Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual | Collaboration Tools
Blackboard Academic Suite
The Collaboration Tools allow the Instructor and Students to participate in real-time lessons and discussions. Examples of these sessions include real-time, online classroom discussions, TA sessions, and office hour type question/answer forums.
Archives of previous sessions are also available for review. Guest speakers and subject-matter experts can also lead sessions using the Collaboration Tools. The
Collaboration Session page is used to organize and access sessions. From this page users can search for and join Collaboration Sessions and view session archives.
The following Collaboration Tools are available.
Virtual Classroom Allows users to enter a real-time discussion with
Instructors, Students, and colleagues, access the Web, and engage in question and answer sessions. Users may also access the Whiteboard to display text and images.
Lightweight Chat The Lightweight Chat is part of the Virtual Classroom, but can also be accessed separately. It allows users to open just the chat function of the Virtual Classroom.
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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual
Find this page
Follow the steps below to open the Collaboration Sessions page.
on the course menu in a course Web site.
The Java 2 Run Time Environment 1.3.1_04 or higher is required to use the
Collaboration Tools. This plug-in may be downloaded from the page that appears when a user joins a Collaboration Session, or may be found at http://java.sun.com/products/plugin/index.html
Users should take care to uninstall any existing Java plug-ins before installing a new version.
The following table describes the functions available from this page.
To . . .
filter the sessions listed on the page search for a session enter a session
click . . .
the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display. Click
. The filters include:
– The default filter that displays all of the
– Displays all of the sessions that are currently being used.
Rooms with Archives
– Displays completed sessions that have an archive.
Rooms Available in the Future
– Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place in the future. the
option and then enter a value in the field. Click
next to the session. The Virtual Classroom or
Lightweight chat for that session will open.
next to the session. The Session Archives page will appear. access the archives for a session
There are two roles available for users in Collaboration Sessions: Passive and Active.
Instructors control user access and functionality during a Collaboration session by assigning roles. These roles determine how much functionality a user has during a
Collaboration Session. For example, Instructors determine which users can chat, send private messages, or ask questions during a session by assigning specific Access
Rights to the different roles. The Student icon will appear in the Role column next to those Students who are Active.
Student roles can change throughout the Collaboration Session. Users who are
Passive, but would like Active rights, can “ raise their hand ” by clicking the hand icon,
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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual
which is visible to Passive Students. The Instructor then clicks the hand icon next to a user name or clicks the Student icon to make the user Active.
Macintosh and the Collaboration Tool
Macintosh users running OS X and Netscape should run Netscape 7. When opening the
Collaboration Tool, Netscape may put the tool in the background. If this happens, check under the
menu for the Collaboration Tool. Netscape 6.2 does not work well with the Collaboration Tool and should be replaced with Netscape 7. For those users that wish to use Safari, be aware that the Safari browser is not yet supported by Blackboard, however, the Collaboration Tool should function normally in
Safari so long as Pop-Up Window Blocking is disabled (that is, you allow pop-up windows to display). When Safari is supported by Blackboard, it will be listed in the
Client/Browser Configuration Guide available at http://behind.blackboard.com
Macintosh users running OS 8 or OS 9 must use the Accessible version of the
Collaboration Tool. See below for more information on running the Accessible
Accessible Collaboration Tool
An accessible version of the Collaboration Tool is available in the
. Users running Macintosh Operating System 8 or 9 should also use this version.
On the launch page, which opens when
is selected on the Collaboration Sessions page, a link to this version appears. This link will open the Accessible version /
Macintosh OS 8 and 9 version of the Collaboration Tool, which resembles the
Lightweight Chat. Links to items that appear in the Virtual Classroom, such as items in the Course Map and Group Browser, will appear in this version. Documents created on the Whiteboard may be viewed if the Instructor takes a snapshot of them, using the
Snapshot button on the Whiteboard action bar. A link will be created to the snapshot for users to view it.
When a user, using the Accessible Collaboration Tool, enters or exits the room the sound of a door opening or closing will be audible to all participants in the
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