Troubleshooting issues with Blackboard Collaborate

If you have a query which is not answered by the FAQs below, please contact the Learning & Research Systems Team.

Sound and Camera Issues

I can't hear anyone talking

If everyone else can hear the audio, but you can't, you need to check your speakers. You could do this by going to YouTube and trying a video, if you can't hear audio, try the volume icon in your taskbar, and check the volume there, if you still can't hear anything please follow these steps:

  1. Blackboard Collaborate uses the system default audio output, so ensure this is set correctly.
  2. Make sure your speaker volume within Collaborate is set to 100%. Click the Purple Collaborate Panel in the bottom right hand corner of the session > Settings Cog > Audio and Video Settings and check the Speaker Volume is set to100%.
  3. Make sure your browser isn’t blocking audio. Click the padlock icon in your browser address bar, and click on Site Settings. Search for Sound, then check this is set to Allow.

No one can hear or see me

When you first join a Collaborate session make sure you click Allow on the pop up box. If you didn't see this box try reloading the page.

If this does not work and people still can't hear or see you, check the settings in Collaborate, Click the Purple Collaborate Panel in the bottom right hand corner of the session > Settings Cog > Audio and Video Settings and work through the Set up your camera and microphone menu. Select the correct microphone - you should see the purple bar moving when you speak.

If you have an external microphone, check it is plugged in to your computer, and that it has not been accidentally muted. Windows 10 users should follow this link to check their microphone has been installed correctly.

Check your browser isn’t blocking your microphone or camera. Once in the Collaborate session, click the Microphone (or camera) icon to the right of the browser address bar. Ensure the option ‘Continue allowing to access your camera and microphone’ is selected. Refresh the page after saving this change.

Check your operating system isn’t blocking access to your microphone or webcam. Follow the link below to find out how to grant access to Google Chrome (or Firefox if you are in China).
Check Windows 10 Microphone & Camera privacy
Check Mac OSX Microphone & Camera privacy

My connection quality is intermittent, and sometimes the picture or sound drops out

Improving your connection

  • If sharing your video, turn your webcam off, and just use your microphone
  • If you’re able to, use a wired internet connection instead of WiFi
  • Close all open and unused programs and browser tabs that you’re not using.
  • Pause any downloads or uploads on your computer.
  • Check to see if others are using the same internet connection in your house. If possible, ask them to minimise internet usage - especially if they are streaming video or doing other network intensive activities.
  • Try opening the session in an Incognito tab.
  • Try clearing your browser cache, and reloading the session.
  • Restart your computer.

The times of my Collaborate Sessions are listed incorrectly

Blackboard Collaborate uses the time on your computer to identify when live sessions should start, so you must ensure your clock is set for your current local time zone.

Set the time on Windows

It's best to let Windows set the time zone automatically for you: 

Click on Start > Settings > Time & language > Date & time and click on Sync Now

Also check you have selected the correct time zone, and have the correct daylight saving settings. More information is available at Microsoft Support.

Set the time on Mac OSX

It's best to let Mac OSX set the time zone automatically for you:

Click the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Date & Time. You may need to click the padlock icon to make changes.

Click Date & Time, then select Set date and time automatically and choose an appropriate server for your region. Click on the Time Zone tab to select the appropriate Time Zone. More information is available at Apple Support.

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