Collaborate Quick Start For Faculty (Moderators)
Desire2Learn (D2L) Users Only

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 using 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 - L (below) to learn how to create, join and view recorded sessions from inside of the Desire2Learn (D2L) course system.

  4. This step is intended to help your students.
    Please send the information (in italics below)
    to your students well in advance of the first live class session:

    Attention Students/Participants: Prior to the first live class session, you should setup and test Collaborate on the exact computer and same Internet connecton
    that you will be using for the live sessions
    . Please go to the student Quick Start Guide, follow the setup procedure and enter a test session (SFA Test Session
    and Configuration Room) to make sure your computer is ready and your Internet connection is fast enough to handle a Collaborate live session.
    Direct Link to Student Quick Start Guide:

    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?

Learn more about session features and options:
Overview for Moderators (recording) | PDF)
Loading a PowerPoint File (PDF)
Using Application Sharing (PDF) | recording)
Audio Setup Wizard (PDF)
Using the Audio & Video Panel (PDF)
Using Web Tour (PDF | recording)
Using the Whiteboard (PDF | recording)
Getting Started with Recordings (PDF)

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.
  • Recorded sessions may reside on the Collaborate server until seven calendar days after the end of each semester.  At that time, all prior semester recordings
    will be deleted.  If you wish to download your recordings before they are deleted each semester, please contact us for instructions.
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.)

Locating and Accessing Collaborate Sesions in Desire2Learn (D2L)
Please follow steps A - L (below) to learn how to schedule, join and perform basic functions in Collaborate through D2L.

Step A
Log in to Desire2Learn, choose the desired course and click on the "Communication Tools" drop down menu in the header area.
step A graphic

Step B
Once at the main Collaborate panel, choose the "Create Session" link to begin setting up a new session.
Create Session Graphic

Step C
Name the session, choose a desired start/end date/time and click on "Create Session".
Session Setup Graphic
Step D
Next, you may simply click the purple icon to join an active session. Future (or expired) sessions will have no icon and may not be joined until that date becomes active.
Session Join Graphic

Step E
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 Garphic\
verifying graphic dialog box
security banner graphic boxcollaborate start dialog box
connection dialog graphic connection speed graphic

Step F

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
eceive someone else's web cam video, but you will need a set of working speakers in order to receive audio from others. session window graphic

Step G

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 Settings Graphic

Step H

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 Feature Graphic

Step I

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 withCollaborate.
Video Feature Graphic

Step J

To share your computer screen, simply choose the icon indicated below, select "share desktop" in the available selections and then click the "Share" button.
Share Desktop Graphic

Step K

When you finish sharing your desktop, click on the stop button located in the upper-right screen area.
Share Desktop Icon Graphic

Step L

To start recording a session, click on the "Record" button and choose "OK". Recorded sessions will generally take up to 24 hours processing time before they
will appear under in your Desire2Learn/Collaborate "Previously Recorded" tab.
Recordings Button Graphic

Viewing Recordings

Please note that any recorded sessions usually take up to 24 hours processing time before they will appear in your course.
To view a recorded session,
click the "Recordings" tab in the Desire2Learn/Collaborate area,
locate the the desired recording and click the purple icon to begin viewing.
Recording Access Graphic

Firewall Issues and Tips:
If you are having trouble getting into a session from another organization (such as another school or office), make sure that the security firewall ports 2187 and 80 are allowed by your Internet provider and/or IT department. Collaborate does require these ports to be open in order to properly connect. This may be what's happening if you get a message that reads "Connection Failed" when you try and enter a session. The "Systems Administrators" link below is a good resource that you can pass along to your service provider and includes information on how to resolve any firewall issues. Please understand that SFA has no authority over firewall ports at off-campus locations, so that is why it is a good idea to test well in advance of an actual class session.

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

Collaborate Help Desk Support Number:
Toll Free: 1-877-382-2293
Local SFA Help: (936) 468-7649 (During Normal Business Hours)

Go back to the main Quick Start Guide