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Blackboard Help

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools allow users to participate in real-time lessons and discussions. Examples include:

  • Online classroom discussions
  • Guest speaker lectures
  • Lab demonstrations
  • Live question-and-answer sessions 

Two primary collaboration tools are available:

  • Chat: Users exchange text messages online.
  • Virtual classroom: A shared online environment where users can view links, share desktops, exchange files, and chat.

You can save and record both types of collaboration for future review.

Install the Required Java Plug-in

The Java 2 Run Time Environment is required to use the Blackboard Learn collaboration tools. The plug-in may be downloaded from the page that appears when a user joins a collaboration session, or may be found at

Take care to uninstall any existing Java plug-ins before installing a new version.

About Browser Pop-up Blockers

For the collaboration tool to work properly, browser supporting pop-up window blocking must be disabled or your institution's website made a trusted site.

Access the Accessible Collaboration Tool

An accessible version of the collaboration tool is available.

A link to this version appears when Join is clicked on the Collaboration Sessions page. This link will open the accessible version of the collaboration tool. Links to items that appear in the virtual classroom, such as items in the course menu and group browser, will appear in this version. Documents created on the whiteboard may be viewed if the session moderator takes a snapshot. A link will be created to the snapshot for users to view.

The sound of a door opening or closing is audible to all participants whenever a user enters or leaves a session through the accessible version.