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Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool. Collaborate offers a live, virtual classroom environment with features that include audio, video, chat, application sharing and content sharing. Collaborate provides the functionality needed to support the 21st century teaching environment. It facilitates a way for faculty and students to interact as if they were meeting face-to-face.

While Collaborate is not complicated to use, it requires some preparation on the part of the instructor (moderator) to be able to use it effectively. The following how-to guides will help you as the moderator to use Collaborate effectively.


Information for first-time users
System Requirements
Getting Started for Moderators
Blackboard Collaborate Launcher Utility
Use the V12.6 Configuration Room to test your computer configuration
Clear Java Cache (required)


Moderator Orientation Video [9:53]
Getting Started for Moderators Quick Guide
Participant Orientation Video [7:20]
Getting Started for Participants Quick Guide
Mobile Web Conferencing Orientation Video [2:50]


Create Session
Edit Session
Load PowerPoint Slides
Participant Setup/Orientation Sample PowerPoint Slides


Essentials for Moderators
Moderator's Guide
Accessibility Guide for Moderators
Join a Collaborate Session
Audio/Video Panel
Participants Panel
Chat Panel
Application Sharing
Web Tour
File Transfer (Deliver Files)
Breakout Rooms
Session Attendance


Record Session
View Recording
Link to Recording
Share Recording with Another Course/Organization


Invite Guests to Join Session
In-Session Invitations
Send Recorded Session to a Guest

Collaborate Plan (formerly Elluminate Plan)

General Information
Users Guide
Download Plan

Better Practices

Collaborate Live-Event Better Practices (PDF)
Managing Bandwidth in Web Conferencing Sessions
Managing Bandwidth when Application Sharing
Managing Session Video
Managing Session Audio
Prevent Echoing in Audio

Troubleshoot Problems

Common Issues encountered by web conferencing users

This is just one of the compelling programs on offer at Rising Tide 8. Register now.

MelaNated Aug 2011

Far too often writers of color are unheard, under-represented, and undervalued in the literary world. MelaNated Writers Collective (@melanatednola) was established in 2010 to create a network of support and resources for writers of color in New Orleans. Members of MWC will discuss its struggles and success as a collective and why New Orleans is a ripe city for literary rebirth. Panelists will discuss how the group’s mission, vision, writers workshop, and how it engages community and partners with other locals.
...continue reading "Creating Community for Writers of Color: MelaNated Writers Collective at Rising Tide 8"


The assessment feature in Blackboard is a helpful tool for providing online quizzes, exams and surveys. This guide will help minimize problems when you take assessments in Blackboard.

Before taking a test

Use a web browser that is compatible with or certified to work with the version of Blackboard we use here at XU. Visit the supported browsers page for a list of recommended browsers.

Also run the browser test to make sure your web browser is properly configured to run Blackboard.


  • Consider using a lab computer. XU computer labs offer Internet access that is usually more stable than off-campus.
  • Avoid using a wireless Internet connection, if possible.
  • Turn instant messaging off before starting the exam.
  • Turn e-mail notifications off before starting the exam.
  • Turn Call Waiting off before starting the exam; incoming phone calls may interrupt Internet service.
  • Do not resize the browser window during the exam. You should resize it before you start the exam.
  • Do not take a test until you are ready. Once you click OK to enter a test that allows only a single attempt, it is considered an attempt. This is true even if you look at the test and do not answer any questions.
  • Click the link once to enter (begin) the test. Wait for the page to load completely before starting the test.
  • Do not use the browser's "Back" button while your taking a test. Navigate by using the arrow keys within the Blackboard exam.
  • Do not refresh the web browser.
  • Do not double-click in the test; use a single-click instead.
  • Do not click anywhere outside the test window or open additional windows or applications. This may cause you to loose access to the exam.
  • Use caution when scrolling if you are using a mouse with a scroll wheel. First click a blank area on the test (assessment) window, and then use the scroll wheel. Otherwise, you may accidentally change your answer.
  • Keep the browser window active. Typing or clicking answers is not considered activity; clicking the Save button will keep the server active.
  • Before submitting the test, check over your answers to make sure none of them were accidentally changed by improperly using the scroll wheel on the mouse.
  • When you are finished with the test, click the Submit button once and give Blackboard a few minutes to complete the submission process. You will receive a confirmation screen when your test has been submitted successfully. If you do not receive a confirmation screen, contact you instructor immediately.
  • If you experience a failure of the Internet connection/system keep the assessment browser window open and attempt to re-connect to the Internet immediately. If the browser is kept open and the connection is re-established, you may be able to successfully submit the test.
  • If you loose power, your browser hangs, you loose Internet connectivity, or have any other technical issue, contact your instructor immediately and explain in detail what happened. Your instructor will decide how to handle your issue.
  • Take the test early in the alloted time frame. This will allow for a better resolution if you happen to run into problems when taking the test.
  • If your instructor provides a practice test to let you test your computer system, use it. Take the practice test well in advance of the real Blackboard test.

Taking the test

Review this guide to taking tests in Blackboard for detailed information (including video demonstration) on taking tests in Blackboard.

Rising Tide 7


Rising Tide NOLA, Inc. will present its 8th annual new media conference centered on the recovery and future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the University Center of Xavier University of Louisiana.

This year, Rising Tide invites participation from community and university organizations from across New Orleans by issuing this request for proposals for programming, panels, and presentations at the event.  The conference is a one day event with programming presented in a variety of formats including - but not limited to - individual presentations, directed conversations, keynote addresses, and on-stage panel discussions. The space available allows for significant flexibility when it comes to programming proposals.

Successful proposals will address issues relevant to New Orleans and the Gulf South’s ongoing recovery, diverse history, unique culture, or emerging concerns. Additionally, proposals could focus on or incorporate aspects of new or social media, information technology and access, and creative uses of communication. Collaboration between organizations to present programming is encouraged to add multiple and diverse perspectives.  While programming is free to address political topics, Rising Tide maintains a strict non-partisan forum, current elected officials and campaigning candidates for political offices are discouraged from participating in programming.


Proposals should include the following: a brief description of the topic being considered, with an indication of the relevance of the topic to local issues and what the audience should take away from the experience; a list of participants/presenters that describes their roles to the presentation and describes their relationship to or expertise on the topic; and a draft facilitation plan for how the programming will be presented to the audience, and how the audience will be involved in the presentation through questions, participation, discussion, etc.

Please email brief (2 page max) proposals in plain text, word documents, or PDF attachments to Jeffrey Bostick, Katy Monnot, and Patrick Armstrong at


Acceptance notifications will follow within two weeks.


While hosting the event at the Xavier University Center, attendance has averaged more than 300 attendees, media, and volunteer staff annually. The conference content has been live streamed on the web with over 1000 unique viewers during each event, with archives on the Rising Tide website. For this conference, organizers are hoping to coordinate programming for three separate spaces: a large stage-oriented venue with seating for up to 200; a medium venue with seating for between 30 – 40; and a seminar or group discussion venue for seating around 20. Program length can run from a minimum of 30 minutes for presentations or directed conversations in the smaller venues, to hour and a half panel discussion for the stage-oriented space.

Previous conferences featured keynotes by acclaimed local writer Lolis Eric Elie and Tulane University professor of history Lawrence Powell, as well as panel discussions on the status and future of local journalism, changes to the education system, environmental impacts of the oil spill, development of cultural economy, parenting, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood activism. Past speakers have included Treme and The Wire creator David Simon, geographer Richard Campanella, journalist Mac McClelland, entertainer Harry Shearer, and authors David Zirin, John Barry, Christopher Cooper, and Robert Block. The full 2012 conference schedule and list of panelists can be viewed on the Rising Tide website, as well as a list of participating vendors and non-profit organizations.

Conference registration information and publicity will be available online at There will be discounted student admission, lunch is included in the price of admission, and vegetarian options will be available.

More information is available:

Rising Tide 8 is sponsored by The Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Rising Tide NOLA, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed by New Orleans bloggers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federally built levees. After the disaster, the internet became a vital connection among dispersed New Orleanians, former New Orleanians, and friends of the city and the Gulf Coast region. A number of new blogs were created, and combined with those that were already online, an online community with a shared interest in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast developed. In the summer of 2006, to mark the anniversary of the flood, the bloggers of New Orleans organized the first Rising Tide Conference, taking their shared interest in technology, the arts, the internet and social media and turning advocacy in the city into action.

CONTACT: Programming Committee
WHO: Rising Tide NOLA
WHAT: 8th Annual Rising Tide New Media Conference
WHEN: Saturday, September 14, 2013, 9am – 6pm
WHERE: University Center, Xavier University of Louisiana

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Understanding and Building Your Course

Working with Course Files

Communication and Collaboration


Discussion Board


Collaborate (Web Conferencing)

Assessing Learners

Tests, Surveys, and Pools




Grade Center

Retention Center


Navigating Courses and Staying Up-to-Date


Discussion Boards

Blogs, Wikis, and Journals





Collaborate (Web Conferencing)

Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor

  • Respondus LockDown Browser/Respondus Monitor Overview (video)
  • LockDown Browser/Respondus Monitor Quick Start Guide (PDF)
  • How to Download/Use LockDown Browser (Win video) (Mac video)
  • How to view RLDB test results/feedback when availability date has past (PDF)
  • LockDown Browser system requirements (web page)
  • Respondus Monitor system requirements (web page)
  • Download Respondus LockDown Browser (web page)
  • Respondus LockDown Browser FAQs (web page)
  • Respondus Monitor FAQs (web page)


As an Instructor, what are the benefits of using Blackboard in my class?
Blackboard is an online learning management system that gives faculty Web-based resources to post syllabi and other course information, offer discussion boards, blogs, wikis, journals and chat rooms, offer tests and surveys, and maintain a gradebook. This content is accessible to students and faculty members anytime anywhere an Internet connection is available.

Where is Blackboard located?
Blackboard can be found at:

How do I log into Blackboard?
You log into Blackboard using your e-mail account username and password. If you forgot your username and/or password, you should contact the ITC Help Desk at (504) 520-7446.

What are Blackboard's Browser/Platform Requirements?
Supported browsers and operating systems can be found at: Behind the Blackboard.

What do I need in order to successfully use Blackboard?
In addition to your browser, instructors may need to post files generated various applications. Blackboard supports almost any type of file (audio, video, images, PDF files, etc...) as long as the target audience has the proper plug-in to read these files. For example, if an instructor posts a PDF file, students should have a PDF reader software installed to be able to view this document.

When is a course created?
Courses are created at least 2 weeks before the start of each semester. Course information is automatically passed from the Banner Student Information System to Blackboard, at least once a day. If a course is not assigned an instructor in the Banner system, that course will not appear on Blackboard.

When are students added to courses?
Students are automatically enrolled at the end of the registration process, usually the night before the start of classes for the semester.

Why wouldn't a specific student be able to access a course?
Typically if all students within a class are unable to view a specific course, the Instructor has not made the course available to students. If the majority of a class can view the course but a small sample of students cannot, one of the following most likely applies:

  • The student is not properly registered for the class
  • The student was dropped from a course for not paying the tuition bill
  • The student is at a website other than:

If a student is certain none of the above apply, the student should contact the ITC Help Desk at (504) 520-7446.

When are students removed? When is a course removed?
Two weeks after the end of a semester, student access to the courses is removed. This causes the deletion of gradebook records for the course. As such, all instructors must download their Blackboard gradebook to their local computer after they submit their final grades. To export the gradebook, goto the [Control Panel] for the course and click on the [Grade Center] link to expand it. Click on [Full Grade Center]. Move your mouse over the [Work Offline] button on the menu bar and then click on the [Download] link. Under [Data] section, select the [Full Grade Center] option, under the [Options] section, select [Tab] as the delimiter type and [Yes] to include hidden information. In the [Save Location] section, choose [My Computer] and then click on the [Submit] button at the bottom of the page. On the next page click on the [Download] button. You should get a dialog box with a request to save the file. Save the file to a location where you can find it later. The file you saved can be opened with Microsoft Excel.

After the removal of student access, courses remain on the Blackboard system for three semesters. This means for example, courses created for the fall 2010 semester will not be removed until after the start of the spring 2012 semester. Instructors can create a backup copy of their course contents by using the export course option. This process will create a backup of the course in a compressed zip format. This file can then be imported into another course. Do not modify or edit the contents of the compressed file at this may corrupt the file. To export a course, goto the [Control Panel] for the course and click on the [Packages and Utilities] link to expand it. Click on the [Export/Archive Course] link and then click on the [Export] button. On the Export page, select the portions of the course to be exported and then click on the Submit button. You will receive an email when the export process is complete. When you receive the confirmation email, go to the [Export/Archive Course] link once again and you will see a link where the export packaged file can be downloaded to your local computer.

If an instructor no longer wants to see older courses listed, they can be hidden from view. To hide courses from view, click on the small manage my course module settings icon located on top right corner of the [My Courses] section. For the courses to be hidden from view, make sure the check marks in the [Course Name] and [Announcements] columns are removed. Click [Submit] to save the changes. This will hide the courses from view on the course list but not remove them from the system.

Can I change the name of the course that appears in Blackboard?
The names of the courses on Blackboard are identical to the names that appear in the Banner system. Instructors however have the ability to modify the names of the courses to suit their needs. Care should be taken to make sure the new name of the course can be recognized easily by the students enrolled. To change the name of your Blackboard course, go to the [Control Panel] of the course in question. The Control Panel is located under Course Management. Click on the [Customization] link to expand it and then click on [Properties]. Here you can modify the name of the course and click on the Submit button to apply the name change.

Why should I export my course content?
The Export Course feature creates a package of the course content that can later be imported and used in another course. It is important to note that, unlike the Archive Course feature, Export Course does not include any student submissions or grades — it only includes the course structure, content, and tools. Export packages are downloaded as .zip files and are imported in the same format. Do not unzip an Export package or remove files from the package, otherwise the package will not be usable.

Can I export my course contents to use in another course?
Yes. The Export Course feature creates a package of the course content that can later be imported and used in another course. It is important to note that, unlike the Archive Course feature, Export Course does not include any user interactions with the course--it only includes the content and the tools.

Can I use the import package feature?
Yes. The import package feature allows Instructors to insert course information from another course. The Instructor will first need to open the old course and use the export course feature to save the necessary content to the local machine or separate storage device before using the import package feature for the new course.

How does an Instructor make a course available to students?
All courses are created as being available. As soon as students are automatically enrolled at the beginning of classes, they will have access to the course. Instructors can limit what students see by changing the availability of course items as they are posted. Instructors can easily set the time and date when a specific item can be viewed by students.

Do Instructors have the ability to create new courses?
No. To simplify and make consistent the process of course creation process, information is automatically transferred from the Banner SIS system to Blackboard.

Can Instructors create new Blackboard accounts?
Since the authentication system used the Xavier University email system, it is impossible for user to authenticate if they don't have a Xavier email account. As such, instructors cannot create Blackboard accounts.

Should I, as an Instructor, enroll students in my courses?
No. Students will automatically be enrolled at the end of the registration process, usually the night before the start of the semester.

Can I, as an Instructor, allow guests to access my course?
Yes. Guest access is enabled system wide. However, instructors will need to make certain areas available to guests before they can be accessed. Go to the [Control Panel] of the course in question. Click on the [Customization] link to expand it and then click on [Guest and Observer Access]. Make sure allow guest access is set to yes. Click submit to save changes. Goto the [Control Panel] under [Customization] and select [Tool Availability]. Choose the areas you would like to be visible to guests by clicking on the checkboxes in the Visible to Guests column. Click submit to save the changes. In your course menu, click on the menu items options arrow and select [Permit guests] from the shortcut menu.

Certain portions of Blackboard can never be made accessible to guests. The easiest way to make this course available is to send a URL to the guest users. The URL of the course in question is the link that is shown under the [My Courses] section on the Blackboard Welcome page. Right-click on the course link and select the [Copy Link Location] or [Copy short cut] depending on the browser you are using. This URL can be emailed to the guest users and they can access the course without logging into Blackboard.

When would an Instructor need to remove a user from a course?
There is no need to remove students from the system. Two weeks after the end of a semester, student access is automatically removed. During the first week of classes, Blackboard class rosters are updated more than once a day to match the Banner system. After that, class rosters are updated less frequently throughout the semester but happen on a regular basis.

Where can I go to find additional assistance for Blackboard?
Please refer to the Student Quick Guide [PDF]. If you are looking for more information on how to use Blackboard, please visit, which has access to a student manual, information on browser plug-ins and other related information. On demand videos are available. If you're having a problem, students should first contact their instructors. If the problem can't be resolved, students and instructors can contact the ITC Help Desk at (504) 520-7446 or email

Blackboard training for faculty is offered through the Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Contact Janice Florent at (504) 520-7418 or email.

Blackboard how-to guides and tip sheets are available on our website. Manuals and tutorials are available at and On demand videos are available.

Where can I get information on Blackboard outages?
Planned maintenance outages are usually announced at least three days before the event via email messages as well as Blackboard system announcements. If an unplanned outage occurs, an email message explaining the cause of the outage and duration of the outage is sent out to users.

CAT FooD (for thought) is a blog which is written by the faculty and staff of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at Xavier University of Louisiana.

We focus on a variety of topics: