Using Collaborate requires that your computer be running a program that handles starting Java to start the session. If you are working on a personal computer, when you try to connect to a Collaborate session, Collaborate should offer you an .msi file that you should install. Once that has been installed, then opening the xxx.collab file to join a session should happen automatically. If the session does not start, find the xxx.collab file in your download directory and double click on it to join the session or view the recording. For more information see the Collaborate site.

As of December 22, 2014, Blackboard released a new Windows and Mac Launcher that eliminated the need for you to have Java installed on your local machine. You can read more about how it functions here.

As of Thursday, 29 May 2014 the university is using a cloud-based version of Collaborate. It is mostly similar to the self-hosted version that has been used until now. Go to; the URL no longer works. Because this version of Collaborate runs on a different server, you will need a new account for the new server. If you want a Collaborate account, please send email

What It Is  |   Using Collaborate  | Training  | Recording  | ParticipantsReports  |  Help

New and improved functions in the current version of Collaborate include:

  • Improved audio and video capability - better fidelity, reduced audio lag, near lip sync with video, reduced bandwidth for video, smoother frame rates, 30 fps at highest  resolution is practical
  • Improved whiteboard text editor - Collaborate icons (valuable as user help when in an Collaborate session), screen explorer now graphical and allows drag and drop reordering of screens
  • Improved application sharing - highlight function frames in region being shared, stop/pause/screen capture, different mouse for person app sharing; support for .wmv windows media files; multiple participants can be promoted to moderator simultaneously
  • Improved breakout rooms - select rooms for content distribution, retrieve content from breakout room without entering the breakout room; easier to distribute participants into and out of breakout rooms with drag and drop; allow participants to self distribute to breakout room
  • Enhanced record and playback - recording reminder for moderators if session set for manual recording, audio notification on recording start and stop, faster seek of fast forward and rewind on playback; more obvious index markers
  • Expanded accessibility - improved navigation for JAWS/screen reader users; whiteboard text (e.g., speaker notes with PPT) can be read by JAWS/screen reader, support for Ubuntu Linux

What is Collaborate?

Collaborate is software that allows meeting, collaboration, and training using only an Internet connection. Collaborate lets you share whiteboards and applications, talk about the presentation material and answer questions, conduct interactive quizzes and surveys, and record the session for re-play. On campus Collaborate is used for meetings especially when some of the participants cannot come to the meeting site, conferences with off-site participants, office hours, and T.A. help sessions.

Blackboard bought the web conferencing product Elluminate in 2011 and renamed it Collaborate.

Using Collaborate

Collaborate requires Java Web Start on the local machine. You can install the latest version of Java for Windows or Macintosh at Read about Java and Collaborate.

Collaborate uses encryption (SSL), so the URL is https.

First Time Users

To begin using Collaborate, connect to the Collaborate support page for first-time users. You may need to configure your computer to use Collaborate. Click on the link for First Time Users, then select Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing. The first step is checking your operating system and version of Java. If both are supported version, Collaborate launches and you go to the Configuration Room to test your connection and join a Collaborate session.

collaborate configuration



The Collaborate web site has on-line and recorded training as well as documentation for participants and moderators.

If you want to test Collaborate with an audience of one, you can arrange sessions with Diana Harris, 319-335-5121.


When you host a Collaborate meeting, you can record the session. People who are interested in the content but could not attend can listen to the recording and see what was shared on the whiteboard or the applications shared during that meeting.

All users must exit the Collaborate session before the recording can be processed and then viewed.


Once logged into Collaborate, to learn about the program, click on the Blackboard Collaborate Orientation link under Resources on the left side of the login page to get a brief introduction to Collaborate in 19 slides and 7 minutes.


Collaborate includes reports of current or past meeting attendance, meeting and recording information, and recordings that were viewed. To get to the reports you must log in to Collaborate with your Collaborate login ID and password and select Reports from the upper right corner of the screen.


If you want to become a meeting supervisor so that you can schedule and conduct meetings, please call Sarah Williams at 319-335-5753 or send email.

Read ITS's web conferencing information and the Collaborate support page.

Read the Blackboard Collaborate support information. Find current information about Collaborate's status.