Important Notice - BB IM Discontinued

As part of the myLesley update this January 2018, Blackboard IM will be discontinued by Lesley University. We recommend that faculty and students shift to other options such as Skype for Business and Collaborate Ultra. Collaborate Ultra is integrated into all myLesley courses and Skype for Business is available via your Lesley Office 365 account. Both tools have modern interfaces and mobile capabilities. 

After the upgrade, you may still continue to use your existing BB IM, but you will not be able to create new accounts and Lesley will no longer be supporting it. If you need assistance switching to Skype for Business or Collaborate Ultra, email

BB IM Overview 

Blackboard IM is an audio and video chat tool that also includes lightweight collaboration tools borrowed from web conferencing. 

BB IM Quick Start Guide 

The BB IM Quick Start Guide will guide you through the steps of setting up your BB IM account, downloading and installing the software and logging in for the first time. 

Intro to Chat and Group Chat 

Chat is the simplest form of communication in Blackboard IM and, in many cases, it is also the most effective. Also known as  instant messaging, Chat allows you to send a text message, which is received immediately, to any user currently logged in to Blackboard IM. The user can then reply to your message and you can have a conversation via a series of instant messages. See Chat for more information or download the Using Chat and Group Chat Quick Reference Guide

Using the Collaboration Tools 

The Collaboration window enables you to exchange information ideas with others. You can share

  • a whiteboard with drawings and presentations
  • a region of your screen (via the Screen Sharing feature)
  • websites (via the Web Tour feature)

Download the Introduction to the Collaboration Window Quick Reference Guide for a brief overview.

Intro to Audio and Video Chat 

Calling can be used to make online communication more fluid and natural. Calling differs from Chat in that you must call a user and wait for him or her to accept your invitation before your call can begin. You can also use Calling in combination with otherBlackboard IM features such as Chat, Collaboration, and Office Hours. See About Calling for more information or download the Using Audio & Video in Blackboard IM Quick Reference Guide.

Managing Contacts 

The Contacts tab is where you keep track of your friends, study groups and anyone else that you contact often. See Managing Contacts for more information or download the Managing Blackboard IM Contacts Quick Reference Guide.

Creating and Managing Office Hours (Faculty)

You can conduct online office hours using BB IM just as you would in your physical office on campus. You have access to all BB IM's tools for communication, collaboration and demonstration. See Creating and Managing Office Hours (Faculty) to get started.

Joining Office Hours (Students)
Anytime a user starts an Office Hours session, his or her status displays as Office Hours. You can join an Office Hours session similarly to how you would send the user an instant message, but instead of starting a new Chat, you enter the user's Office Hours session. See Joining Office Hours for more information.

Accessibility Guide 

Blackboard IM is fully keyboard-accessible and meets Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) standards used on Windows operating systems to support assistive technologies, including Freedom Scientific’s JAWS screen reader. See Accessibility for more information or download the Accessibility PDF