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Getting into Online Rooms is tricky because you need to download and install a program to open the rooms and you need to download the room.  Each web browser tries its best to block these files from downloading and running.  Chrome and FireFox are the preferred browsers. So, here is what needs to happen to get students into Online Rooms.

INSTRUCTORS – Make sure you have a “Practice Room” that is available for the entire term.

You MUST have a practice room available for students to use to ensure that they can access the online room.  Tell your students to log into that practice room and make sure they can get in days BEFORE they try to access your actual room.  Otherwise about a quarter of your students will probably not get into your actual session.

STUDENTS – If there isn’t a “Practice Room” available, contact your instructor and have them create one.

Here’s how the Online Rooms access works:

Log into D2L and click on Course Tools -> Online Rooms in the Navigation Bar. Ensure that you have selected to display “All meetings”.
Click the Join button beside the room. It will look similar to:

BB Collaborate1
You will be asked to open or download Blackboard Collaborate. If this is the first time using this online tool, save the file, and run it from your download folder on your computer. A program called meeting.collab will try to download. The browser will try to block it. You must let this download. Then you must find the file where it got downloaded to and RUN it. it will look similar to:

BB Collaborate2

However, the meeting.collab file needs a program to run it. This is the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. Previously you just needed JAVA on your computer. Now you only need the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher (NOT the meeting.collab file).
So, one time only, you need to download and install BlackboardCallaborateLauncher-Win or -Mac
Again, your browser will try to block it from downloading so you need to allow it to download, then they have to RUN it.

When it’s been run, it goes through an installation process that creates the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher program that’s needed to run the meetings.  You only have to download and install the BlackboardCollaborateLauncher once.

Now when you click the Join button beside an Online Room, you can download run that meeting.collab file and you’ll get into the room.

Your web browser will try to block these programs from downloading and running

Each browser blocks the download differently.

  • Chrome no longer notifies you that it has blocked a page.  If it flashes and goes right back to the same page, the room has been blocked.
    • Here’s how to unblock the page:
    • click on the icon with the three horizontal lines that appears at the top right of the browser beside the address bar
    • Select the Settings link
    • Click the “Show advanced settings…” link at the bottom of the page
    • Find the Privacy section and click the “content settings…” button
    • In there find the Pop-ups section and click the “Manage exceptions…” button
    • Add in two sites “” and “
    • Click Done and Done and close the Settings… tab
    • Now you should be able to click the Join button and get in.
    • If the screen flashes or “nothing” happens…
      • look up in the address area (…)
      • at the far right look for a little icon.
      • hover over it and see if it says a popup has been blocked
      • click on the icon and allow it to open the blocked item
      • click the Join link again and you should be able to download and install now.
  • FireFox notifies you with a message at the bottom of your screen.
  • Internet Explorer has a notification across the top of the page in a light yellow box. We no longer recommend Internet Explorer for use with D2L.

Each browser downloads the file different too.

  • Chrome shows you your download at the bottom of the browser.  When you see the meeting.collab file listed there, you can click on it to make it run.
  • FireFox stored the downloaded files in a system folder.  You can view your downloaded files by clicking on the Down Arrow icon to the right of your address box, then select Show All Downloads if you can’t see the file.
  • Internet Explorer usually just opens a dialogue box and asks if you want to save or run the file.  You can select run.

Once you install theBlackboardCollaborateLauncher, you can run the meeting.collab when you click the Join button.  It will take a few moments and will start launching the Online Room.  When it asks about your internet connection, just accept the default settings and keep going.  It will then open a large window that contains a whiteboard to the right and a participant list box on the left centre of the screen.  Turn on your computer’s speakers and plug in your mic and you are all set.  If you have a laptop, your speakers and mic are built in so all should work fine. It will look similar to:

BB Collaborate3