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:

Setup Guide

  1. Simply CLICK HERE for directions on how to set up the Collaborate Launcher if you are a first-time user for Spring 2015. If you are not a first-time user, then please skip below and proceed.

  2. Log in to the SFA Test Session and Configuration Room (always available) to make sure you can access SFA's version of Collaborate. No password is required, but you will need to enter your first name for session identification. Be sure to test your microphone and web cam if you will be required to use these items for a class session or meeting (see steps D - G below). Exit the test session when finished and go to Step 3.

  3. Now that you have been through the Collaborate setup guide, please follow steps A - H (below) to learn how to join, use and participate in sessions.

Technical Bulletins

  • As of January 2015 Collaborate No Longer Requires JAVA Installation - Please follow the guide above if you are a first-time user this semester.
  • Check your computer's system and browser versions to be sure they meet Collaborate's specifications. 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. Come back to this page and go to Step 2 when finished.
  • Windows 8 Users - Please read this bulletin about issues with 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 "" 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 ask your institutions's 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. What are the minimum computer specifications and Internet connection speeds for running Collaborate?

General Information and Policies

  • SFA currently uses Blackboard Collaborate (version) v12.6.
  • IPhone, Ipad, Android and Kindle devices now work for paticipants, but we do not guarantee connectivity and can only offer limited support. Please look for
    the Blackboard Collaborate app in the ITunes Store or in Google Play, or visit the Collaborate Mobile site. Please test far in advance of your scheduled
    class session time. Mobile devices are not supported for session presenters (instructors), but for paticipants (students/viewers) only.
  • When trying to access a recorded session, please keep in mind that it may take up to 24 hours after it is recorded before it is posts in your course.
  • All recordings become unavailable seven calendar days after a semester has ended, unless your instructor chooses to download one or more session files on
    some type of alternative storage media. Please check with your instructor and plan accordingly.

Need additional help?
Collaborate Technical Support Number
- Toll Free: 1-877-382-2293 (Always Open)
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 (Available during regular 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 choosing an active session there will be a brief pause. Next, you will be prompted to start the Collaborate Launcher, so please choose the appropriate computer type and click on "OK". Please wait. You will see the startup banner appear, followed by the verification window. Please wait. 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, 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.
Launcher Graphic
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.


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