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Last updated: May 12, 2022.

About Collaborate Recordings – Rewind and repeat!

How do I find the recordings?

Recording player and settings



Rewind and repeat!

Record your sessions so that your students can access presentations whenever they need them. Stop and restart whenever you need to, and when finished, share with your students.

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 this has been done the recording can be viewed by everybody.

Tip: If you want chat messages to be anonymous in the recording, make sure you select that option in Session Settings before you start the session. To learn more, see Session Settings.

Note: If there are more than one captions available during the session, the recording will capture only the first one. To learn more, see Live closed captioning.

Record sessions

Recordings are limited to 8 hours.

You can have multiple recordings during one session. If you decide to continue recording a session after you have stopped, a new recording is saved and added to the list of recordings for that session.

Open the Session menu and select Start Recording. The recording camera appears on with a red dot while recording is in progress.

To finish recording, open the Session menu and select Stop Recording.

Tip: If you are sharing a file, allow 8 seconds for the recording to include the shared file before moving on.

Recording reminder

Collaborate uses a notification to remind you to start the recording. The reminder is visible until you start the recording or close the reminder.

How do I find the recordings?

You can view recordings in courses you are enrolled in. You may be able to download recordings. Moderators must allow session recording downloads for each session.

Go to Collaborate, open the Menu, and select Recordings or View all recordings.

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.

Not sure where to find Collaborate recordings in your course? Jump to Join Sessions and go to your LMS to learn more.

Recording email

Collaborate emails moderators links to their recordings. This requires a valid email address. Moderators who own the session or join by personal invitation get the email. The email is not sent to moderators who joined by guest link or are promoted during the session.

Note: If the Collaborate session was created in a course, no recording email is sent. Instructors and students can securely access the recording from the course.

Recording player

The recording player has the same look and feel as your Collaborate session. There is a Recording menu similar to the Session menu in your live sessions and recording playback controls.

  • Recording menu: Open the Recording menu at the top left of your screen. From here you can download the full recording, download caption transcripts, download chat transcripts, get extra help, or report an issue if you are having trouble with the recording.
  • Captions: Captions are available if they are added later by a moderator or live closed captioning is used during the session. Closed captions are on in the recording by default. Select Closed Captions in the playback controls to turn off the captions or adjust the size of the caption font.
    You can also download a transcript for the captions from the Recording menu.
  • Playback controls: The intuitive playback controls allow you to navigate through the recording the way you want.
    • Pause: With your keyboard, press the Spacebar to pause and play the recording.
    • Repeat/Forward: With your keyboard, press the Left and Right arrow keys to repeat or skip the recording by 10 seconds.
    • Progress: Slide the marker on the progress bar to move through the recording. With a keyboard press Shift + Left arrow or Shift + Right arrow to repeat or skip the recording by 10 seconds.
    • Volume: With your keyboard, press the Up and Down arrow keys to increase and decrease the volume by 5%.
    • Playback speed: Choose between a range of speeds for the recording playback: 0.5x, 0.75x, 1x, 1.25, 1.5, 2x.
    • Closed captions: Select Closed captions to view the captions with the recordings. You can also download a transcript of the captions from the Recording menu.
  • Chat messages: Open the Chat panel at the bottom right of your screen to see the complete chat history of the recorded session. 

Tip: Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it. When you first open the recording player we’ll show you where everything you need is.

Chat messages in recordings

Open the Chat panel at the bottom right of your screen to see the complete chat history of the recorded session.

Only chat messages in the Everyone channel are recorded. Private messages and breakout group chat messages are not recorded.

As the recording plays the chat messages posted highlight so you can see what was being said during that moment. You can also navigate to a specific location in the recording by selecting a chat message time stamp. If a message is faded, you haven’t reached that part of the recording yet.

You can download chat transcripts from the Recording menu.

Note: Chat Recordings and transcripts are only available in the HTML5 recording player.

Tip: Moderators can also make chat messages in the recording anonymous from the session settings. This needs to be done before starting the live session and recording it. To learn more, see Session Settings.

Download recordings and transcripts

If the moderator has allowed session recording downloads, you can download recordings and transcripts from the recording player Recording menu.

Open the Recording menu at the top left of your screen.

  • Download the full recording
  • Download caption transcripts
  • Download chat transcripts

Note: For the first recording of a session named ‘Geography 101’, the downloaded recording would look something like: “2022_08_23_14_47__Geography 101_recording 1_a1951db7-0c29-47f3-b90a-c829389bc3b61_recording.mp4”

Tip: The time in the recording name is in UTC.

You can also download captions from the main Recordings list in the Collaborate Scheduler or your LMS.

  1. From Recordings find a recording with Closed Captions (CC).
  2. Select the Recording Settings menu
  3. From the Recording Settings menu, select Download Captions.

How do I see captions in the recording I downloaded?

Open the downloaded MP4 in your player. Select the subtitle or caption track in your player so it appears. Some players have subtitles on by default. Others do not.

Allow recording download and anonymize chat messages

From the Collaborate scheduler, open a session’s Session Settings to see the settings for recordings.

  • Allow recording downloads: If you are the session owner, you don’t need to turn this option on to download recordings. Session owners, course instructors, and administrators can always download recordings. The Allow recording downloads check box lets others download the recording. Select this option to let your attendees and students download recordings.
    You can turn this setting on after the session has ended. If the session has ended, change the session end date to the current or a future date and select Save.
    Attention: The Collaborate Downloader Chrome Extension allows users to download the recording even if the Allow recording downloads check box is not selected.
  • Anonymize chat messages and mentions (@): Chat messages and mentions @ posted during the session appear as anonymous posts in the recording. You need to plan ahead with this option and turn it on before recording the session. Once the recording has started you can’t change your mind. This option is not reversible.

Edit recording names

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.

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 be permanently removed (“hard deleted”) from our servers (including chat, captions, and so on) after a 30 day period. If a recording was deleted in error and needs restored within the 30 day period, please contact your Collaborate Administrator to open a Class Collaborate support case. There is no guarantee that deleted recordings can be recovered, so always delete with caution.

Attention: Hard deleted recordings cannot be restored.

Share your recordings

Students can find session recordings 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 the recording link to anyone. Check your email for a recording link when you stop recording a session. You can also copy the recording link from the Recording page.

Attention: 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

Attention: 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.

Sample VTT file

  1. From Collaborate scheduler, select Recordings and find the recording you want.
    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.
  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.
    The Save button is inactive but don’t worry, captions are uploaded and saved automatically.

Recordings Usage

From the Recordings Usage tab, you can get an overview of how your students are engaging with your sessions’ recordings; how many of them are watching and downloading each recording; and when they last did so.

With these metrics, you can make data-driven decisions about which recordings to keep, delete or download for archiving.

  1. From My Recordings
  2. Go to the Recording Usage tab
  3. You’ll see the list of all your recordings followed by:
    • The number of Views
    • The date of the Last View
    • How many Downloads each recording has had
    • The date of the Last Download

Recording and storage

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

Recordings and breakout groups

What is said or viewed in a breakout room isn’t captured in recordings. Collaborate stops recording your session if all attendees leave the main room to join breakout groups. 

You can start your recording again from the Session Menu when one or more attendees return to the main room.


How do I create more than one recording in my session?

Use the start and stop recording option in the Session menu. When you select stop the recording ends. When you select start a new recording begins.

How long does it take before I or someone else can view the recordings?

It should only take minutes for the recording to be available for viewing.