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Blackboard Help

Virtual Classroom

This information applies only to the Original Course View. Your instructor and institution control which tools are available.

The virtual classroom is an area in your course you can ask questions, draw on the whiteboard, chat, and participate in breakout sessions.

Before joining a virtual classroom session, use the following checklist to make sure that your computer is set up properly.

  • Turn off any pop-up blockers that may be enabled on your internet browser.
  • Make sure that you have the required Java plug-in.
  • Try joining the virtual classroom session in advance of the scheduled session to be sure that it loads properly.

Get started in the virtual classroom

In your course menu, select Tools > Collaboration. Select a virtual classroom session's title from the Collaboration Sessions list. The virtual classroom appears in a new window when you begin a session.

  1. Menu Bar: Allows the moderator to control the virtual classroom. This includes managing participation, selecting user access rights, ending the sessions, and monitoring breakout sessions.
  2. Recording Tool: Allows you to record virtual classroom sessions.
  3. Tools: Includes all the tools you can use during a virtual classroom session. This includes accessing the course map, utilizing the whiteboard, searching for websites, and a question-and-answer area.
  4. Chat: Allows you to compose messages, raise hand to ask questions, and activate private messages.

More on the tools in the virtual classroom

Using virtual classroom in a group

Group collaboration sessions have additional session moderator features including a menu bar and a record menu.

Menu bar

Only users with active privileges can access the options on the menu bar.

  • View: Choose an option for viewing personal messages in the virtual classroom. Select Show in-line to view private messages within the chat area. Select Show in separate frame to view private messages in a separate window.
  • Controls: This is where the session moderator selects the features each user can access.
  • Clear: Erase the user's chat display.
  • End: End the session.
  • Breakouts: Create a breakout room for a group of users.
    • Select the check boxes for the users who will participate in the breakout session. You may only join a breakout session if you are selected by the session's creator.
    • Users who enter or exit a breakout session are still active in the main virtual classroom session. Breakout sessions default to the same settings as the main session.

Record menu

During a group session, you can start, pause, and stop recording the transcript. You can create more than one recording per session.

More on recording a collaboration session