Troubleshooting the Blackboard Collaborate Classroom

Are you using Blackboard Collaborate to conduct synchronous online lectures? Now and then a student will call or e-mail our office for help regarding this tool. Sometimes the web conference window displays buggy behavior, or completely fail to load. Here is a brief outline of the troubleshooting tips we usually recommend:

  1. Still using Internet Explorer? Ditch it. Go to and download Firefox. It’s free, doesn’t take long to download, and runs D2L and BB Collaborate faster.
  2. Blackboard Collaborate uses the Java browser plug-in to display the web conference room. After installing Firefox, go to and click on the red download button. Go through the installation steps, restart your machine, and try again.
  3. If your connection is choppy and slow, try switching to a computer with a plugged-in/wired Internet connection. If you have no choice but to use wireless, try getting closer to your router.
  4. Don’t worry if your webcam or microphone don’t cooperate, or if you don’t have one. So long as you have speakers and a keyboard, you will be able to hear your professor speak, and use the chat box to type in questions.

Blackboard Collaborate does have an official help line if none of the above works. Visit the official support page here.


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