Closed Captioning in Blackboard Collaborate

With its comprehensive list of tools and features for online classrooms, Blackboard Collaborate is increasingly used in Connect courses and beyond to facilitate classes, meetings, presentations and discussion groups. Closed captioning is an accessibility feature in Blackboard Collaborate that allows session attendees and instructors to transcribe audio information for deaf and hard of hearing students while a session is taking place. The transcribed text can be seen by other session attendees in the live session as well as in the recording of the session.

Anyone in the session can view the closed-captioning text, but a Moderator (usually the instructor, secondary instructors and teaching assistants) would need to give session attendees the permission to enter close-captioning text.

In order to start using closed-captioning:

  1. Access the session: Log into your Connect course to access the Collaborate session. From within the Blackboard Collaborate page, click on the Scheduled Sessions tab and select the session you would like to join from the list.



  1. From within the Room Details page, click Join Room.




  1. A .collab file should start downloading automatically when you click the Join Room button., you will see the Blackboard Collaborate window open.



To get started with Close-Captioning in Blackboard Collaborate, first grant the Closed-Captioning permission to all session moderators and participants. This permission is not included in the default set of permissions. Therefore, before you can start entering text in the closed-captioning window, you must explicitly grant the Closed-Captioning permission.

  1. Grant the closed captioning permission to an individual Moderator or Participant. Hover over the participant’s name  in the Participants panel to reveal the options menu. Click on the first icon (a list with a downward arrow) and select Closed-Captioning from the drop-down Permissions list.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.26.01 AM


Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.26.18 AM

  1. Access the Closed-Captioning Window. When users are granted the Closed-Captioning permission, they will see a blue Closed-Captioning button added to the title bar of their Audio & Video panels, as shown below. Click on the Closed-Captioning button to open the Closed-Captioning window.  From within this window, you will then be able to enter caption text.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.26.30 AM

  1. Enter the Closed-Captioned text. Place your cursor in the input window titled Closed Captioning. Start typing or paste your text in the window. Within this window, you can also change the window display options for attendees and save the closed-captioning text as a file.

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  1. View Closed-Captioning Text. All moderators and participants have the permission to view the text in the Closed-Captioning window. To open the view-only window, select Closed-Captioning from the Window menu.

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Note: You can track and monitor the Closed-Captioning activity and permissions granted to session attendees by looking at the following two indicators shown in the Participants list of the Participants panel:

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.52.13 AM  CC icon in bold black font, enclosed in a blue box = User is currently entering Closed-Captioning text.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.52.08 AM  CC icon in grey font, enclosed in a grey box = Participant has been granted Closed-Captioning permission.

Contact Us

Got any other questions about Blackboard Collaborate? If you are interested in learning more how you can make use of Blackboard Collaborate in your course, 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 Check out our other ETS Tips!

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