Online classroom

Blackboard Collaborate is the web conferencing tool that powers CDU’s online classrooms. Blackboard Collaborate allows staff and students to engage in a range of learning and teaching activities, using the following key features:

  • two-way audio
  • multipoint video
  • interactive whiteboard
  • application sharing
  • web tour
  • quizzing and polling
  • session recording
  • breakout rooms.

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First time users: getting started with online classroom

There are a few things you should do before you participate in an online classroom session for the first time. Please ensure you do this at least 24 hours prior to your first session just in case you come across any technical issues.

A USB microphone headset is recommended to improve your online classroom experience.

Please follow these guidelines every time you switch to a new or another computer:

  • Minimum system requirements recommended for running an Online Classroom session on your computer.
  • For Collaborate Original, download the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. Please select the instructions for your operating system below:
Install Launcher (not required if you are on campus)

Windows *
Mac OS X **

Join sessions

Mac OS X

* Windows 8 users must be in Desktop view
** Mac OS X 10.8.4 or later only

  • Visit the Configuration Room to install the Launcher, test your connection, settings and audio.

Once you have successfully launched into an Online Classroom session, run the Audio Setup Wizard, by clicking on the icon in the Audio & Video panel, as highlighted below. It is highly recommended that you run the Audio Setup Wizard for every session you join.

Audio/Video button

You can find more information on Behind the Blackboard for first-time users.

Blackboard Collaborate Launcher & troubleshooting guide

The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher is a utility that provides a convenient and reliable way to join Online Classroom sessions. Moreover, it provides the Java needed to participate in sessions, so users no longer need to install and maintain the system version of Java.

Quick Summary of the new Launcher

  • The .jnlp files will be replaced by .collab files to launch the Online Classroom.
  • Java is included, so no need to install and maintain the system version of Java on your computer.
  • Is used to view recorded sessions in the native Collaborate recording format, however, is not required for viewing converted recordings in MP3/MP4 format.

Security Warnings and Error Messages

  • You may see a Security Warning pop-up window. This is expected. Simply click the ‘Run’ button to continue and check the box – “Do not show this again for apps from the publisher and location above”.

  • If you receive an ‘Unknown User/Connection Failed’ message, this is because you are using an expired .collab file. Each one of these files is unique and must be downloaded for each session.

Troubleshooting Launcher Issues

If you are unable to launch the online classroom with your .collab file, please read the topics below, in order, to troubleshoot your issue.

Online classroom on the go

Participants that have an Apple, Android or Kindle Fire mobile device can now participate in an online classroom. There are two versions being used in Learnline units, Classic and Ultra.

Online Classroom (Original)

Download the Bb Collaborate App to access the online classroom now from your favourite store:

Join an online classroom session on your mobile device

Using a Mobile web browser:

  1. Launch your mobile browser and log into Learnline
  2. Select the relevant unit and link to Blackboard Collaborate
  3. Clicking the link to the session will automatically enter the appropriate information in the Blackboard Collaborate Session URL text box
  4. Enter your name and click Join Session

From Blackboard App:

  1. Launch Blackboard app and login
  2. Select the relevant unit and link to Blackboard Collaborate
  3. Clicking the link to the session will automatically enter the appropriate information in the Blackboard Collaborate Session URL text box
  4. Enter your name and click Join Session

Participants on a mobile device can:

  • interact via text chat and two-way audio
  • view whiteboard content and shared applications
  • use emoticons, hand raising, polls, breakout rooms
  • connect from any learning management system
  • stream or download recordings to any mobile device.

The following features are only available when joining from a desktop PC or laptop:

  • private chat
  • live video
  • file transfer
  • multimedia library
  • annotation on the whiteboard
  • web tour
  • moderator controls
  • recording playback (unless MP3/MP4 files available)

Collaborate Ultra (Online Classroom Ultra)

You can join a session from your mobile device with the free Blackboard app. Steps are the same as shown above and there is no extra app required. 

Collaborate Ultra participants can:

  • communicate with moderators and other participants via Chat and audio
  • raise their virtual hand for questions or comments
  • view all users in the Participants panel
  • view live video
  • write on the whiteboard
  • view shared files
  • view shared applications
  • participate in breakout groups (please note: presenter role is not automatically granted)

The following features are only available when accessing the Online Classroom (Ultra) from a desktop PC or laptop.

  • respond to yes/no and multiple choice questions (polls)
  • share feedback icons
  • use closed captioning
  • use teleconference for audio communications
  • playback recordings.

Ensuring Blackboard Collaborate works for you

To provide the best possible online classroom experience:

  • Enter the session early to run the Audio Wizard to ensure that the audio is working correctly. Use a USB microphone headset, if possible.
  • Don't run other applications while viewing a class (e.g. email, music etc.), as this will slow your connection to the session.
  • Avoid downloading large files in the background.
  • Raise your hand when you have a question or a comment.
  • Use chat to send text messages to other participants and the moderator during the session.
  • Check your personal firewall settings to permit Blackboard Collaborate
  • Remember to use earphones and microphone when using the mobile application.

Online Classroom Guides & Support

The following guides are useful for Participants of Online Classroom sessions:

Visit On-Demand Learning: Web Conferencing for further support and resources, including Mobile Web Conferencing.

Or visit Blackboard Collaborate Support for support options, documentation or to submit a ticket.


CDU provides access to a 24hr, 7day/week central support desk for Learnline, Online Classroom, Instant Messaging and Voice tools.

Prior to making a support request CDU recommends that you:

To access support, please choose from the following options:

Telephone support: 1800 984 057
Web: online help support desk via CDU's customised support portal.