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Collaborate Recordings for Administrators

Last updated: May 12, 2022.

Moderators can record their sessions and share them. The recordings are saved as MP4 files. Users can stream or download the recordings to view them.

Recordings capture the audio, video, and any content that is shared during a session. Audio is recorded in mono.

Recordings also capture any real time captions or subtitles available during the session. If there are more than one caption available during the session, the recording captures only the first one.

More on recordings for Moderators

Why can’t I see my LMS recordings under All Recordings?

Managers and administrators can only see the recordings of sessions the manager or administrator accounts were invited to and don’t show the Learning Management System (LMS) recordings at this time.

Recording content

Recorded sessions are compressed and saved as MP4s. Recordings include activity in the live session.

  • Audio
  • Any content shared or active speaker video. If both are shared during the session, only the content shared is recorded.
  • Captions entered during the live session or added later by a moderator. Only one caption track is available. If your session had more than one caption track, only the first available one is captured.
  • Chat messages in the Everyone channel. Private messages and chat messages in breakout groups are not recorded.

Only moderators can turn recording on in sessions.

Everyone can view the recordings from any device as often as they want. There are no view limits.

Recordings need to be converted into a playable format before viewing. The first time a recording is accessed the conversion begins. It may take a few minutes but once is has been done the recording can be viewed by everybody.

Recording and storage

Session files and recordings are stored Amazon’s S3 service by region.

Regions Amazon Web Service (AWS) zone
US US-East (Virginia)
EU Ireland
AU Sydney
CA Montreal

Note: MP4 Recordings created before November 24, 2018 in the AU and CA regions are stored in Ireland.

Amazon S3 uses Amazon CloudFront caching to speed up access to files stored. Those files can be cached for no less than 24 hours on the CloudFront edge server.

If you are hosted on AWS Ireland, the file may be cached on a United States hosted Amazon CloudFront edge server. This depends on your location.

Attn: If your data can’t be stored in Ireland, you can disable persistent content and recordings. Submit a request to turn off these features on Class Collaborate Community and Support (available in English only).

More on Collaborate file and recording storage on Class Collaborate Community and Support (available in English only)

Filter and search for recordings

You can filter the list of recordings that appear by all recent recordings made in the last 30 days and recordings in a date range. Use the filter to help you find the recording you are looking for.

If you know the name of the recording you are looking for, select Search Recordings and type the recording name.

Edit recording names

Tip: The Collaborate Scheduler is available in Learn and LTI-compliant LMS courses. The Collaborate Scheduler is not available in the Open LMS Collaborate activity module.

Give your recordings a new name.

  1. From the Collaborate scheduler, select Recordings and find the recording you want.
  2. Open the Recording options and select Recording settings.
  3. Change the name and select Save.

Note: The recording name always begins with the session name. Edits to the name change the text after the backslash (/) only.


Delete recordings

Tip: The Collaborate Scheduler is available in Blackboard Learn and LTI compliant LMS courses. The Collaborate Scheduler is not available in the Open LMS Collaborate activity module.

  1. From the Collaborate scheduler, select Recordings and find the recording you want.
  2. Open the Recording options and select Delete.
  3. Select the Yes, Delete It button to confirm.

Note: Recordings marked as deleted will get fully wiped (“hard delete”) from our servers (including chat, captions, and so on) between 0 to 5 days after a 30 day period, without opportunity to request restoration through support after that time. If a recording(s) was deleted in error and needs restored within the 30 day period, please create a case with 3 business days notice, so it can be properly triaged in an attempt to recover the recording(s). Restoring deleted recordings may take between 1-5 days to be reviewed and processed. We recommend that you utilize the Bulk Copy feature before completing the deletion, as there is no guarantee that recordings can be recovered. Please delete with caution. 

Share your recordings

Students can find session recordings from in their course. Where the recordings are depends on your institution. Tell your students how to find them.

If you want to share your recordings with anyone not in a course, you need to make them available to the public. Open the Recording Settings and in the Access menu select Public.

You can tell at-a-glance on the recording page if the recording is available to the public or to course members only.

After you turn on public access, you can send anyone a link to the recording. Check your email for a recording link when you stop recording a session. You can also copy the recording link from the Recording page.

Attn: Links for the recordings are obfuscated, which means that the links use random characters instead of descriptive file names. This helps ensure that users can only view a recording if they have the link. To allow guests to view recordings, access to the recordings is not restricted and recordings don’t require a password. This means that anybody who has access to the link can watch the recording and can also share the link with others. Please keep this in mind before sharing links of recordings with potentially confidential or otherwise sensitive content.

  1. Go to your Recordings page.
  2. Find the recording you want to share and open the Recording options menu.
  3. Select Copy Link.
  4. Share the public link with anybody.


Tip: If you used live closed captioning in your session, there are captions with your recording already! 

Captions with videos add another opportunity for students to access the information they need in the way they need or want it. And while captions improve the accessibility of content for individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired, captions truly benefit everybody.  


  • Anyone working in a noisy environment can read captions.
  • Non-native speakers can read captions to reinforce their understanding. 
  • Students learning to read can follow along with the speaker. 
  • Students can see the spelling of terms that will be on a test. 

Create a computer-generated caption or upload your own caption file source. Video Text Tracks (VTT) and SubRip Subtitle (SRT) files are supported.  

Create auto-caption

Attn: If you don’t see this option it means it hasn’t been switched on by your institution. Usage of this feature may incur costs for the institution depending on the contract. 

Collaborate is leveraging AI powered speech to text recognition to generate a transcription of what is said during the session. While automated captioning can’t match captions created by humans, it is an easy solution to start with.

Note: The speech-to-text service and the resulting captions are hosted in the same data center as your Collaborate session.

Use the Auto-generate captions to have captions created for you, as the session owner:

  1. From Collaborate scheduler, select Recordings and find the recording you want.
  2. Select the Recording options menu and select Recording settings.
  3. Select Enable captions, if not already on.
  4. Select Create auto-caption and Save.

Tip: It may take time for the auto-captions to generate. You can leave the screen and come back later to view and share them.


After the captions are created, you’ll see that captions are available from the recording list. The captions will also immediately appear in the recording player for anybody having access to the recording.

Moderators can review the captions. If you want to improve or correct anything in the captions, download the caption file to edit. Upload the new file when you are done.

Upload your own caption file

Collaborate supports Video Text Tracks (VTT) and SubRip Subtitle (SRT) files. VTT and SRT files are simple text files that you create and commonly include these elements:

  • The number of the caption
  • Timestamp of the caption
  • Text of what was said in the session

To learn more about VTT caption files, visit W3C WebVTT and Mozilla WebVTT.

To learn more about SRT files, visit the SubRip topic on Wikipedia and How to Create an SRT File by 3Play Media.

  1. VTT-Sample.vtt_From Collaborate scheduler, select Recordings and find the recording you want.
  2. Select the Recording options menu and select Recording settings.
  3. Select Enable captions, if not already on.
  4. Select Upload/Overwrite captions.
  5. Browse for the VTT file and upload it.
    1. The Save button is inactive but don’t worry, captions are uploaded and saved automatically.

Auto-generate captions

Auto-generating captions is available through our seamless integration with 3PlayMedia. You must have a 3PlayMedia license and account to use this feature. We set up the integration for you. If you want the integration, submit a case on Class Collaborate Community and Support (available in English only).

Learn more about 3PlayMedia on their website

Use the Recording options to auto-generate captions.

  1. Open the Recordings page in Collaborate Scheduler.
  2. Find the recording and open the Recording options.
  3. Select Auto-generate captions.

The generated captions will be available to anybody who has access to the recording.


Do I need to configure my firewall to view recordings?

Most institutions allow access to the Amazon AWS service. If you have trouble accessing recordings, visit these resources to learn more.

Firewall and proxy settings

Collaborate Networking Information and Requirements

Do deleted recordings count against the institution’s storage quota?

No. Deleted recordings don’t count against Collaborate’s storage quota. Recordings do still exist on the AWS servers for 30 days in case recovery is necessary. 

Can I track who has viewed the MP4?

No, you can’t track who viewed the MP4.

Can I password protect a recording?

No, you can’t password protect your recordings.

Is there a MP4 Viewing Limit?

No. There are no MP4 viewing limits.

How long are my recordings stored?

There is no limit on the amount of time a Collaborate recording is stored.

Are recordings compressed?

Yes. Recordings are compressed using the H.264 video compression standard and delivered as MP4s. The degree of compression is variable and depends on the content of the recording. Factors that determine the level of compression and ultimate size of the recording include the presence or absence of application sharing, whiteboards, cameras and microphones, and the overall length of the recording.

Bulk download or copy recordings

Only manager accounts can choose to download their institution recordings to a local drive or copy them to the Amazon S3 storage.

Learn more in Recordings for Managers.

Bulk Delete Recordings

To manage your institution’s storage capacity, only Manager accounts can delete recordings in bulk. Before you do it, make sure you download locally or copy the recordings you want to keep.

Learn more in Recordings for Managers.