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STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE to Video Conferencing in CoolHub

Participating in a CoolChat (aka video conference) is not hard, but the first time you try it you may have some questions. Here is a step-by-step guide to using Blackboard Collaborate.  The infographic summarizes all these steps.

  1. Click the link provided by the conference moderator. In most cases, you will be given a link to participate in a CoolChat (unless you are the moderator of the session--right now let's assume you are just a participant). Here's a sample link if you want to try it out: http://tinyurl.com/7jgzjxz
    • Note: this will put you in the general CoolHub room. Either someone's session will be going (in which case, just observe and then log out) or you'll be all by yourself (in which case you can try some of the features; be sure to log out).
  2. The link takes you to a Session Login page. Use your name. Click the login button below your name.
  3. Your screen displays: Launching Blackboard Collaborate. Some javascript is downloaded to your computer in the background. If you're a Mac user, you'll probably see a message at the bottom of the browser window with two buttons. Click Keep. (if you click Discard, you won't get to the conference).
  4. A meeting.jnlp file is downloaded that will connect you to the session. If you have a Mac you may have to click on the download. Just click once. If you click it twice, you'll launch two instances of the session. If you have a PC, the download may execute automatically. If not, look in Downloads for meeting.jnlp.
  5. You may see a launch screen: The application "Elluminate Live!" from "www.elluminate.com" is requesting access to your computer. Click Allow. If you select Deny you will not enter the session. (fyi--Elluminate is the old name of Blackboard Collaborate)
  6. You will see the Elluminate Live logo, followed by a popup that allows you to select your connection speed. This is optional, but if you know how you are connected to the Internet, select one of the choices from the menu.
  7. Now you are connected to the session. You will see your name in the Participants window.
  8. There are several other windows and tools:
  • Chat -- allows you to write to others (all of them, or selected individuals) in the session.
  • Audio -- this is where you turn on your built-in computer microphone to talk. Best to keep this off unless you are talking. Use a headset or earbuds for individual use (to avoid echo).
  • Whiteboard -- this is where content from the session is usually displayed. If the moderator has made the board interactive, you can type and draw on the board.
  • The image of the camera with the eye above the Participants window allows you to turn on your webcam so others see you. This is usually optional.
  • Below the Participants window are several images: raise your hand (to get moderator's attention), emoticons (to show approval/disapproval), applause (another way to sow approval), thumbs down (another way to show disapproval), a green check and red X (Yes and No if you are asked to respond to a poll) and a door (to temporarily leave the session).
  • To quit the session, click on Elluminate Live! on  the menu bar and select Quit Elluminate Live! or use the shortcut: command+Q.

If you are using a newer version of Blackboard Collaborate, you won't see Elluminate Live! references, and the session screens look different. But logging in and out and the tools are the same.