Collaborate Quick Start For Students/Participants
For Users Who DO NOT Use Desire2Learn (D2L)

Important You MUST read and follow this guide prior to using Collaborate:

Technical Bulletins

  • Apple MAC OS X 10.8.4 Users - If you are using a Mac that's running OS X 10.8.4, please read this technical update.
  • Windows 8 Users - Please read this bulletin about issues with Java and Internet Explorer's "Metro" version.
  • Pop Up Blockers - With ALL browsers, please make sure your pop-up blocker is either turned OFF or will allow pop ups for Collaborate to open.
  • Firewall Settings - If you are behind a security firewall, please know this may be problematic. This is more common in office or institutional locations. We recommend
    that ports 2187, 443 and 80 be opened. Please visit or ask your campus or office technology specialist to refer to this helpful guide if you get connection errors.
  • Google Chromebooks are not supported by Collaborate at this time.
  • It is recommended to test your Internet connection speed before running Collaborate for the first time, or from a new location.
  • If you are getting a Java error message that says "unable to launch the application" upon login, clear your Java program's cache/memory and try entering again.

Setup Guide

  1. Visit Collaborate's checkup page to make sure that your computer and Java application meet the system requirements. You should see two green checkmarks
    if your system is compatible. Please update your computer system's version of JAVA if you see a red "X", or if otherwise prompted to do so.

  2. Please make sure you are using the latest versions of these browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome. If using a Mac, then Safari will also work.
    You will also need to turn off or configure your preferred browser's settings to allow pop ups for "". Instructions for accomplishing this can be found
    on our browser configuration page.

  3. Setup your microphone and speakers by visiting the SFA Test Session and Configuration Room. Follow the on-screen directions once you log in. No password
    is required, but you will need to enter your first name for session identification.

    What are the minimum computer specifications and Internet connection speeds for running Collaborate?

    Collaborate Help Desk Support Number: Toll Free: 1-877-382-2293 (Open 24 Hours)
    Please follow the directions on this page before contacting technical support. Most setup issues can be resolved with the information found here.
    Local SFA Help: (936) 468-7649 (During Normal Business Hours)

    Now that you have been through the Collaborate setup guide, please follow steps A - H (below) to learn how to enter and perform basic functions.


Step A
Your instructor or meeting administrator will send you an invitation (link/URL) to your actual live Collaborate session (usually by email), so all you have to do is to click on that link in order join during the designated date and time. The link will probably look something like the non-functioning example below.


Step B
After a brief pause, you may be asked to open/allow the Java service to run (depending on which browser you are using), so please choose "open with Java" and
click on "OK". Please wait. You will see the Java startup banner appear briefly, followed by the verification window. Please wait. Then, depending on your computer's
security and browser configuration, you may also be prompted by a security banner asking if it is OK to run the aplication, so please choose run, ok or yes and proceed.
The Collaborate window will appear and be followed by a small connection window. If asked for a connection speed and you aren't sure, then you can try "Cable/DSL",
which is the most common. Please wait while the session opens..
Java open graphic
Java banner verifying application example graphic
security window example graphic collaborate start graphic example
connecting window example graphic speed settings example graphic

Step C

After the program opens you should find yourself in a Collaborate session that looks similar to the image below. Please continue on to to setup your microphone and
web cam (if needed). Obviously, you will need to have a web cam and/or microphone connected or built into your computer in order to send audio or video. Nothing else
is needed to receive someone else's web cam video, but you will need a set of working speakers in order to receive audio from others.
session window example

Step D
To configure audio features, simply click on the audio setup wizard icon (as shown below) and follow the directions. Also, please be sure that your
microphone was properly connected to your computer before it was last started. If not, please re-boot before proceeding.
Audio Setup GRaphic

Step E

After you have sucessfully completed the audio setup wizard, you may click on the "Talk" button to turn the microphone on in order to test your ouput. You should see the
microphone level bar bouncing back and forth as you speak. Please click the "Talk" button again to turn the microphone off. Please do not leave your microphone on if
not speaking during any session. This can cause problems for other speakers who may also be trying to send audio.
Talk Setup Graphic

Step F

Click "Video" to turn your web camera on or off. Also, if you have a web camera, please be sure that it was properly connected to your computer before
it was last started. If not, please re-boot and check to make sure it is working with your computer first, before attempting to use it with Collaborate.
Video Setup Graphic

Step G

To share your computer screen, simply choose the icon indicated below, select "share desktop" in the available selections and then click the "Share" button.
also using a webcam, please click on the icon that's like the one shown below. (Please note: This feature can be disabled by your instructor.)
Desktop Sharing Graphic

Step H
When you finish sharing your desktop, click on the stop button located in the upper-right screen area.

Stop Desktop Sharing Icon

Systems Administrators (PDF): Click HERE for more information about firewall ports.

Java Issues:

launch error graphic

If you are getting a Java error message, please click HERE for additional instructions.

Apple/Mac Users:


Click here to go back to the main Quick Start Guide page.