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NC State Extension

Technology Tips

Working With Blackboard Collaborate

First Time Users:

  • Get the free Blackboard Collaborate Apple app for your iPhone or iPad


Joining the Session

NO LATER THAN 9:30 a.m. the morning of the broadcast.

  1. Go to the LOGIN Link for that day. (See the Schedule)
  2. Under section 2, “User Authentication”, if you are an:NC State Employee select “Unity ID” and enter your Unity ID and password. If you are an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer or a guest select “Guest,” then enter your email address, full name, and county. Leave the password blank
  3. Click “Log In.”
  4. Save the meeting to your “Downloads” folder
  5. Look to the bottom of your screen and click on the meeting tab when it shows up as a downloaded file.
  6. Java starts and then it gives a security warning — click run
  7. Then it disappears and it seems like nothing is happening but eventually the blackboard screen flashes, then you are back to the opening screen while you wait for it to load – it takes a while and it does not give you any indication that it is doing anything. So just be patient.
  8. Eventually it will either open on your screen – or show up at the bottom as a tab that looks like a hot cup of coffee. If it does not open automatically, click on the coffee cup tab.

Video on How to Use Blackboard Collaborate Tools

If you have any problems logging in to the session or hearing the audio, call 877-382-2293 option 1. If you still have questions, please contact NCSU DELTA’s LearnTech help desk at: (919) 513-7094

Equipment Required

At minimum, you will need speakers to hear the session.
If you will also be participating vocally, then you should use a headset with a built-in microphone. Unless the moderator tells you otherwise, you are not required to participate vocally in Blackboard Collaborate; alternative communication options such as text chat are also available. NC State University does not endorse specific headset vendors or products. You can find quality headsets ranging from $15 – $75 at a variety of computer stores, including the NCSU Bookstores and online retailers
Depending on the session moderator’s use of Blackboard Collaborate s features, you may also want to use a webcam during a session. Most webcams work with Blackboard Collaborate. If your computer does not have a built-in webcam, you can purchase a webcam from any computer store, including those listed above.
If you experience difficulty using your equipment with Blackboard Collaborate,call 877-382-2293 option 1 or browse the support pages. If you still have questions, please contact NCSU DELTA’s LearnTech help desk at: (919) 513-7094

Software Required

  • Windows, Mac, or Linux OS,
  • up-to-date Java, (be sure to also delete all older versions of Java)

To check whether your computer meets the minimum system requirements, go to If you still have questions, please contact DELTA’s LearnTech help desk at: (919) 513-7094

More information on Blackboard Collaborate

Technical Support for Plants, Pests and Pathogens:

  • Leigh Jay Temple, 919-513-8147

Collaborate: March 2014 Upgrade

An Important Change

Mac users on OS X 10.8.4+ trying to join Collaborate sessions through a session URL or via the public schedule will now need to use the “Collaborate Launcher”. Once the Collaborate Launcher is downloaded and installed, Mac users no longer have to keep up with Java releases and deal with the inevitable technical problems. With the upgrade, when a Mac user (running 10.8.4+) clicks a Collaborate hyperlink, the system will launch a .collab file (instead of a .jnlp file), and the Collaborate Launcher will open the session.

  • To download the Collaborate Launcher, follow this direct link (a 60MB, one-time download).

Related News

A Windows version of the Launcher is expected later this spring/summer.

For more news about upcoming improvements to Collaborate, please visit the Collaborate at NC State page on the DELTA website.

Get Help

Visit DELTA’s Get Help section for more information or support with a technical problem.

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