Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Guide for Staff

Collaborate have put together a video to show you Blackboad Collaborate with Ultra in action


  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra gives you one Collaboate Room  for each of your courses. This is essentially a virtual classroom and can be thought of in the same way as a lecture theatre or classroom. The room lasts for the life of the course. To open the room for your course, go into your course in Blackboard and under the Course Management menu heading, under the Control Panel menu on the left, go to Course Tools > Blackboad Collaborate > Join Room
  • Within each Room you will have Sessions. This can be thought of as the individual class or lecture. A session happens within a room.


Editing the Room

Underneath the Join Room button, there is an Edit Room option. Click this option to make changes to the settings of the Room and how it looks


  • By default, the Room name is the same as the course. However, you are able to change this
  • When in a session, give your students ‘full participant permissions’. When this is on, participants can use their audio and video. They can chat and and they can edit a shared whiteboard or file.


  • Set guest access. When this is on, anyone outside of the course can join the session. You can send the copy of the guest link to you students, or other guests. You can also decide if your guests join as participants, presenters, or moderators by default.
  • Decide if you want everyone who joins the session to be moderator by default. You can also make specific users moderators.
  • Restrict access to the room to a specific list of users.


  • You can then add the ‘Link to the course’. When you do this, you have other options such as date restrictions.
  • Use Display After to choose when you want to make the link available to you students. Select when you want the session to start.
  • Use Display Until to choose when you want to make the link unavailable. Select when you want the seesion to end


  • Set Reminders. Use the course calendar to set reminders for sessions in the room with your class. Help your students find and prepare for the session. In the calendar item, give a detailed description, including instructions on how to find the room.
  • Students can join the room from Tools in the Course menu. They can also join from any Collaborate links you’ve added to a course.

Audio and Video Set Up

When you are in the session, go to your avatar icon then click My Settings


You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. This is necessary so that you are seen and heard. You can set up audio and video at any time in My Settings. Point to your avatar to open My Settings.

Adjust your speaker and microphone volume. By default, you are hidden and muted after you complete the setup.

Click the microphone and camera icons to begin full meeting participation.

  • With your keyboard, press Alt + M to turn your microphone on/off
  • Press Alt + C to turn your camera on/off



Add a Profile Picture

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 2.06.30 pm

In My Settings you can add an image to your profile picture. Point to the avatar image icon to change the picture.


Give a face to your voice and add a profile picture in My Settings. Point to the avatar image to change the picture.

Upload any image or use your device camera to take a photo. You can choose to use this profile picture for every session. Adjust the image area and click ‘I like it’ to save the profile picture.


Session Settings

Decide who can do what in your sessions

  • Allow recording downloads from the Recordings page as well as on the recording play back page.
  • Show the profile pictures of moderators only.
  • Allow participants to use audio, video, chat, and the whiteboard editing tools.
  • Allow users to join the session using a telephone for their audio.



Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.09.59 pm

Content that you share is automatically the main focus of your screen. The picture-in-picture shows you who is speaking. If you’re not sharing content, the focus is on participant profiles and video. You can switch between a grid view and a view that follows the speaker. With the follow-the-speaker view, the focus moves to the current speaker as the discussion unfolds.

Collaborate Ultra switches to follow-the-speaker view automatically when there are more than five participants.


Programme Tools



Chat with participants. Click Open Chat.


View the list of participants on the panel. Click Open Participants list.

My Settings

Add a profile image, set up your audio and video, set your notifications, and get help. Point to your avatar image to open My Settings.

Audio and Video

Turn your audio and video on. Lines through the microphone and camera icons mean that they are turned off. Click Share Audio and Share Video to turn them on.

  • With your keyboard, press Alt + M to turn your microphone on/off
  • Press Alt + C to turn your camera on/off

Share Content

You can share a blank whiteboard, an application, PDFs, Powerpoint presentations, and images in GIF, JPEG and PNG formats. Click Share Content.

Hand Raise

Raise your hand to answer a question or get another moderator’s attention. Click Raise Hand. With your keyboard, press Alt + H.


Show yourself as away. Point to the green checkmark by your avatar image and select Set As Away. Click I’m back! when you return.

Session Settings

Decide what others can do in your session. Click More Tools and select Session Settings.

Record Sessions

Click More Tools and select Start Recording


Change the focus of your screen. If shared content is on your main screen, switch to watching the speaker. Click the picture-in-picture to bring the content to your main screen.

Grid view and Speaker view

Switch between viewing multiple participants and making the activite speaker bigger.

Leader Session

Exit the session and complete a qick survey to tell us about your experience.


Content Tools

When you share a blank whiteboard or files, you are given tools you can use to edit during the live session. You can also decide if you want to give your participants the same tools in Session Settings.



Use the arrow to select an object on the whiteboard. After you select it, you can resize, move, and delete it.


Use the hand to point to different areas of the visible slide. Participants see wherever you are pointing on the slide.


Use the pencil to draw free hand on the slide.


Use the square tool to draw a rectangle, ellipse, or a straight line.


Type text on the slide with the “T”.


Use the eraser to undo everything you or another moderator has added to the slide with one click.


Go back a slide.

With your keyboard, press Alt + Page Down to move back a slide. On a Mac, press Alt + Fn + Down Arrow.

PowerPoint  Name

Open the slide navigator panel.


Move ahead a slide

With your keyboard, press Alt + Page Up to move to the next slide. On a Mac, press Alt + Fn + Up Arrow.

Stop Sharing

Stop sharing content

Zoom In

Make the content bigger. Move the content around to see everything.

Zoom Out

Make the content smaller.

Best Fit

Content adjusts to be completely viewable in the available area. It displays as large as large as possible while keeping the aspect ratio intact.

Actual Size

Return the image to the original size.

Show/Hide View Controls

Show or hide your zoom, fit, and size controls.


Share Files

To share files between computers. Under the heading Share Content, select Share Files.


  • Upload GIF, JPEG and PNG images, PDF files, or PowerPoint presentations of 60MB or lower to your session.
  • Select Add Files or drag a file into the box to upload it. Click Share Now when you’re ready for students to see the file.
  • You can choose to allow participants to mark up your shared file during a session in Shared Settings

Share Application

  • To share an application, select Share Content > Share Application
  • Share your desktop or software application to teach students about a particular topic. Whenever you move through the application or desktop, your students automatically follow along.
  • Application sharing is not currently supported for mobile applications in Blackboard Collaborate. If you are using a remote device, you can share files and a blank whiteboard with your participants. You cannot share an application.


Share Whiteboard



  • To share your whiteboard select Share Content > Share Blank Whiteboard
  • Collaborate with your students using the whiteboard. Open a blank whiteboard to draw or just jot down notes.
  • You can decide in Session Settings if participants can use the whiteboard and tools along with you during a session.


What about PowerPoint Slides?


  • Select Share Files when using PowerPoint presentations of 60MB or lower. This gives you and your participants the best experience.
  • Upload your PowerPoint and click Share Now. A slide navigator panel opens showing you all of your slides. Select a slide to start sharing it. Click the presentation name to open the slide navigator panel again at any time.
  • Use Share Application, if your presentation has animations. Choose Entire Screen or make sure your presentation is in Present mode before sharing it as an application.


Blackboard Collaborate for Students

Blackboard Collaborate is included in Blackboard Student for iOS and Android devices. Moderators need to use Collaborate Ultra in order for participants to collaborate in Blackboard Student. Collaborate Original is not supported. More on using Collaborate in Blackboard Student.


Meet with up to 100 Participants

You are able to host Collaborate sessions with up to 100 participants! You can now use Ultra for larger class sizes. Updating the version of Collaborate you use from Classic to Ultra will allow for this.


Private Chat with other Moderators

ChatModerators can now chat with each other in a private chat channel while in session. Collaborate makes it really easy to switch between chatting with moderators and chatting with everyone in the session. More on chat for moderators.






Make sure under the Course Tools in the Control Panel menu, you have the options as below:



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