IBM Watson

Bb Collaborate

Mobile Supported

Bb Collaborate is a synchronous communications tool that can facilitate communication and collaboration between staff and students.

Note to eLive users: Refer to the Factsheet (PDF, 216 KB) to see the differences between eLive and Bb Collaborate.

Bb Collaborate allows you to:

  • talk online in real time
  • chat via text online
  • share videos, presentations and applications.

Conditions of Use

Bb Collaborate is an externally hosted platform for on-line learning and collaboration. When you use Bb Collaborate your information, including any personal information you provide, will be disclosed to Bb Collaborate to be stored in its datacentres around the world. This will include your image, voice, or identifying information in readable format (Personal Information).

When you upload information to Bb Collaborate you are consenting to any Personal Information you include being disclosed to Bb Collaborate.

Bb Collaborate’s datacentres may be located in countries which do not have privacy protections comparable to that in place in Victoria. In particular, you may have no right of redress for an interference with your privacy committed overseas and the datacentre may be subject to a foreign law that compels the disclosure of Personal Information to a third party (e.g. a government or law enforcement authority).

You are responsible for Personal Information that you post to Bb Collaborate. Posting refers to making files, texts, chats, audio, video or any other form of data available on Bb Collaborate including by way of uploading or direct recording. You must remember that Personal Information that identifies you or another individual will be viewed by other users, and may be collected and used by other users of the site. It may also be accessed by administrators and technical support staff employed or engaged by Deakin or by Blackboard. Please exercise caution in posting Personal Information.

You must not post Personal Information about another person (including, without limitation, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, photographs or recordings of individuals) without their consent.

You are encouraged to review Blackboard Collaborate’s privacy policy at

Note: This usage disclaimer will appear every 120 days.


In order to use the accessibility features in Bb Collaborate, you must meet the following system requirements:

  • Java 7 Update 6 and later
  • Bb Collaborate has been fully tested with JAWS 14 and JAWS 13. Older versions of JAWS may work but have not been tested.
  • The Java Access Bridge is a technology that allows assistive technologies (such as screen readers, magnifiers, etc.) to access Java applications and applets, including Bb Collaborate products. Bb Collaborate supports the Java Access Bridge 2.0.3. Please refer to How to enable the Java Access Bridge 2.0.3 in Java 7 for more information.

For more information about Accessibility in Bb Collaborate refer to the Accessibility Guide for Participants.

Your browser has failed to load this video. Please click here to view it in DeakinAir.

First time users

Before you participate in your first Bb Collaborate session it is vital that you work through the set-up guidelines at least 24 hours before the session. This allows time to resolve any technical issues and ensures that you can participate in the session.

Note: If you switch to a new computer or another computer, be sure to work through the set-up guidelines again on that computer.

The online environment is great for 'networking' and getting to know one another, and the rules of common courtesy or 'netiquette' apply here as they do in any classroom or public area.

If you are having difficulties setting-up your microphone, speakers, or headset, contact the IT Service Desk.

Step 1: Set up your computer

Note to users who use Mac OS X 10.8.4 and later systems

The first time that a .collab file is to be sent to a user, the system will present a dialog that instructs users to download the Bb Collaborate Launcher (60MB) so that you can join a Bb Collaborate web conferencing session. As the Bb Collaborate Launcher provides the Java program needed to participate in Bb Collaborate web conferencing sessions, Mac users no longer need to install and maintain the system version of Java.

The Launcher is now rolled out to all Deakin Mac OS X 10.8.4.

  1. Ensure your computer meets the recommended computer standards, your computer is connected to the Internet and has a stable, reliable connection.
  2. To check if you have Java installed, go to

You should see the green tick to indicate you have Java.

If you see the red cross to indicate you do not have Java installed, download and install the Java Web Start (JWS) software from the Deakin University Software site.

Step 2: Set up your microphone and speakers

For a better audio signal, we recommend using an external microphone and external speakers. Common PC microphones do not work in a Mac microphone jack, so USB microphones are preferred. You can get headsets from any store selling electronic or audio visual equipment.

Step 3: Test your hardware

To configure your hardware before entering a session:

  1. Go to the Configuration Room.
  2. If you are prompted to open or save meeting.jnlp file, click Open.
  3. Then click OK.

    Note: The first time you launch Bb Collaborate, it will take several minutes (depending on modem speed) to download the required Java files. (This is a once only download - these files are stored permanently on your hard drive).

  4. You will be prompted to set your Connection Speed:
    • inside the Deakin network choose "LAN"
    • if outside, choose the appropriate connection speed.
  5. The application will now take you through how to test your audio. Please follow the online instructions.
  6. Once you have finished, close the window - you will be disconnected from the configuration session.


You can access through CloudDeakin. Below are the instructions to access Bb Collaborate session.

  1. Login to CloudDeakin with your Deakin username and password.
  2. Click on the title of the appropriate unit.
  3. Click on the link to the Bb Collaborate session (this could be in a news item or in Resources).
    Note: You're required to accept the Disclaimer. This Disclaimer will appear every 120 days.
  4. Click on the Join button Blackboard Collaborate Join.
  5. A File Download dialog box will appear asking if you would like to Open or Save the file. Click on the Open button.
    : For Mac OS X 10.8.4 and later users, ensure that you open the .collab file with Bb Collaborate Launcher.
  6. When joining a Bb Collaborate session for the first time you may see a security dialog box asking to confirm the application's digital signature. Click Run to continue.
  7. A new window will pop-up. The session will open.
  8. Your name, along with other participants/moderators, will be listed in the Participants panel.

Mobile devices

You can now join live sessions from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device (including Kindle Fire HD). Download the app from:

  • App Store - Apple iPad 2 & newer; Apple iPod Touch (4th Generation) & newer; Apple iPhone 4 & newer; and iOS version 4.3 & higher.
  • Google Play - Samsung Galaxy S3, S2 (4.1.1, 4.x); Nexus 7 & 10 Tablet (4.2.1,4.1.1); Galaxy Tab 10.1 (4.1.1); LG Optimus Black (2.3.4).
  • Kindle Fire - Kindle Fire 8.9 (4.x).

With Bb Collaborate Mobile, participants can:

  • communicate with moderators and other participants via Text Chat and two-way audio;
  • respond to Yes/No and multiple-choice polling questions;
  • raise their virtual hand for questions or comments;
  • use emoticons (Show Emotion button) to indicate laughter, confusion, or approval;
  • view the names, polling responses, and emoticons of other session members;
  • view Whiteboard content, including images, presentations and annotations;
  • view shared Applications and desktop; and
  • participate in Breakout room sessions.

However, you will not be able to:

  • receive private Text Chat;
  • view Web Tour;
  • receive File Transfer;
  • view Multimedia Library;
  • view live video;
  • write on the Whiteboard; and
  • recording playback.

As a Participant

Note: In general, staff are moderators and students are participants by default. The following are the guides on using Bb Collaborate as a participant.

Audio & Video Panel

Check your microphone and speaker levels

When you join Bb Collaborate session, check that the audio is configured correctly before the session starts.

  1. Go to the Tools menu at the top of the window and select Audio.
  2. Click on Audio Setup Wizard. You will then be guided through the process.

Use microphone

  1. Click the Talk button of the Audio window and speak into the microphone. You will know someone has their microphone turned on when the blue Audio activity indicator appears next to their name in the Participants Panel.
  2. When you are finished talking, click the Talk button to release the microphone and allow another person to speak.

Note: Even though it is possible for up to six people to talk at the same time, it is recommended that you release the Talk button each time you have finished speaking to avoid a possible of echoing effect.

Chat Panel

Send a chat message

You can send and receive chat messages in the Chat Panel. You can send messages to everyone in the session, just the moderator, another participant or several participants.

Note: In a supervised session, the word "Supervised" appears in the title of the Chat panel. Thus, moderators can see all messages, including private messages that a participant sends to other participants. You cannot delete a message once it has been sent.

To send a public Chat message
  1. Type your message in the text box.
  2. When done, press Enter to send your message.
  3. The message then appears in the conversation area.
To send a private Chat message
  1. Select the names in the Participants list. Use Ctrl + click to select multiple users.
  2. Then, right mouse click (Control-click on Mac) and select Send Private Chat.
  3. Type your message in the text box.
  4. When done, press Enter to send your message.

Participants Panel

Use emoticons to provide feedback

  1. Move your mouse towards the Show emotion button Blackboard Collaborate emotions in the Participants panel.
  2. Click the emoticons to provide feedback to the moderator and other participants. Other participants will see the icon under your name for a short time.

Answer a poll

You may be asked to respond to a question using the polling feature. The most common type of poll used is Yes/No.

  1. Move your mouse towards the Response to Polling button Blackboard Collaborate Polling in the Participants panel.
  2. Click the tick icon or the cross icon to indicate your response.

Raise your hand

  1. If you want to indicate that you have something to say, click the Raise Hand button Blackboard Collaborate Hand Raise in the Participants panel. A number (1, 2, 3, etc.) Blackboard Collaborate Raised Hand will appear next to the icon to indicate the order in which hands were raised.
  2. Click on the button again to lower your hand.

Step away from the session

  1. To indicate that you are temporarily unavailable, click the Step away from the session button Blackboard Collaborate Away in the Participants panel. You are still connected to the session and can see and hear everything that is going on. The Away icon will be displayed under your name in the Participants panel to indicate that you are away from your computer.
  2. When you are ready to re-join the session, click the button again.

Whiteboard Window

Draw on the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Pencil tool icon Blackboard Collaborate Pencil tool in the Tools Palette.
  2. Select the colour and line thickness from the Properties Editor at the bottom of the Whiteboard.
  3. Position the cursor on the whiteboard where you wish the stroke to begin.
  4. Press and hold down the left mouse button.
  5. Drag the cursor to create the stroke.
  6. When done, release mouse button.

Type on the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Text Editor tool icon Blackboard Collaborate Text in the Tools Palette. 
  2. Click on the Whiteboard to create the text box.
  3. Select the text format from the Properties Editor at the bottom of the Whiteboard.
  4. Type your text.
  5. When done, click anywhere in the Whiteboard.

Insert a clip art image

  1. Click on the Clip art tool icon Blackboard Collaborate Clip Art in the Tools Palette.
  2. The clip art dialog box appears. Select the tab that contains the clip art you wish to add.
  3. Select the clip art and the clip art will appear on the whiteboard.
  4. Move the clip art to the desired location on the whiteboard and click to place it in position.

Edit or delete an object from the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Selector tool icon Blackboard Collaborate Selection in the Tools Palette.
  2. Click on the object. The selected object will appear with a border around it.
  3. You can edit the object or delete the object once it is highlighted. Press the Backspace or Delete key on your keyboard to delete the object.

Breakout rooms

Breakout rooms are separate rooms from the Main room. Your unit chair can create breakout rooms to facilitate small group collaboration. Breakout rooms have their own private Audio, Video, Whiteboard, Application Sharing, etc., so the collaboration that takes place in a breakout room which is independent of the Main room and other breakout rooms.

Exit the session

When the session has finished, click on the main window's Close button.

Page custodian: Deakin Learning Futures
Last updated:

Back to top