This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Webinar Help

As part of the ocTEL course we are running weekly webinars on Wednesdays, starting on 10 April. Webinars will usually start at 12:30pm (BST). Webinars will be run via Blackboard Collaborate 11, they are open to all and are free to attend.

Please use the information below to help prepare before participating in a webinar, and if you have any questions contact

Detailed information about Blackboard Collaborate is available via the BC support portal.

Links to the weekly webinars will be available on the Course Materials page.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I test my access to the Blackboard Collaborate software?

Even if you are familiar with Blackboard Collaborate 11, it is important that you check in advance that your system and connection are capable of handling a session, and that you have the (small) Blackboard Collaborate client successfully installed. Do this from the support page on the Blackboard Collaborate web site.

Please check your audio setup in advance by logging into the test webinar session (which is live from now) and completing the Audio Setup Wizard which can be found via TOOLS > AUDIO > AUDIO SETUP WIZARD.

I don’t have a microphone – can I still take part in a webinar?

Yes – you don’t have to have a microphone to be able to take part in a webinar. To ask a question you will be able to raise your hand or write in the chat window and to agree or disagree with a comment you can use the happy/unhappy face icons or the tick/cross. These can all be found in the bottom left hand corner of the Blackboard Collaborate screen, below the list of participants.


I am unable to attend a webinar – what should I do?

If you are unable to attend a webinar, don’t worry, we will record all webinars so you can always follow the session another day when you are free. Recordings will be available on the Course Materials page within 24 hours of the webinar taking place.

I can’t hear the speaker – what should I do?

If you can’t hear the speaker, you can turn up the speaker volume using the controls in the bottom left hand corner. If this does not work, try using the audio setup wizard. If you still can’t hear please post in the chat window and a moderator will help you.

My microphone isn’t working – what should I do?

If your microphone is very quiet or is not working, you can turn up the volume using the controls in the bottom left hand corner. If this does not work, try using the audio setup wizard. If you still can’t be heard please post in the chat window and a moderator will help you. Note that the maximum number of simultaneous speakers is often limited in a session, and you may need to wait until others have turned off their microphones before being able to speak.

How can I ask a question?

You can ask a question by typing in the chat window or raising your hand by clicking the hand icon in the bottom left hand corner. The speaker or moderator will then allow you to ask you question.

How can I chat to other participants?

If you want to chat to other participants without other participants seeing your message, you can select who receives your message using the ‘send to’ function below the chat window.

How can I chat to the moderators only?

You can send a message to the moderators of a session by selecting ‘moderators’ from the send to options below the chat box.

How can I agree/disagree with something?

To agree or disagree with something you can use the happy/unhappy face, the tick/cross or the clapping icons. These can all be found in the bottom left hand corner, below the list of participants and will flash next to your name when you click them.

I need to leave the webinar early – what should I do?

We will try to run webinars to time as we know people may be attending during their lunch break, but sometimes they may run over. If this happens and you need to leave a session due to another commitment, you can always listen to the last part on the session recording at a later date.


Where can I find a webinar recording?

Recordings of the webinars for each week will be available via the Course Materials page within 24 hours of the end of the session.


12 comments on “Webinar Help
  1. Belinda (Uni. Northampton) says:

    I wanted to attend the Wednesday Webinar via my iPad, so went onto the Test Webinar session to test my audio settings etc, in preparation. Though Blackboard Collaborate 11 is great, what a shame to find that it’s not available for mobile devices, when a MOOC should aim to be as fully inclusive as possible. I will watch the recording later instead. Thank you.

  2. David Jennings says:

    Hi Belinda, I am not an expert in this area, but I am not aware of platforms/technologies for large scale live webinars that are fully accessible on mobile devices. Google Hangouts works on an iPad, yes, but can it emulate all the things that Collaborate can do (I haven’t worked out how to do chat, for example)? Adobe Connect can emulate most of them, I believe, but does that work on tablets? We do aim to be as inclusive as possible in achieving the goals we set ourselves, but I am not sure that the synchronous webinar field is yet sufficiently advanced for mobile accessibility to be straightforward. So we’re faced with a choice, I believe, between doing webinars and compromising a bit on accessibility or prioritising accessibility to the point of simply not doing webinars. We opted for the former this time.

    As I say, I am not an expert on this, so I’m open to being corrected.

    all the best, David

  3. Belinda (Uni. Northampton) says:

    Hi David. Thank you for such a helpful reply. 🙂

  4. LauraMcLoughlin says:

    I am trying to join the webinar but keep getting this message: Maren Deepwell[followed by digits] is already in the conference.
    I used Collaborate before and nver seen this. Can you help?

  5. LauraMcLoughlin says:

    Sorry, disregard my previous post. Just realised it’s too early! 🙂

  6. Alice Shepherd says:

    Week 2 webinar recording

    I have been trying to access the recording as I could not attend live. However, on launching BB Collaborate, I get an error message ‘audio system error – cannot connect to speaker but will keep trying’. I accessed the week 0 recording with no problems, so I don’t think this issue is at my end. Any help gratefully received.

  7. David Jennings says:

    Hi Alice, Sorry you’re having problems with this recording. It is possible there was a temporary server issue that stopped the audio streaming properly. However, I am able to listen to it OK now. Please could you try again? If you’re still experiencing problems, please could you confirm that other audio is working on your system? Thanks, David

    • Alice Shepherd says:

      Thanks David – I’ve tried it this morning on another PC and it seems to be working fine. Think it must just have been a temporary failure.

  8. I am not able to access the webinar recordings. When I click through the link to collaborate, I enter my name then I get a page which tells me that the webinar has passed and a box below indicates that access to the recording is restricted.

    • David Jennings says:

      Hi Uzma, that’s odd – when accessing the recordings you shouldn’t be asked for your name, you should go straight to the recording. Please could you specify the exact link that you’re following?

  9. UzmaTufail-Hanif says:

    Thanks David..I managed to find the correct link 🙂

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