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The answer will vary based on what software your instructor uses to conduct the webmeeting.

In Collaborate Ultra, make sure your browser is up-to-date. We recommend Chrome or Firefox for best performance. Check your browser preferences to see if anything is being blocked.
Check out Blackboard Support for a wide variety of troubleshooting tips:

In Collaborate Classic, this most often occurs when your computer doesn't recognize what program to use to open your webmeeting file. You will need to open the "meeting.collab" file with the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. Blackboard will present you the option to download this if it detects your computer doesn't already have it. You are also presented with a different option to download it even if Blackboard detects that you have it.
Check out Blackboard Support for more information:

Blackboard Collaborate webmeetings are an active connection between you, the instructor, and your entire class. If you are unsure if your internet connection will be capable of handling the webmeeting, you should check the system requirements.

If your instructor uses Collaborate Ultra, there isn't a minimum speed recommendation. Instead, it's based on what material is being presented by the Instructor. For more information, see Blackboard's Knowledge Base article.

Some classes still use Blackboard Collaborate Classic, which requires at least 28.8 kpbs. You can see Blackboard's full requirements in their Knowledge Base article.

An instructor permissions are required to permit presenting to a class. The exact method varies depending on what software you're using:

In Collaborate Ultra, Moderators and Presenters have the ability to share files or their applications/screen. Standard Participants do not have the ability to do so, but Moderators can upgrade you to a Presenter role.

  • To upload content, open the Collaborate panel menu from the right, select the Share Content tab, and click Share Files. Click on Add Files, or drag and drop. Valid files include common image formats (such as JPG and PNG), Powerpoint presentations (PPT and PPTX), and adobe documents (PDF). Once uploaded, select the file and click Share Now. If the file has more than one page, select the starting page to begin sharing.
  • To share directly, open the Collaborate panel menu from the right, select the Share Content tab, and click Share Application/Screen.

In Collaborate Classic, Moderators have the ability to upload files to the meeting, or share an application/screen directly. They can also grant participants the ability to share applications.

  • To upload content, click the Load Content button in the upper right and select the file(s). Valid files include Powerpoint presentations (PPT and PPTX) and common image formats (such as JPG and PNG). These slides and images can be navigated in the Page Explorer that opens automatically. Note: if a Powerpoint fails to upload, a quick solution is to convert the slides to JPG and upload those instead.
  • To share directly, click the Application Sharing button to the upper left of the Whiteboard. Select either "Share desktop" or choose an application to share. All participants will then be able to see this content.

If you're having trouble connecting to your webmeeting, check if your instructor allows you to call in by phone.

Collaborate Ultra: After clicking into the Course Room or Session, look at the Dial In section. Call in using the dial in number, follow the prompts.

Collaborate Classic: After clicking the first Join Room button, look for a Participant Phone and PIN to the right. Call in and follow the prompts.

Collaborate Classic: If you are using Safari or Internet Explorer as your web browser, they may not tell you that your Collaborate session file has been downloaded. Open the "Downloads" menu in your browser, and you should see a file called "meeting.collab". Double click on that file, and the session should launch. Internet Explorer users may also want to try "Why doesn't the WebMeet link open a session?" listed below.

Collaborate Classic: This problem usually occurs because an invalid .collab file is used to initiate the Collaborate session. Usually this can be solved quickly by exiting from the Collaborate window, and trying to reconnect from your course site.

Collaborate Classic: Mac users will receive this message, and can get around it by going to the Apple icon > System Preferences > Security and Privacy > General tab. Click on the lock icon in the lower left corner and enter in your administrator credentials for that computer. Click the Open Anyway button next to the message "'Meeting.collab' was blocked from use because it is not from an identified developer."

Collaborate Classic:

A number of people are being caught by the security in Internet Explorer. After clicking the WebMeet link, there may be a small yellow bar that appears above the navigation bar for the course. It indicates that the download was blocked and to click here for further instructions. Click the bar and choose Download File... Internet Explorer will then return to the course homesite. Click the Webmeet link again and it should then open the session.

Internet Explorer download notification

Collaborate Classic: This error occurs because of a conflict between Mac OSX and the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.

The full text of the error is "Sorry, we could not launch your session or recording due to a problem with Java Web Start (which comes bundled in the Collaborate Launcher). Please open the link in your browser again and, if that does not resolve the issue, delete the existing Collaborate Launcher and download it again."

The solution to his predicament is to access your webmeeting using an alternate version of Java Web Start.

  1. Download Java 7 for Mac OSX 64-bit from our Downloads page:
  2. Install Java 7
  3. Download the meeting.collab file from your course
  4. View the .collab file in Finder
  5. Right click on .collab and click File > Get Info > Expand the "Opens With" section.
  6. Search other or other applications
  7. Select Macintosh HD from the drop down menu when finder opens
  8. Select "Enable: All Applications" (default is recommended applications)
  9. Navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/Java Web
  10. Select Java Web Start and click okay. This should set all .collab files to Always Open with Java Web Start.
  11. Click the Change All button
  12. Double-click the meeting.collab to access your webmeeting

This will change your settings to always open every new webmeeting in Java Web Start.

Collaborate Classic: Some versions of Office on Mac won't upload a Powerpoint file. The workaround is to save the slideshow in a folder as a jpg, then use the load button and select all to load the entire slideshow as jpgs.


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