For instructors who are new to Collaborate, one of most daunting aspects of moving into web-conferencing is the possibility that their audio equipment might not work properly on the day of the session, so participants might not be able to hear them or instructors won’t receive any sound on their end. To minimize the likelihood of this situation, Blackboard Collaborate comes equipped with an Audio set Up Wizard, which allows you to ensure that your audio is configured correctly. To get started using the Audio Set Up Wizard, follow these short instructions:
- Open the Audio Set Up Wizard. From within the Collaborate session, click on Tools in the action bar at the top. Select Audio from the drop-down menu and click on Audio Set Up Wizard. Note: You can also access the Audio Setup Wizard from the Audio menu, located in the Audio & Video panel.
- Select the Audio Output Device. The Audio Set Up Wizard will appear as a separate pop-up window. To change the default output device from your System Preferences, click the switch icon. Once you have made your selection from the Sound Output window (e.g. Internal Speakers), click Ok to proceed.
- Test the Sound Output. The first step will be test to test the computer speakers. Select the Play Sound button to see if any sound comes out of the speakers and to start a recorded audio message. Notice the green bars moving across the screen (in the black rectangle) as the speakers record. This is the speaker volume level. If the level is not satisfactory, adjust the speaker volume to a comfortable listening level by moving the volume slider. When finished, click the Stop button. In the next window, you will be prompted to confirm that you were able to set up the speaker volume to a comfortable listening level. Click Yes if sound has successfully played over the computer speakers and you would like to proceed, or Click No if you would like to repeat the previous step to test the speakers again.
- Select the Audio Input recording device. Select the device that will supply the audio to be sent to others in the Collaborate session from the list of options. Select Ok to proceed.
- Test the Audio Input. Speak slowly into the mic and select the Play button to listen to the recording. Again, notice the green bars moving across the screen as the mic records. If the level is too low, speak louder or move the mic closer. Try to get the green bars half way across the available space. This will ensure the volume adjustment is working. After a comfortable recording level has been achieved, select the Stop button to proceed. You will be prompted to confirm that the microphone has been setup properly in the next window. If the recording is satisfactory, select Yes. If a new recording needs to take place for mic adjustments, select No to return to the previous recording window.
- Finish the Audio Set up. If you have clicked Yes to confirm the Audio Output and Audio Input setups, you should now be ready to go! You can adjust your audio settings as needed outside of the wizard through the microphone and speaker volume sliders, located in the Audio & Video panel back in the Collaborate session. Audio settings are maintained from one session to the next, so you do not need to run the wizard again unless you change your audio equipment between sessions.
Note: We often recommend that instructors check with session attendees that they can hear clearly at the start of the session. Ask participants if the volume is too soft or too loud and make any other adjustments using the Audio Set Up Wizard as required.
For more information about preparing for a session in Blackboard Collaborate and attending the session, please refer to the following resources:
- Getting Started with Collaborate
- Preparing for Collaborate as a Participant
- Preparing for Collaborate as a Presenter
- Collaborate Instructor Checklist
Got any questions about Blackboard Collaborate? If you would like to learn more about Connect and Blackboard Collaborate, stop by our Learning Technology Drop in Sessions on Tuesdays from 12pm-1pm in Scarfe 1008! We’re also available by phone at 604-822-6333 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our other ETS Tips!