Blackboard Collaborate has seen a lot of updates over the past year. Here are five improvements you might be interested in.

1. Breakout Rooms can be populated using Blackboard groups

Many of us have wanted to set up groups before a session starts and now you can. Create group sets in Blackboard at any time then choose to use the groups in a Collaborate session using the ‘Course group set’ option.

The location of the Course group set option in the Assign Groups drop down menu.

2. Breakout Groups can be paused

There may be situations where you want to bring the students out of Breakout Groups temporarily, before you select ‘Resume’ and they can carry on with what they were doing.

The Pause and End options available to the person who started the Breakout Groups.

3. Attendees can download the files and contents of the whiteboard

I’ve been asked a few times about exporting the contents of the whiteboard, and now there is a button that allows you to export the contents of the Whiteboard or files opened through ‘Share Files’, as a PDF.

The location of the Download button used to download the contents of the whiteboard tool.

4. Attendees are informed if their browser is not supported

Up-to-date versions of the main web browsers are recommended for the best experience in Blackboard Collaborate. Now students will be advised of this when they enter, although specific browsers will be blocked from entering.

Example screen showing the 'The Browser you're using isn't supported' message.

5. Attendees can change their preferred language

Some students may find it easier to work with the Collaborate user interface in a different language to the default one on the computer they are using. This is easy to do from My Settings, then Session Settings, then Default Language.

Languages can be selected from the drop-down list accessed under Session Settings then Default Language.
Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer