Having problems with Blackboard Collaborate?
Work through the steps on this page to try and fix the issues you are having with Collaborate.
Firstly, if you are joining from a Windows, Mac or Android device, please check you are using Google Chrome to access Blackboard Collaborate. Safari should be used to join from an iPhone or iPad. Many issues, such as a frozen image can be fixed by reloading the Collaborate Session in your browser tab.
My connection quality is intermittent, and sometimes the picture or sound drops out
Collaborate can be quite demanding on your internet connection. Collaborate is smart, and will dynamically adjust your experience to enable you to remain in the session for as long as possible, but follow the steps below to ensure a successful session.
|Improve your Collaborate experience||
If you are presenting in a session, you should use the Share File option to upload your presentation as a PDF, as this requires far less bandwidth than screen/application sharing.
I can’t hear anyone speaking
If others in the session can hear audio, but you can’t, you need to check your speakers.
Try opening YouTube in a new browser tab and play a video. If you can’t hear the video, ensure your system volume is turned up by clicking the volume icon in the taskbar. If you can now hear the YouTube video, pause it, return to Collaborate and reload the page. If you still cannot hear audio, please follow the steps below.
|Check your sound output||
Others can’t hear or see me
When you join a Blackboard Collaborate Session, ensure you click ‘Allow’ on the pop up box that might appear.
If you didn’t see the pop up box, try reloading the page. Your microphone will be muted when you enter the session. To unmute yourself, click the white microphone icon with the diagonal line through it towards the bottom of the screen.
If others still cannot hear or see you, please follow the steps below.
|Check your microphone and webcam||
I can’t load Collaborate in my Blackboard course
If you click on the Collaborate link from your Blackboard course, but all you see is a spinning purple circle, you need to enable 3rd party cookies in your browser.
|Enable third party cookies||
Access Google Chrome settings (three dots in top right hand corner) > Site Settings > Cookies and Site Data. Ensure the option to Block third party cookies is greyed out as per the screenshot below:
My Collaborate session is presenting me with a failure code
If you are having difficulty joining a Blackboard Collaborate session, or your connection is disrupted, you may see an error message with a failure code. Below are some common Collaborate failure codes, what they mean, and recommended actions to take.
|Common Collaborate failure codes||
The times of my Collaborate sessions are listed incorrectly
Blackboard Collaborate uses the time on your computer to identify when live sessions should start, so you must ensure your clock is set for your current local time zone.
|Set the time on Windows||
It's best to let Windows set the time zone automatically for you:
Click on Start > Settings > Time & language > Date & time and click on Sync Now
Also check you have selected the correct time zone, and have the correct daylight saving settings. More information is available at Microsoft Support.
|Set the time on Mac OSX||
It's best to let Mac OSX set the time zone automatically for you:
Click the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Date & Time. You may need to click the padlock icon to make changes.
Click Date & Time, then select Set date and time automatically and choose an appropriate server for your region. Click on the Time Zone tab to select the appropriate Time Zone. More information is available at Apple Support.
My Collaborate session freezes in the browser
If you are screen sharing in Collaborate, and your browser becomes unresponsive or crashes when using Google Chrome, please try using Firefox or Microsoft Edge. Alternatively, try disabling Hardware acceleration in Google Chrome.
|Disable hardware accelaration||
Please follow the steps below to disable hardware acceleration:
1. Open Google Chrome, and type chrome://settings in the address bar
Everything is greyed out in my Collaborate session
If the image looks very dark, or greyed out in a Collaborate session, a dialogue box is covering the page. This can happen if you have no webcam or microphone available on your computer. Browse to the top right of the Collaborate window, and you should see a small white ‘X’ you can click to reveal the page.
|Everything is greyed out in my Collaborate Session||
If you do not have a webcam or microphone on your computer, you may need to close the dialogue box that appears. Click the small white 'X' highlighted in the screenshot below to enter the Collaborate session.
If you do have access to a webcam or microphone on your computer, you should follow the steps in the 'Check your microphone and webcam' section.
Access from China
Collaborate can be accessed from within China, but we recommend students download Firefox on to a computer to access sessions if Google Chrome is not available. Collaborate works best from a computer, and you should always try and connect your computer to the internet via a network cable. Using a phone to join Collaborate sessions from China is not recommended.
Local browsers such as UC Browser are not supported. We recommend students follow the steps listed in ‘Improve your Collaborate Experience’ to ensure the highest quality connection.
Testing by Blackboard indicates that users with China Unicom have the best performance with Collaborate, followed by China Mobile. Users with China Telecom can experience problems accessing sessions.
For immediate technical assistance with a Collaborate Session please use the live chat listed on the Blackboard Support Pages.