Collaborate in Blackboard Learn

Last updated: May 12, 2022.

Why integrate Collaborate with the Blackboard Learn LMS (Learning Management System)?

When Collaborate is integrated into Learn, your instructors and students can enjoy an experience that goes beyond simple Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI). Sessions are secure, convenient, and easy to use. And the experience is only going to get better as we continue to build a deeper integration.

Get the best of both worlds with seamless access to sessions that are both secure and open

Students join sessions securely when they join from their course. The students are authenticated through the LMS and provided with secure session links only they can use. At the same time, instructors can use guest links to invite anyone not enrolled in their course, such as a colleague or an external expert for a Q&A session. Access from these guest links can be turned off at any time.

Joining sessions and meeting as a class is made easier and convenient

Students can access Collaborate sessions from directly in a course. Instructors don’t need to send invites. A course room is available for use any time. Instructors don’t have to create new sessions unless they want to. Everyone enrolled in the course automatically has access to the session and with the right level of permissions in the room. They don’t need to sign in again. And instructors can automate attendance tracking.

With the integration, instructors can save time on administration with automated attendance tracking between Collaborate and the course

Instructors decide what makes a student present, late, or absent. Collaborate then does the attendance tracking for them and sends the information to the course Attendance page for review and grading.

Recordings are automatically available for secure access

Once the session’s recording is over, it’s automatically posted in the course. Recordings of the sessions are only available to those enrolled in the course by default. Instructors can choose to grant public access and share a recording link. They can tell at-a-glance who has access to the recordings and edit the permissions any time.

Create breakout groups based on your course groups

Groups created in your Blackboard Learn course are available in your course Collaborate sessions for breakouts. Instructors can use their existing course groups to create breakout groups in advance and save time. Build on existing student collaboration. With this integration, students can stay in the same group without extra work for the instructor. In the Collaborate session, the instructor can also enjoy some flexibility and adjust groups as needed without impacting the groups in Learn. For example, to balance groups among attendees.

The Collaborate and Blackboard Learn groups integration is available on the SaaS deployment. It applies to both experiences:

  • Original course experience group sets (not standalone groups)
  • Ultra course experience course level groups

Leverage the tool for group collaboration in your Learn course

Work groups inside your course can use Collaborate on their own too if you want it. Finally, give students in your courses their own private group space to meet in their group tools. These group sessions are self-organized and a great place for students to practice presenting online. Instructors don’t need to do anything except make the group space available.

  • In Learn Original course experience, Collaborate can be a group tool providing each group with their own private room.
  • In Learn Ultra course experience, activate Conversations on Group assignments so students can use discussions and a private Collaborate room. They’re even informed when somebody from their group is already in the room!

A unified data platform

Learn SaaS institutions can leverage Blackboard Data to make sense of the learning data across their tools including Learn and Collaborate. The unified canonical data model of Blackboard Data enables you to access and explore the underlying datasets and get insights that combine information from across your ecosystem.

With the Blackboard Learn Developer Tier you can create custom queries and analyses based on your institutional data.

With the Reporting Tier you’re provided a set of pre-built reports which show you the learning activity taking place in your Blackboard tools, and help you solve Usage and Adoption questions.

Ready to take the next step? Follow the steps on this page to to set up your integration.


Get your credentials

To use Collaborate with Blackboard Learn, start by contacting Class to have it enabled on your instance and receive your integration credentials.

Submit a case on Class Community and Support (available in English only). Fill in all of the fields and make these selections:

Collaborate Create a support case

  1. Go to Class Community and Support Portal and Login
  2. Select the Support pull down menu
  3. Select Create a case.
  4. From the Account menu, select your school’s account.
  5. In the Subject line type Request Collaborate Integration Credentials.
  6. In the Description area please specify what you need credentials for: Blackboard Learn Building Block, Moodle Plugin, Moodle LTI, Canvas LTI, D2L LTI, OtherProduction, Test, and/or Staging LMS. It can also be useful to provide the URL for the LMS you are integrating Collaborate with.
  7. In the Steps to Repeat line type NA.
  8. From the Feature Bucket Menu, Select LMS Integrations
  9. From the Feature Menu, Select New Integration Credential Request
  10. Select Next to finish creating your support case

Configure the Collaborate Ultra Building Block

The Collaborate Ultra Building Block uses Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) compliant credentials.

Caution: Each Blackboard Learn instance will need a unique Collaborate Consumer Key and Secret. Do not try to reuse the Consumer Key and Secret. 

  1. Go to Administrator ToolsBuilding Blocks, and Installed Tools.
  2. Find Class Collaborate Ultra and select Settings.
  3. Select Web Conference Settings.
  4. Fill in the Collaborate Services Configuration information with the information Class gave you.
  5. Select Submit.
  6. After you configure the building block, turn it on in Tools.

Turn on Collaborate

After you have configured Collaborate, turn it on.

  1. From the Administrator Panel select Tools.
  2. Find Class Collaborate Ultra.
  3. Turn on the course and organization tools as needed.

After the room is turned on for their course, an instructor or someone with a higher role makes the room available to other course users when they first access it. The room stays open for the life of the course.


Attendance reporting

 

Note: Attendance reporting is only available in sessions with an end date and time. Attendance is not tracked in course rooms.

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. Your Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.

Based on criteria you and your instructors can set, Collaborate tracks if a student is present, late, or absent from a session. Collaborate then sends that information directly to the Attendance page in the appropriate Blackboard Learn course.

Attendance from the Collaborate session can be counted in each student’s average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.

 

Configure attendance reporting

 

Note: The Class Collaborate Ultra Building Block must be enabled and configured on your system before you can use attendance reporting. Each Learn instance must also have a unique Collaborate consumer account. If you share a Collaborate consumer account between your staging and production environments, you must request an additional Collaborate consumer account.

To use attendance reporting you need to register the Cloud Site ID and enable the attendance reporting feature.

  1. From the Administrator Tools select Building Blocks, and Installed Tools.
  2. Find Class Collaborate Ultra and select Settings.
  3. Select Cloud Site ID Registration.
  4. Choose Register and select Submit.
  5. Select Attendance Settings.
  6. Select the Report Attendance check box.

    Note: This allows instructors to choose to use the attendance reporting feature in their sessions. Instructors must still choose to use the feature for each session they want to track attendance. To learn more, see the instructor help for attendance reporting.

  7. Optionally, edit the attendance thresholds. These thresholds are not locked. Instructors can change them in their sessions.
    • Late after: Attendees who join the session after the number of minutes entered are marked late. By default, attendees are late if they join the session later than 5 minutes and up to to 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. If the attendee joins a second after the 5 minutes they are marked late.
    • Absent after: Attendees who join the session after the number of minutes entered are marked absent. By default, attendees are absent if they join the session later than 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. If the attendee joins a second after the 20 minutes they are marked absent.
    • Required time in session: Attendees must be in the session for the percentage of time selected, or longer, to be marked present. By default, attendees must be in the session for at least half of the session running time to be marked present.
  8. Select Submit.

More on attendance in Blackboard Learn