You may be asked to take part in an online classroom or a webinar. At QMUL, the webinar system integrated with QMplus is called Blackboard Collaborate. It’s a system a little bit like Skype but has features that are more geared towards education.
This guide covers the basics of joining and taking part in a session. More information about using the system once you have joined a session can be found on the Blackboard Collaborate website, links are at the end of this guide. There are also links to help within the system itself.
This guide covers:
What you need to take part in a session
Blackboard Collaborate runs in a web browser. You do not need to download and install any software. It works best with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Mac users can also use Safari. You will need an up to date version of any of these web browsers.
You will need a stable broadband internet connection.
You will need to be able to hear the webinar moderator so you will need a headset or speakers. You may also need a microphone if you are expected to share your audio. The person running the webinar should let you know in advance whether they will want you to do this, in which case you may need to arrange to be somewhere quiet for the webinar.
How to join a session
If you have been sent a session link by the organiser, simply click on the link to join the session. Otherwise:
- Go to the area on QMplus where the session has been set up.
- Click on the title of the session.
You will see a Join session button. If the button is not there, check the start time and duration of the session. You may be too early or too late.
Sessions can be joined 15 minutes before their scheduled start time. This allows time for you to check that your own audio and video is working before the session gets underway.
Once you have clicked the Join session button, or your session link, you will be guided through a number of steps to get ready for the session. You may have to allow your web browser to access your camera and microphone.
Once you have entered the session, you will be able to see who else is there. If you are the first person to join, you may see a The room is empty message. Sessions do not have to be started by the organiser so it may be that you have made it in to the session before them. Be patient, especially if you have joined early. We do recommend that webinar organisers ensure they are online for a session as early as possible so hopefully you won’t end up in an empty room very often. You can use the time before the session starts to look at the Blackboard Collaborate tutorial available in the session, particularly if it’s your first session.
Once your organiser is in the session, if you are having any issues…particularly if you cannot hear them, use the Raise hand icon to attract their attention. You can also use the chat window if it has been enabled in the session.
Accessing session recordings
Sessions can be recorded, your organiser should tell you whether your session is being recorded or not. These recordings can be accessed via the activity on QMplus.
If you participated in the session via a web link and do not have access to QMplus, you will have to contact the session organiser to request a copy of the recording.
Find out more on the Blackboard Collaborate website
You will find more help on the Blackboard Collaborate website. We recommend this guide in particular:
- Getting started for session participants
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