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Online rooms are virtual spaces where people can connect to view presentations and chat in real time with audio and video. These spaces are created by software called BlackBoard Collaborate.

Online rooms are linked to your D2L course so that the setup and links that participants use to connect are all located in the same place as the rest of their course material.

Note: PLEASE CREATE A PRACTICE SESSION AVAILABLE ALL THE TIME FOR STUDENTS TO TEST  AHEAD OF THE SCHEDULED SESSION.

Creating a New Online Room

  1. Click the Online Rooms link in the blue course navigation bar.
  2. Click the New Room button.
  3. Enter a Name for the room (do NOT add any special characters to this name).
  4. Click the Public Room option (NOT Restricted room) – as the rooms that are restricted can only be seen by attendees that you specifically invite.
  5. Use the Availability Dates to determine when the room will be available for use.
  6. Under Advanced Properties, check Participants have unrestricted access to resources. This allows participants the ability to hear and use their audio, chat in the chat window, and participate on the whiteboard.
  7. Click Save.

Please Note:

  • All students in your course can access the room during the date and time you have set in step 5; you do not need to add attendees to the room.
  • Students in the class will join the online room as participants; Instructors will join as Moderators.

Inviting external people (ones who are not on your class list) into the room

  1. Click on the title of the room to get back into edit mode
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and click the “Add Attendees” button.  This will open a new window.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of this window and click on the link that says, “Add External Attendee.”
  4. Type in the emails of all the people you want to invite.  You can use , or ; between email addresses.
  5. Click the Add button.
  6. This will send a link to all the email addresses you entered.  The recipients of the email can click on to the link join the room once the online room availability date and time is open.

Additional Note:

A webcam software driver needs to be updated for BCIT Lenovo laptops:
1.  Download: updated webcam software
2.  Doubleclick on the downloaded file to start the install
3.  Click ‘Next’ and accept the license agreement
4.  Click on the following ‘Next’,’Finish’, ‘OK’, and/or ‘Install’ buttons
You will have installed the updated version after the final ‘Finish’ button

Joining an Online Room

When you want to enter a room, click on Online Rooms, then click on the Join link. Clicking the Join link will prompt you to download a file. The following article will also provide you with all the important steps needed for your students:

https://ltc.bcit.ca/help/getting-into-an-online-room/

The way you save or run the file depends on your computer and browser. Some browsers ask you to confirm the download at the bottom of the screen while others prompt for your attention at the top of the screen.

Accept the download and click on the file to run it after it is finished downloading (you may need to find it in the default download location).

If you are asked about security settings, connection speeds or software agreements, please agree-to and accept all the defaults. When the installation is finished a window to the online room will open.

The Online Rooms Interface

If you’re familiar with Elluminate Live!, you’ll recognize many similar features about BlackBoard Collaborate. There are four main panels: an Audio-Visual pane, a Participant list, a Chat area, and a large whiteboard presentation area. Panels can be:

  • moved around (click and drag)
  • resized (click and drag)

Here are some highlights of the panel features.

Audio & Video Pane:

  • Self-contained Setup Wizard and configuration options
  • Audio and Video (up to 6 simultaneous) together in the same window

Participant list:

  • Response emoticons (including fast/slow options help participants remain engaged (previously in polling)
  • Permissions governing whether participants can use tools are located in a drop-down menu at the top right of the panel
  • Individual tool permissions are displayed to the right of participants’ names – selecting one individual and then using the drop-down menu to grant permission to a tool gives the selected individual unique access to that tool

Chat area:

  • The Send Announcement feature creates a pop-up window message for all participants- send from the top right drop‐down menu
  • Emoticons help ensure light and spirited chats

Whiteboard presentation area:

  • Three most popular uses are now prominantly visible in the top left of the window: the whiteboard, application sharing, and the web tour.
  • It’s easier to load content via the Load Content button in the top right

Loading Content through the Collaboration Toolbar:

Other (tools):

  • In-session invite – sends out an e-mail with a link to the session
  • Easier to use Polling
  • Breakout rooms faster to setup and manage
  • Telephony: sessions can have an integrated teleconference connection so participants can call-in using a phone

For more information, please see the BlackBoard Collaborate:

HC-112