How to pre-record a lecture using Blackboard Collaborate

There are two ways to use Bb Collaborate in your course – the “building block tool”, and the “LTI tool”. Basically, the difference between them is that with the LTI tool you can create a downloadable recording in the MP4 format, and with the building block tool, you cannot. The building block tool is easier to use, however. So ask yourself if you need a downloadable MP4 recording, and use the LTI tool if you do. If not, then use the building block tool. The tutorials below will show you how to use each to pre-record a lecture.

Using the building block tool (no MP4 recording option)

Sometimes, pre-recording your lectures is a good way to present material like narrated Powerpoint slide shows, or other presentation materials. This ability is already available to you within Blackboard Learn in ATSU’s Managed Hosting environment.

You can use the built-in, non-Java “Blackboard Collaborate” in your course to pre-record a lecture where you can share your screen, show a slide show, record your video and audio, then link it into one of your course content areas for later playback by your students. This method does not require java, or a scheduled session. This is the new HTML5-compliant, non-java Bb Collaborate that is built-in to every course by default on our new Bb Managed Hosting environment. Here’s how:

  1. Please only use Google Chrome to record your lecture. It works the best with Blackboard Collaborate.
  2. Using Chrome, log into your course in the new Bb Managed Hosting environment.
  3. In the Course Management Control Panel, click Course Tools > Blackboard Collaborate.
  4. One room is already built for you by default. We will use this room to record your lecture. Click the “Join Room” button. A new tab will open and load the room.
  5. Set up your mic and video as prompted. Once your mic and video are set up, turn them on by clicking the mic icon and the video icon.
  6. Make sure that you have your slide show, or other presentation material, open and ready to share.
  7. At the top-left of the room there is a menu indicated by three horizontal lines. Click it to expand it, then click the “Start Recording” link.
  8. Start your lecture.
  9. At the bottom-right of the room there is a an “Open Collaborate Panel” button indicated by two left-hand carets. Click it to open up the Collaborate Panel.
  10. In the Collaborate Panel, at the bottom, click the “Share Content” button.
  11. Choose “Share Application”, then choose your slide show, or other presentation material window to share.
  12. After you have completed your lecture or presentation, click the left-hand menu again and click “Stop Recording”.
  13. Click the “Leave Session” button at the bottom left of the open menu.
  14. Back in your course, in the Course Management Control Panel, click Course Tools > Blackboard Collaborate. In the bottom “Recordings” section you will see the recording you just made listed.
  15. Use the drop-down menu next to the recording and select “Add Link”.
  16. In the Add Link dialog page, choose the content area within your course that you wish to add the link to, then click the submit button. You may title the link to the recording anything you’d like.
  17. In the content area where you placed the link, move it up or down as needed to place it into the position you desire. You may click it to watch the recording at this time. Please note that the system may take a while to process your recording, if it was a long recording. Just be patient and it will appear.
  18. At this point you may want to use the Student preview button at the top of your course when you are in Edit ON mode, and look at the course as a student. Go into the content area that you placed the link, and test it out.
  19. The link in the content area may be controlled by using the Adaptive Release tools. For example, you may want to only make the link to the recording visible after a certain date.

This process creates an industry-standard MP4 video file that may be downloaded and shared in other places, like YouTube, or in another course.

Using the LTI tool (MP4 recording option)

Sometimes, prerecording your lectures is a good way to present material like narrated Powerpoint slide shows, or other presentation materials. This ability is already available to you within Blackboard Learn in ATSU’s Managed Hosting environment.

You can use the built-in, non-Java “Blackboard Collaborate Ultra” LTI tool in your course to prerecord a lecture where you can share your screen, show a slide show, record your video and audio, then link it into one of your course content areas for later playback by your students. This method does not require Java, or a scheduled session. This is the new HTML5-compliant, non-Java Bb Collaborate that is built-in to every course by default on our new Bb Managed Hosting environment. Here’s how:

  1. Please only use Google Chrome to record your lecture. It works the best with Blackboard Collaborate.
  2. Using Chrome, log into your course in the new Bb Managed Hosting environment.
  3. Enter into any Content Area.
  4. Click the “Tools” drop-down menu, then choose “Bb Collaborate Ultra LTI (Scheduler)”.
  5. Name the link “Bb Collaborate Ultra Scheduler” (from now on I will just call it “BbCU Scheduler”). This will be the link to the Collaborate Scheduler app that your students will click on to see the list of prerecorded lectures/presentations. You may add description text at this time, if you’d like. Click the Submit button when you are finished.
  6. Still using Chrome, click the new BbCU link that you just created in Step 5.
  7. The BbCU Scheduler app will start up. Please note: You will see an odd “Red Band” error at the top, sort of cut-off. This is what Blackboard refers to as “Known Issue”. It will be fixed in a future release of the software, and it does not affect the functioning of the BbCU Scheduler in any way, shape, or form. It’s just a little annoying.
  8. Click the plus symbol icon ( + ) at the top-right to add your new prerecorded lecture/presentation room.
  9. Add a title, a Start Date that is earlier than this very instant, and check mark “No End (Open Session)”.
  10. Choose “No Early Entry” in the Early Entry drop-down.
  11. Click “Add a description…” and add a description.
  12. Check mark “Guest Access”. This will give the prerecorded lecture/presentation an external URL that you can give to Guests or students. Guest Role should always be set to “Participant”. Make sure that you copy the URL given in the “Guest Link” box, then save it somewhere in a text file or some such so that you can give it out later if needed.
  13. Click the “Session Settings down-arrow to expand the Session Settings area.
  14. Check mark “Allow Recording Downloads”. PLEASE NOTE that this is NOT check marked by default! If you want to be able to download an MP4 video file for later use in another app like YouTube, or another course, you must check mark this option.
  15. Leave the rest of the settings the way they are, and click the “Save” button.
  16. Your new prerecorded lecture/presentation room is now ready for you to record a presentation or lecture. Click the tile and a new tab or window will open (depending on your individual web browser’s settings) and load the room.
  17. Set up your mic and video as prompted. Once your mic and video are set up, turn them on by clicking the mic icon and the video icon.
  18. Make sure that you have your slide show, or other presentation material, open and ready to share.
  19. If you have a Powerpoint Presentation to share, then open the Collaborate panel on the bottom-right indicated by the two left-hand carets. The middle button is the “Share Content” button. Click it.
  20. Click the “Share Files” icon, then click the plus symbol next to the text “Add files Here”. Navigate to and select your PPTX file, then upload it.
  21. Once it has been uploaded (be patient for large PPTX files) is will be listed in the Files area with a small number to indicate how many slides there are.
  22. Select the PPTX file by clicking it, then click the “Share Now” button at the bottom of the Collaborate panel.
  23. On the right small thumbnails of your slides will be available for you to select. Select the first slide and it will appear in the middle area.
  24. At the top-left of the room there is a menu indicated by three horizontal lines. Click it to expand it, then click the “Start Recording” link. You may close the menu to save screen space if you wish.
  25. Start your lecture.
  26. In the Collaborate Panel, you may also just share an application on your desktop, like a browser window, or some other open application by clicking the “Share Content > Share Application”, then choosing the application you wish to share. In other words you don’t HAVE TO share only PPTX files. You may also share other applications.
  27. After you have completed your lecture or presentation, click the left-hand menu again and click “Stop Recording”.
  28. Click the “Leave Session” button at the bottom left of the open menu.
  29. Back in your course, in BbCU Scheduler, click the menu button at the top-left indicated by three horizontal lines, then choose “Recordings”. You will see the recording you just made listed after waiting a short while for the recording to appear in the list. This process creates an industry-standard MP4 video file that may be downloaded and shared in other places, like YouTube, or in another course.
  30. Click the “Download” icon next to the listed recording to download the MP4 video file of the recording.
  31. Students may always access the prerecorded lecture within the BbCU Scheduler app, or you may choose to offer the MP4 of the lecture as a “video” content item, upload the MP4 to Google Drive and embed it into an “Item”, or add the Guest URL as a Web Link. The last three options will give you a lot more options for restricting or limiting access according to adaptive release rules you place on the link itself.
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