Web Conferencing (Blackboard Collaborate)

With web conferencing, you can use your own computer to interact with others in video or audio-only meetings. Our U of S conferencing tool also lets you record web conferences, share desktops and applications, and conduct polling and live-chat messaging.

Getting Started

You can use web conferences to meet one-on-one or in groups with people in other locations, to bring remote guest lecturers into the classroom, to support group projects and collaboration, and to hold virtual office hours.

Our U of S conferencing tool is called Blackboard Collaborate and can be used with or without U of S Course Tools (Blackboard).

Access a Blackboard Collaborate Web Conference

Click on the conference web link or enter its address into your Internet browser
Obtain the web link or address (URL) from your instructor or conference host.

OR

Access your course web conference from within U of S Course Tools
Go into your course in U of S Course Tools, select Tools, then Blackboard Collaborate, then click on the web conference link.

Tips

  • Be prepared to wait for the web conference to load. It may take several minutes.
  • You may be prompted to download Blackboard Collaborate Launcher software.

Create a Blackboard Collaborate Web Conference

You can create Blackboard Collaborate web conferences in two ways: within U of S Course Tools (Blackboard) or outside it (for non-course related web conferences).

To create a web conference within U of S Course Tools (Instructors & TAs only)

  1. Log into U of S Course Tools and go into your course.
  2. In the course menu on the left, click on Tools.
  3. Select Blackboard Collaborate
  4. Click the Create Session button.

For more information, see Scheduling a Collaborate Session with your Course
Tip: Before you begin, contact the ICT Help Desk to pre-register for support.

To create a web conference outside of U of S Course Tools:

  • Email webconf_support@usask.ca (Requires at least 24 hour notice)
    Please provide the following:
    • Title for web conference (e.g. “Research Results Meeting” or “Grad Students Conference Room”)
    • Length of conference (from 1 hour to 1 year)
    • Email address(es) for whoever will chair or moderate the conference
    • Your contact information

Resources for Getting Started

Support

Immediate Technical Support

Note: The Blackboard Collaborate technical support team cannot assist with U of S specific questions (e.g. “I cannot access my Blackboard Learn course.”). Those questions should be directed to the ICT Help Desk.

Training

To learn more about web conferencing with Blackboard Collaborate or to arrange for training and testing sessions, contact the ICT Web Conferencing Support Team at webconf_support@usask.ca   

Troubleshooting

Unable to find the Web Link for your Course-Related Web Conference

Your instructor or conference host should have provided you with the web link for your conference. If they have not or you have misplaced the link, you can locate your course web conference by: going into U of S Course Tools, selecting the course, clicking on Tools (on the left menu), and then clicking on the Blackboard Collaborate tool that appears in the main screen. Your course web conference link will be listed. Click on it to enter the web conference.

To find a course web link in U of S Course Tools, go into the course, click on Tools, then click on Blackboard Collaborate. The web link will appear by the course name.

Course-related web links are often posted in the course itself in U of S Course Tools.

Unable to Create Web Conferences for Non-Credit Courses in U of S Course Tools

If the course you are teaching is not within the Academic Course Calendar, you can request to have it activated in U of S Course Tools (Blackboard). You will then be able to create, manage and schedule web conferences for your course yourself since access to the Blackboard Collaborate tool is provided automatically for every course in U of S Course Tools.

To request activation, please contact the ICT Help Desk.

Conference Difficulty Despite Properly Working Equipment

There are many external factors that can affect a web conference -- from congestion on general Internet routes (outside the U of S network) to trouble with a remote participant’s equipment or firewall. If you are experiencing any difficulty with your web conference, contact the ICT Help Desk.

Blackboard Collaborate Service Status

The Blackboard Collaborate Service Status website lists current service status, service issues, downtime updates and service announcements

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