Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Keyboard Navigation in Blackboard Collaborate

This article is archived and is no longer updated. Go to the latest information on keyboard navigation in Blackboard Collaborate.

Blackboard Collaborate has four levels of keyboard navigation:

Using the navigation methods described in the following sections, navigate to the function you want to bring it into focus. To activate that function, press Space.

If you are using the JAWS screen reader for navigating within Blackboard Collaborate, you must enable the Java Access Bridge.

Navigate Between Modules

When you join a Blackboard Collaborate session, the Participants panel is in focus. Press F6 to cycle keyboard focus between the main Blackboard Collaborate modules, in the following order:

  • Participants panel: focus goes to the top name in the participants list
  • Chat panel: focus goes to the message text box

  • Collaboration toolbar: focus goes to the whiteboard mode button
  • Action bar: focus goes to the new page button
  • Audio & Video panel: focus goes to the Talk button

If you change the order of the panels, the F6 navigation order will be different.

Navigate Between Elements

You can navigate through the Blackboard Collaborate user interface one element at a time by tabbing. Elements are things like buttons, fields, and options. The Tab key moves you forward through the Blackboard Collaborate elements in the sequence described in the following list. To move backwards in the sequence, press Shift+Tab.

Within each panel or window, tabbing moves through its elements from left to right and top to bottom.

Your tabbing sequence may differ from that described in the following list since the elements you see in the user interface depends on your permissions, including whether you are a moderator or participant.

  • Participants List: When you join a Blackboard Collaborate session, focus is on the top name in the participants list. Within the list you can move through the names using the up and down arrow keys. Press Space to open the Participant Options menu for the person currently in focus.
  • Chat Panel: Next you will tab through the elements in the Chat panel: expand/collapse button, options menu, conversation pane, message text box and conversation tabs.
  • Collaboration Toolbar: Next you will tab through the elements in the collaboration toolbar: whiteboard mode button, application sharing mode button, web tour mode button, timer elements if the timer is running, information menu, Load Content button and Record button.
  • Action Bar: Next you will tab through the elements in the action bar for the currently selected mode or, the Available Share Selection dialog for application sharing mode.
  • Audio & Video Panel: Next you will tab through the elements in the Audio & Video panel: expand/collapse button, audio setup wizard button, options menu, microphone level slider, speaker level slider, Talk button, transmit video button and preview video button.
  • Participants Panel: Next you will tab through the elements in the Participants panel: expand/collapse button, global options menu, feedback menu, step away button, raise hand button, polling response menu, polling response bar if a poll was conducted (moderators only), and then, finally, back to the participants list.

Navigate Within a Toolbar of a Module Window

When you open a module's window, you can use tabbing to navigate through the various elements of its interface, with one exception: toolbar buttons. The Closed Captioning, File Transfer Library, Multimedia Library (moderators only), Session Plan Library (moderators only), Quiz Manager (moderators only) and Notes windows have graphic tool bars with buttons represented by icons. You must explicitly enable tabbing to access these buttons.

  • On Windows: To enable toolbar tabbing, press Alt+F8. To turn toolbar tabbing off, press Alt+F8 again.

  • On Mac: To enable toolbar tabbing, press Option-F8. To turn toolbar tabbing off, press Option-F8 again.

Navigate Within Drop-Down Menus

To open an options menu, participant interaction menu—such as feedback and polling response menus—or another drop-down menu, tab to it and press Space. Using up and down arrow keys, move to the menu option you want and press Space to activate it. If the menu option is a sub-menu, press Space or the right arrow key to open it.

To close the menu without selecting a menu option, press Escape.

To access the main menus, such as File and Edit, use mnemonic keys. You cannot use tabbing to open these menus. However, when a menu is open, you can use your arrow keys to navigate within it and Space to execute the menu item command.