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Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate!

Students and Faculty

Blackboard Collaborate is the University's web meeting software for online classes and/or student/staff collaboration. Collaborate is used primarily in teaching e-Learning courses but it can also be used to present guests speakers, hold virtual office hours, and bring together colleagues from all over the World. In 2015, Blackboard announced Collaborate Ultra, a sleek new version that runs entirely in your browser and is set to become the new standard for the University. Older versions however, referred to as Collaborate Classic or Original, are still widely supported. Blackboard is working to actively improve Ultra, while maintaining Classic until such time as Ultra surpasses Classic's capabilities. In accordance with the end of life for Java 8, the underlying technology on which Collaborate Classic relies, it is anticipated that Classic will be decommissioned by the end of fall semester 2020. 

We highly recommend completing the Blackboard Collaborate Setup PRIOR to your first class. We suggest using a headset during Collaborate sessions. If unavailable, you will need speakers and microphone. Some instructors require a headset.

Collaborate Classic

STEP 1: Login to Blackboard

There are several ways to access your Blackboard course: through the UAS Online Portal, the shortcut ribbon at the top of each UAS webpage, or directly at

  1. Click the bookmark to your course.
  2. Once connected to your Blackboard course, look at the menu on the left.
  3. Click Webmeeting. (Note: It is possible that the Webmeeting link in your class may be hidden or been given a different name. Contact your instructor if you have questions about the sessions planned for your class.)
  4. Click the Join Room button.
  5. Click the next Join Room button to download the meeting.collab file. (Note: You will want to do this every session.)
webmeeting new

Does your session not match what you see here? Check out our Collaborate Ultra instructions!

Get into your Collaborate Ultra session

STEP 2: Setup

  1. Take a look at the System Requirements on Blackboard's official webpage.
  2. Access your webmeeting (STEP 1). If your instructor has not made a webmeeting available, you can visit the Collaborate Configuration Room. Open the meeting.collab file using the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.
    Important Note
    : If you have never installed the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher app, you will be prompted to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher application first. This software installation requires Administrator access on your computer. People connecting from a managed computers like an office or school will need to work with their local IT support staff to install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.
  3. Configure WebMeeting - Audio Setup: Complete the steps shown in the Audio Setup video.
  4. Check out other commonly-used features such as the whiteboard and chatbox.


  • Your class webmeeting session is available to you 24/7
  • You can use it to connect with classmates any time your instructor does not have it scheduled

Additional Resources

If you have problems contact the Helpdesk for support toll free at 877-465-6400 or 796-6400 (in Juneau).


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