Getting started with a Collaborate Ultra Session

Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join a session.

In this tutorial you will learn how to  create a Collaborate session.

It will then open the Collaborate Ultra portal

By default a Course room is already created. The course room is an open session dedicated to your course. This makes it easier for you to use Collaborate with the Ultra experience in your courses. It also provides you and your students a convenient launch point for classes or impromptu meetings.

From the options menu, select Join Course Room.

You can also adjust Session Settings from the options menu.  

You can use this Course Room throughout the semester.  If you want to set up specific times for a session (e.g. Office Hours) or if you want different settings for a session, you can Create a New Session (see next step).

Creating a New Session

To create a session, click the Create Session button on the left.

A new panel will open along the right side of your screen, where you can edit your session settings.  Start by entering a Session Name

Guest Access

After entering the session title, you can set up Guest Access for the session:

  1. Check the checkbox to enable guest access. ( This would be used if you needed to give someone who does not have access to Blackboard)
  2. Use the dropdown menu to select the default role for guests (the role that individuals would have when they enter the session). The available roles are Participant, Moderator and Presenter. For more information about these various roles, please see the Blackboards Session Roles help guide.
  3. Click the Copy button to the right of the Guest Link URL to copy the URL to the clipboard.

Event Details

  • Select a start and end date for the session.
  • If you would like it open at all time check the "No end(open session)" box
  • If you would like to create multiple weekly sessions at once, rather than create them individually click the "Repeat Session" box
  • Select how many minutes prior to the start of session that participants are allowed to enter.
  • Optional: You may enter a description of the session that will appear in Blackboard for students.

Session Settings

  • Default Participant Role: Select the default role you want participants to have upon entering the session.
  • Recordings: Check the Allow Recording Downloads box if you want students to be able to download recordings from Blackboard to their devices. If this box is not checked, students will be able to stream any recordings that are available. To anonymize student names in the chat, check the box labeled Anonymize Chat Recordings. 
  • Moderator Permissions: Checking this box prevents participants from seeing each other's profile pictures.
  • The Participants Can category is where you can enable/disable permissions that participants have. These can also be altered within the session itself. The options include sharing audio and/or video, chatting, and drawing on whiteboard and files.
  • Enable Session Telephony: By default, this box is checked, so that participants can participate using a telephone. This is helpful for participants who may not have a microphone or may have technical issues with their microphone. Please note that telephone charges may occur as this is not a toll free number.
  • Private Chat:  If you do not want students to chat with each other you can check the option labeled Participants can only chat privately with moderators. If you do allow private chat, you can monitor those private chats by checking the Moderators supervise all private chats option.

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