The Blackboard Manual

Blackboard TEL Guides

The Blackboard Manual

Virtual Classroom

As part of the default course template, the Collaborate Virtual Classroom is automatically available for every course, ready for you to use. The classroom can be used for:

  • Online lectures where students can view and participate
  • Recording lectures and making these available to students
  • Delivering online seminars for small groups or individual students
Configure a tool

Accessing the built in room

Access the room

  1. Unhide the Virtual Classroom page
  2. Click on the Virtual Classroom page
  3. Click on the door icon
    The first link beneath the burger menu
  4. Click the black Join Course Room button:

    This will open the Collaborate virtual classroom in a new page.

Updating the room settings

By default, Blackboard instructors all join Collaborate rooms as Moderators with full control over the session. Students join as participants so can view what is happening as well as share their audio and video. Blackboard have more information on all of the different user typesOpens in new window that you may wish to use. However, you can override the defaults by clicking on Session Settings.

Update what participants can do in the session

Click Save to confirm your changes

Configure a tool

Schedule a Meeting

In addition to the main course room, you can also set up separate meeting rooms within the same course area. This can be useful for setting up specific sessions that may include tutorials, 1-1 meetings or rooms that are only available for specific times or days of the week.To set up a new session:

  1. Access the Virtual Classroom page
  2. Click on one of the Create Session buttons
  3. Enter a Title, set the date and times as required
    Use the date pickers to chose dates, start and end times
  4. Update the Session Settings from the defaults (if required), and then click Save to confirm
Configure a tool

Getting a Guest link

Guest links can be generated by the system to share access to a main course room to participants that are not enrolled on the course, or are not members of the university (for example, visiting lecturers). To generate a guest link:

  1. Click on the Virtual Classroom page
  2. Click on the door icon
  3. Make sure the Guest access box is ticked
  4. Copy the link
    Copy the link text or click on the copy button
  5. Email the link out to participants
Configure a tool

Setting up and recording the session

  1. Once you have entered the room, you can activate your microphone and webcam using the two middle buttons at the bottom of the screen:
    Share Audio and Share Video buttons

    Once activated, the microphone icon will change to have a green outline, and the video camera icon will turn blue:
  2. To record the session, click the Sessions Menu in the top left of the screen:
    This is a burger menu
  3. choose the Start Recording option
    Start recording is the first menu item
  4. Return to this menu and choose Stop Recording at the end of your teaching session. The recording will then be processed and the final video made available to students.

Please be aware that recordings (especially for long teaching sessions) may take some time to process.

The processed video can be found by all students enrolled in the course by clicking on the Virtual Classroom page, then clicking the black burger menu icon at the top left of the pane:

Click Recordings to view all available recorded sessions.

The recordings menu lists all recorded sessions by date

Clicking on a link opens the selected video in a new tab.

Sharing Content

  1. To activate the content controls, click the purple Collaborate Panel button at the bottom right of the screen to access the virtual classroom tools

  2. Click the Share Content button:

    This is the third menu button from the left

This allows you to use the following tools:

The first menu item in the list
Share a whiteboard (which you and your students can write on)
The second menu item in the list
Share an application - let students view you using a program on your computer (you may need to log a ticket with ICT to request installation of the Desktop Sharing extension for UW computers)
The third menu item in the list
upload and add files such as a PowerPoint presentation, and share the slides with your students

Other Tools

The fourth menu item in the list
Run a live poll
The sixth menu item in the list
Activate breakout groups

Leaving the Session

Click the Sessions menu again, and choose Leave Session:

Leave session is the bottom left menu item