Collaborate FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

From our recent webinar and online open hours we have collated the most frequently asked questions relating to using Collaborate Subject Rooms.


Do I need to be in a Collaborate Subject Room session or can students join without me?

Students can join sessions without a Moderator, however, to share content a Moderator must give them Presenter access. Lecturers can do this when setting up a session by using a guest link and allowing all guests to join as a Presenter or during a session Moderators can promote an attendee to Presenter.


Can I record on Collaborate if I'm the only one in the room?

Yes, you can if you are the Moderator. Ensure you inform students that you will be recording the session.

Can I pre-record a session?

Yes, however, rather than pre-recording in Collaborate use Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) instead. You can record slides and audio and share the video in your subject site.

How do I rename my recordings?

To rename recordings, click the three-dots-icon (…) next to 'Subject room' in your subject site. Choose view all recordings.

View all recordings

Filter to the recording required and click the more options three-dots-icon (…) to the far right of the recording.  Select edit name.

Edit name

Enter new name, scroll down and click the Save button.

Enter name and save


How can I allow students to present/share their screen?

As a Moderator you can go to the attendee panel and click on attendee options to promote the attendee to presenter which will give them share screen/application permissions.

How do I present myself doing math equations online by hand?

You could link to a video or share an application. It depends on the complexity of the maths equation as to what program/tool you use.  You could also use a stylus and whiteboard tools.  NB. This would need to be tested in each individual application by the Moderator to confirm.

Annotation while sharing files/whiteboard is automatically on. You can turn off the annotation tool for students in case they don't want them to use the feature. This setting can be changed during a session.

The Learning and Teaching team are currently looking at a product called Doceri we will update everyone on this tool once we have finalised a few things.

What can we use to annotate?

When sharing a file or whiteboard, the pointer, pencil, shape, text and eraser tools are available to annotate.

Does Collaborate have a highlighter tool?

No, Collaborate does not currently have a highlighter.

Can we also share video files in Collaborate or only images, PowerPoint and PDF?

We do not recommend sharing videos via Collaborate application share but it is possible. You can use Chrome to share audio and video however the frame-rate may become distorted due to bandwidth. Video links can be provided in the chat for students to watch. You also need to be mindful of copyright implications.


What are the browser permissions required when participating in a session?

You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. This step is necessary so that you are seen and heard.

Browser specific help on allowing your microphone to be used:

Operating system specific help for microphone and webcam permissions:

Do we need to use a headset?

Headsets are still preferred as they do the best job of making sure the microphone is optimally placed for you to be heard, as well as blocking out background noises.

If I mute participants can they unmute themselves?

Yes, participants are able to unmute themselves.

Can I turn off a student's video the way I can their microphone?

No, the student will need to be asked to turn off their video.

How do I use my phone for audio?

Both moderators and participants can use the telephony feature to communicate with other users.

Can participants use WhatsApp for audio?

No, apps such as WhatsApp are not compatible.

Can participants join Collaborate via Zoom?

No, participants cannot join via Zoom.

Does Collaborate have mobile support?

iOS users may use Safari 11+. Android users can use Google Chrome.


Name of recurring session hidden from students?

Please be aware that there is a known issue with recurring sessions.

Students are unable to access session link to join after first session. The name of a recurring session does not appear under 'Join Session' in the subject site after the first day of the session.
Lecturers must either use non-recurring sessions or create a session link in the Course Content area.

How many Collaborate sessions can I create?

The number of sessions within a subject site is unlimited and the system is presently quite stable.

What status do I give my tutor if they're monitoring the session chat?

Participants have access to the chat so there is no need to change the tutor’s status to allow them to moderate the chat. However, if the tutor is required to monitor private chats, their status will need to be promoted to ‘Moderator’.

What if I only want one person to respond at a time?

You can advise students to raise their hand and nominate who goes first. Ensure you advise students of how the session will run before you get started.

How do I combine two classes in one Collaborate session?

The students from one site would need to be provided with the guest link to the session in the other site.

Is there a pre-made welcome slide for Collaborate?

Yes there are a couple to choose from.

Can I get an attendance report?

Yes you can. Also, if you have switched the Attendance Roll on in your subject site this report will automatically populate through.


How does the polling feature work?

Use polls to give your attendees opportunities to participate and provide feedback.

Can you pre-prepare poll questions and deploy them in a session?

We recommend preparing poll information on a slide prior to the session and then using a number or letter to represent the choices. This will make it quicker to create the poll.

Does Collaborate save poll results?

No, polls can only be saved in screen recordings or by taking a screenshot on your PC at the time.


Is there a way to run the chat by thread?

No, chats cannot be run by thread.

Will I lose chat history if I close and reopen a session (due to bad connection)?

Yes you will lose chat history as it only shows you the chat messages from the time you join.

Can students chat privately to one another during the session?

By default yes, however you can adjust the settings when you create a session. When you create a session, open Session Settings and under Private Chat check 'Participants can only chat privately with moderators'.

Private chat settings


Is there a direct email or phone number I can give students for assistance in Collaborate?

If students are having trouble with Collaborate during your session you can direct them to Collaborate Troubleshooting and announce recording of the session so they do not miss out. Remember to let everyone know before recording, go over the Collaborate Protocols for advice on what to say when recording.

You can also 'Report an Issue' while in your Collaborate session.Report an issue

Can I make recordings downloadable for students?

Yes, as long as you set it up in the session settings before it has been recorded.

How secure are Collaborate recordings?

Links to recorded Collaborate sessions can be shared out to people outside of JCU, anyone who has the link can access them.

If you are sharing sensitive information but need to capture student participation, you can record in Collaborate, download the recording, upload it into Mediasite and then add the video using the 'Content Market' feature in LearnJCU subjects.

Breakout Groups

How do I use breakout groups?

To facilitate small group collaboration, you can create breakout groups that are separate from the main room and assign attendees to the groups.

Can I talk to students in breakout groups?

After breakout groups are started you can move between groups to monitor the students. If you assign yourself to a group, you see and hear what they are doing in their group. This includes any shared content, audio, video, and chat.

Can everyone see who is in the group for a breakout?

Yes all members of the group can see who the other group participants are while in the group.

Can breakout groups be recorded?

No they can't. What is said or viewed in a breakout room isn't captured in recordings. Also, Collaborate recordings stop in the main session if all attendees leave the main room to join breakout groups.

Can I load documents in a breakout group?

Yes, you can share files with one or more breakout group.

Is the main screen visible in breakout groups?

No, the main screen is not visible in a breakout group.

Can you set a time to end the breakout sessions?

Not currently, as the timer feature has been removed.

Can the participants share when in breakout groups?

Yes, breakout groups are designed for group collaboration. Every attendee in the group is a Presenter. This means that all attendees can share the whiteboard, files, and applications with the rest of their group.

How many breakout groups can I have in one session?

You can create up to 20 groups. Breakout groups are only available in sessions with 250 or fewer attendees. There is no limit to the number of attendees you can put in each group. However, we recommend spreading attendees evenly over your groups.

Creating Sessions

How do I set up different rooms to meet in?

Click the three-dots-icon (…) next to Subject Room and go to View all sessions, select Create sessions to create new sessions and set up accordingly.

Go to view all sessions

How do I create session rooms to divide students up into groups?

There are different ways you can set up group sessions, including breakout groups, multiple sessions and with the course group tool.

Can I import a session link into my Subject Content?

You can place the guest link into content area in LearnJCU for students to access. Please note that in this case the name of the participant is not passed through from the subject, therefore compromising attendance reporting.

What is the maximum number of students I can have in one session?

Maximum participants is usually 250, however, there is a setting that can be ticked to allow for a large scale session over 250.