A virtual classroom allows digital activity to be conducted with students. Participants can be in the same classroom, each connected via their own device, or at distance – locally or internationally. At the University of Northampton, we provide and support Blackboard Collaborate as the tool of choice. This has a range of options , including:

  • video connection (one-to-one and many-to-many)
  • interactive whiteboard
  • display presentations and other documents
  • document annotation
  • instant massager chat
  • ‘hand up’ feature for questions
  • session recording

As Collaborate is integrated with NILE all staff and students can use their University credentials to login and access.


Classrooms can be accessed via a NILE module. If live, the session time should be clearly communicated to participants so they can join during the specified time.


While live, sessions can be recorded to be accessed by participants at a later date – on-demand. This is only to view the activity that occurred at the time – no further participation can be contributed.



See Blackboard’s guide to Collaborate.

Further reading

Collaborate Community

Enrol to the Blackboard Collaborate Community for full guidance.

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