirmation page, copy the session URL (Guest Link) to send to session participants. Or, invite participants through the Utilities' Meeting link.

You have successfully scheduled a UW Collaborate meeting!

Best Practices

Preparing participants for their first time Collaborate session

Preparing your invited participants for their first Collaborate session is critical to ensuring a successful web conference. In your meeting invitation:

  • Direct first time users to Collaborate's First Time Users support page. Directions there will confirm or install the necessary Java software, invite new users into the "Configuration Room" to test their connection to a Collaborate meeting, and step them through an audio setup wizard to confirm their equipment is correctly selected and configured. Finally, an online orientation highlights the features of an online web conference. Come time for your meeting, new users who have taken the few minutes to step through this process will be prepared, equipped, and ready to participate.
  • Encourage participants to join the web conference early, and anticipate late arrivals to your first session since some users will still confront obstacles arriving at their first sessions (the one's who didn't go through the First Time Users directions!)
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