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Communicating and Collaborating

Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing

Introducing the new Blackboard Collaborate

**NEW** The new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is now available for all faculty and staff at NIU! Collaborate has been completely redesigned to make anytime synchronous collaboration simpler, more reliable, and more enjoyable with exciting new features like:

  • Brand-new architecture that runs directly in a browser - no need for Java!
  • A modern aesthetic and streamlined interface
  • HD audio and video
  • Personalized participant profiles
  • Quick & easy file and application sharing
  • Mobile access to live sessions (via the Bb Student app) and recordings
  • Instant and convenient text chat
  • Live closed captioning (with a captioner)

Learn more about the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or download a handy guide.


Blackboard Collaborate is a comprehensive online learning and collaboration tool designed specifically for education.  It is already part of your Blackboard courses and organizations at NIU.  Faculty, staff and students can create live sessions easily and free of charge, and engage an interact for teaching, learning and other purposes.  You can create a session from a course, a community or even a direct session!  

Blackboard Collaborate helps you to create virtual classrooms, offices, and meeting spaces that open more possibilities for effective learning experiences and interactions through online, blended, and mobile learning.  It helps to open up all-new aspects of real time, or anytime, learning to engage more faculty, staff, students and guests and improve outcomes. For first time users, click on the one-time only System Requirement check.  Blackboard will let you know if you have everything you need to get started.  The process is simple!  

For Teaching

teacher instructing on computer

  • Faculty can schedule and deliver live classes using Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing.  Capabilities include superior voice over the internet, multi-point video, integrated teleconferencing, shared whiteboard, public/private chat, polling, best-in-class breakout rooms, application /desktop sharning, file transfer, PowerPoint import, guest participation and more.
  • Automatically assign a grade in the Grade Center for attending a live web conference session or viewing a recorded session.
  • Easily convert session recordings to MP3/MP4 formats for streaming or downloading to desktop or any mobile device directly from building block.

For Learning

  • Students can launch a synchronous session or recording using Blackboard Collaborate directly from Blackboard Learn for a great user experience every time - regardless of connection speed.
  • View web conferencing sessions in the Blackboard Learn Calendar with a link to launch the session.
  • Join live classes and meetings on the go from mobile devices or tablets.

For Non-Instructional Web Conferencing (training, committees, meetings, etc.)

  • Conduct live skill development and training sessions for faculty, staff, and students or recording training session for on-demand viewing anytime, anywhere.
  • Schedule online interviews for search committees and live presentations by guest speakers.
  • Organize synchronous sessions on research and scholarly activities with collaborators outside of NIU.


The possibilities for live online collaboration and communication are endless!  Check the information below or contact Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center for additional information and training schedule.

Blackboard Collaborate Mobile
Available on the App StoreAndroid App on Google PlayAvailable on Kindle Fire

Last updated: 04/21/2015