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Collaborate Business Users: Participant Guide

This tutorial is intended for the use of Collaborate outside of Blackboard.

Join a Session

To join a session follow these steps:

  1. Open the Collaborate Public Schedule (
  2. On the Sessions page you will see a list of sessions for the current day.
    1. Use the Calendar on the right of the Sessions page to navigate to the date of your scheduled session.
    2. Or Use the Search box to search for the session by name.
    3. Session names for active sessions will display in purple and sessions that are not yet available will display in gray.
  3. Click on the Session Name (purple) to open the session.
  4. The Join Session window will open.
  5. Under the User Authentication section select Guest
  6. Type in your Email Address
  7. Type in your First and Last Name in the Display Name field
  8. If a password is required, in the Session Password field type in the session password the moderator has provided.
  9. Click Log In to launch the session.

Join a meeting login


  1. A prompt to Open or Save the .jnlp file should display. Select Open with and Click Ok. If the screeen below does not appear you can manually start the session by clicking the manually start the session link on the Sessions page.
    Open meeting screen

    If the figure below pops up, Click Ok.
    Security Information screen

    When figure below pops up: select your connection speed and Click Ok.
    Connection speed screen

    Note: Virus/malware protection may prompt to terminate the program. You should allow the program to run.

  2. You are now in your session.

Key Areas in Collaborate

Screenshot showing the areas of key locations within the Collaborate client.

  1. Menu Bar – Access to File, Edit, View, Tools and Help Menus

  2. Audio and Video controls – Allows you to control your audio and video settings, including volume, microphone volume, enabling/disabling webcam (if enabled by instructor) and the ability to speak through your microphone (if enabled by instructor).

  3. List of Participants – Contains a list of all of the participants in the session. This area also allows for you to use emoticons, step away from the session, raise your hand, and use polling tools.

  4. Chat Room – Allows you to interact with the entire class through messages.  

  5. White Board – Used as a display for the instructor to display PowerPoint presentations, images, videos, or webpages. Can also be used as a drawing canvas.


Access a Recording

In order to access recordings follow these steps:

  1. Open the Collaborate Public Schedule ( and click the Recordings tab on the top left hand side

  2. You should be at the recordings page. Here, you will be able to see the available recordings. Click the Recording Name of the recording you want to see.

  3. The Play Recording page will display
  4. Check the Guest button and enter your email address and a Display Name (this is for everyone to see).

    play recording login screen

Note: You may be prompted for a password. If you don’t have the password for the session you may have to contact the instructor. Else, simply put the password in the password box.

  1. Similar to the “Join a Session” section you will be prompted to download a meeting.jnlp file. Go ahead and open that file to view the recording.

The following diagram will explain the playback tools.

playback screenshot

Note: Once opened, if the screen appears blank you may need to change the window with the screen selection tool on the bottom left of the screen.


Accessing Sessions via Email Invitations

In order to access a session from an email invitation follow these steps:

  1. In your email inbox find the email with the invitation. It will likely be titled "Blackboard Collaborate Session Invitation" followed by the title of the session.

  2. The body of the email will feature two links. Join Session and Add to Calendar. To join the session click the Join Session link.

  3. This will take you the login page. From here you can use the guest option to login and open the session. For help with this step you can follow step 4 in the Join a Session section above or simply click here.

Last updated: March 11, 2013