With the University move to temporary remote teaching we are recommending a core set of tools, one of which is the Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom tool. 

Collaborate is the University’s virtual classroom / meeting platform, and the supported tool of choice for synchronous classroom sessions. 


Watch a tour of the Collaborate interface

Blackboard Collaborate Mobile App

There are app for tablets and smartphones which are easy to use and makes use of the device webcam and microphone. Download on your iPhone or iPod touch or Download on your Android device 

Attending a session 

Do Not use the Horizon VMWare remote access to open Chrome

Open a Chrome browser and click on the link below to attend the session

Test Room - Test your computer audio and video work using the test room below:


Blackboard Help

Blackboard Help: User Interface Tour

Blackboard Help : Collaborate Homepage

Getting started in Collaborate : Moderator

Getting started in Collaborate : Participant

Roles within Collaborate

What is Collaborate

Introduction to Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a virtual classroom/meeting tool which comprises audio, video, interactive whiteboard, PowerPoint display, application sharing, polling, breakout rooms and session recording. It can be used for an interactive online seminar or virtual classroom.

Collaborate can be used by staff and students. It can be used for one-to-one meetings, tutorial space, student discussions or an informal chat, contact assist@qmu.ac.uk to ask more about setting up sessions.

Collaborate Ultra is also integrated with the Hub meaning tutors can set up sessions and restrict access to authenticated users enrolled within a Hub area, providing the ability to verify the identity of a participant. External guests can also be invited to Collaborate sessions within the Hub.

Blackboard Collaborate student information

What is Collaborate?

Collaborate is a virtual classroom/meeting tool. It can be used for online teaching, online seminars, virtual office hours, one-to-one meetings, tutorial space, student discussions or informal chat. It is integrated with the Hub but can also be used without the Hub.

Accessing Collaborate:

To join a Collaborate session you will need:

  • Internet Access (broadband connection highly recommended)
  • For the best experience, use Google Chrome or Firefox : Browser Support
  • Soundcard with microphone and headphones (A headset with microphone/headphones is highly recommended)
  • Webcam (optional)

You can check that you are able to access sessions using Collaborate Ultra Test Session


As a Participant in a session you should prepare by reading Session Best Practices

How to add Collaborate to a Hub module

Collaborate is integrated into the Hub allowing anyone enrolled on a module to participate in a virtual classroom.

Inviting external users to a virtual classroom

When a classroom has been created in the Hub, a guest URL can be copied and emailed to external users or used as a web page link.

How to create Collaborate sessions in a Hub module.doc 

Watch a Tutor video: How to Add Collaborate in your Hub module

Required Equipment and Software

To join a Collaborate session you will need the following

  • Internet Access (broadband connection highly recommended)
  • Soundcard with microphone and headphones (A headset with microphone/headphones is highly recommended)
  • Webcam (optional)
  • For the best experience, use Google Chrome. Please note Internet Explorer 11 is not supported and other browsers may have limited functionality.  Check Browser Support for Collaborate configurations in different browsers.

Check you are set up correctly be accessing the Collaborate Ultra Test Session 

Session Preparation and Checklist

Preparation Checklist

You should carry out some checks one week before you are due to run or attend a session. You can check that you can get into a Collaborate Ultra Test Session and check your camera and microphone is set up correctly. You can also work through the short online tutorial to get familiar with the layout. 

To carry out these checks use the Collaborate Ultra Test Session


When you send invites to session attendees you should include instructions for them to check they can access and participate a session using the Collaborate Ultra Test Session.

Blackboard Help: Session Best Practices

Where can I get more assistance with Collaborate?

Further Help guides and resources

Other videos can be viewed from the links below

Share PowerPoint files (2:19 mins)

Session Settings  (1:57 mins)

Private chat (1:43 mins)

Polling (1:16 mins)

Breakout groups (0:58 mins)

Share files to Breakout groups (0:48 mins)

Closed Captioning (1:00 mins)

Session Best Practice Guidelines (link to Blackboard webpage)

If you require further assistance using Collaborate, please contact assist@qmu.ac.uk

Troubleshooting Audio and Video

Switch to Chrome 

Do not access Collaborate through Horizon Remote Access. Only a chrome browser is required.

For the best experience you should use the latest version of Google Chrome Browser. if you are not using this already please re-join the session from the original join link using this browser.

Configure Audio and Video in Chrome

You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. 

Blackboard have provided some instructions on how to set up your camera and microphone when using Chrome

Chrome uses the computer's default speakers. Check that the correct speakers are selected for your OS. If you are using headphones then they will show up in the list.

On a Mac go to Apple > System Preferences > Sound. Windows go to Control Panel > Sound or search for Sound and select Sound from the Control Panel in the search menu.

go to the sound settings to check the output

I get a continual purple spinning circle when trying to access a session

Collaborate Ultra requires cookies in order to work properly. Check your browser settings to ensure that your browser is set to allow third party cookies.

Clear Browser Cache

Try clearing browser cache and restarting a session. Click here for instructions to clear browser cache http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser's-Cache