Collaborate Web Conferencing, is a very easy-to-use product from a student's perspective. In most cases, your instructors are probably scheduling your sessions through Blackboard. If so, you can usually access these sessions through your course in Blackboard by selecting "Blackboard Collaborate" from the Tools menu. Otherwise, you should be able to access your session using the link in an email sent to you by your session moderator.
If this is the first time you will be using Collaborate, you may be prompted to download some software which may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending upon your Internet connection speed. You can pre-configure your system with the required software by going to the First Time Users area of the support page located at: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com.
Please make sure your computer has a microphone and speakers to be able to talk and hear while you are in the Collaborate meeting. In most cases, an inexpensive headset is preferable to using your computer's built-in microphone and speakers. Since all computers are different, Baylor University and the Electronic Library cannot make specific recommendations about what settings to use or what headset devices to purchase.
As with any web-conferencing system, there are three basic prerequisites that must be met in order to have a successful Collaborate session: a working computer with Java installed, a functional computer audio system with a headset and microphone, and a reliable Internet connection. Since all three of these requirements are your responsibility, be sure to join your class session early to make sure that you are able to successfully connect to Collaborate and be prepared to make alternate arrangements if you run into any problems. Most sessions allow you to connect up to 60 minutes before the scheduled start time.
You may also like to visit the Collaborate Web Conferencing Configuration Room to pre-install the Collaborate software and configure your audio settings located at: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com. Once connected to the Configuration Room, use the Tools > Audio menu to launch the Audio Setup Wizard to configure your audio devices.
Online training for participants is available at http://www.baylor.edu/lib/factech/collaborate. Here you will find a recorded Participant Orientation session, User Guides, and a Quick Reference Guide. You will need to contact your instructor directly for additional information about how Collaborate will be used during class.