Collaborate - building guide

Collaborate is a live, collaborative space that provides the ability to chat, screen-share, share audio and video, poll students, collaborate using a virtual whiteboard or group participants into small 'break-out' spaces. Using the Collaborate activity in a topic ideally consists of the following 5 stages.

1. Plan  |  2. Build  |  3. Test  |  4. Administer  |  5. Review  ||  Support 

Collaborate icon

Collaborate is the official web conferencing tool for learning and teaching at Flinders University.

Disabled features

To help increase the stability of the system and increase performance, the following features are temporarily disabled by the vendor:

  • Timer (a countdown timer)
  • Chat typing indicator (a visual indicator that someone is typing. Chat is otherwise functional.)
  • The number of videos showing at any one time in some browsers has been reduced from 4 to 2


Add Collaborate to your FLO topic

Blackboard Collaborate uses modern browser technologies and, for the best experience, please use Google Chrome. Before using Collaborate, please ensure your Google Chrome is up-to-date. Scheduling sessions and Moderator (teacher) access is facilitated through an integration in FLO. Generally, students will also access Collaborate through a FLO topic, but public URLs can also be generated if required (e.g. the Collaborate session will involve users external to Flinders University).

By default, a Collaborate link will be placed in your FLO site and hidden from students (until you unhide the link). However, a link can be added manually. To utilise Collaborate in your topic, complete the following steps:

  1. Turn editing on in your topic

  2. Select 'Add an activity or resource'

  3. Select the Collaborate activity
      Add a collaborate activity

  4. Add a title to the Activity name field

  5. Click on Show more...

  6. In the Activity description paste in this following sentence 

    Collaborate is an online live collaboration space, including chat, audio, video, images, files, and screen-sharing. By entering Collaborate sessions you consent to being recorded. Please check your settings prior to your session.

  7. Tick the box Display description on topic page

  8. Select Save and display

The Collaborate landing page for your topic will be displayed.

Note: Please contact your eLearning Support team if you require assistance adding Collaborate to your topic.

By default, the only room available is the 'Course room' - the course room is a room that is perpetually open and does not have a set start or end time. This is useful for ad-hoc appointments or testing your device for use with Collaborate (e.g. browser version, webcam and microphone).

We recommend leaving the Course room enabled, but this can be disabled if desired by selecting the menu icon for the Course room and choosing 'Lock course room':

Lock course room

See the Collaborate support materials for more information.

This is a quick guide to Collaborate with a brief but comprehensive listing of how to set up/manage a Collaborate session. It is recommended these be used when running sessions, feel free to make the participant guide URL available to your students via a link in your FLO topic


Create sessions for teaching

By default, Collaborate provides a 'Course room' which is always open for impromptu sessions. If you'd like to schedule one (or more repeating sessions) with a start and an end date, you'll need to create sessions within the Collaborate interface.

create session

To add sessions in Collaborate, access the Collaborate activity created in the step above and refer to the detailed information on creating and editing sessions. When creating repeat sessions, you can select show occurrences to view all occurrences of the session.

Note: Collaborate is currently testing an experimental feature called Amazon Chime. Amazon Chime is not supported for teaching at this time, and we do not recommend that you use it for teaching.

List of created sessions

The default settings for a Collaborate session are as follows:

  • Early access available 15 minutes before session
  • Recorded sessions are not permitted to be downloaded
  • The default role for students is 'Participant'
  • Participants can share:
    • Audio
    • Video / webcam
    • Post chat messages
    • Draw on the whiteboard
    • Attendees can join the session using a telephone and pin number

For more on session settings, please review the support materials.

» How-to glossary