Knowledge Base

Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a video conference tool that is built directly into your Blackboard course shell. Collaborate Ultra allows instructors and students to connect with one another on a shared video conference, which makes it an excellent option for online office hours or remote meetings. To get started with Collaborate Ultra, follow the steps below.

Part 1: Adding a Collaborate link to your course

First, you will need to give students a simple way to access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. One way to do this is by adding a Collaborate Ultra tool link to your course’s left-hand navigation bar.

  1. Click the + icon at the top of the left-hand navigation bar, and select Tool Link from the drop-down menu that appears:
    Screen Capture of the left-hand course navigation, highlighting the + icon
  2. Give the link a name, then choose Blackboard Collaborate Ultra from the “Type” drop-down menu
  3. Click the check-box to make the link available to users
  4. Click Submit to finalize the link:
    Screen capture of the "Add Tool Link" menu

Part 2a: Opening your course’s Collaborate Room

By default, your course has a “Collaborate Room” where you can quickly and easily connect with your students remotely. The instructions below detail how to open your course’s Collaborate Room for on-the-fly meetings.

  1. From the left-hand navigation bar, click on your course’s Blackboard Collaborate Ultra link to arrive at the Collaborate home page
  2. A Course Room should appear at the top of the page; by default, this course room is unlocked to users
  3. Click on the […] icon to the right of the Course Room.
  4. Select Join Course Room from the options that appear

Part 2b: Creating a scheduled session

Creating a session will allow you to control when the Collaborate room can be accessed. Follow the steps below to set up a session within your course:

  1. From the left-hand navigation bar, click on your course’s Blackboard Collaborate Ultra link to arrive at the Collaborate home page
  2. Click Create Session either using the button on the top-left or by clicking the button on the center of the screen:

    Screen capture of the Blackboard Collaborate page's "Create Session" buttons

  3. In the window that appears, Name your session, then set your availability using the Start and End dates/times

  4. If you would like to grant students the option of entering the room early, choose a time frame from the drop-down menu
  5. If needed, provide a Description for the session
  6. To create additional limits around participant roles, click on Session Settings to expand the menu
  7. Click Save to finalize the session
  8. To enter the session once it becomes available, click on the session’s name, then click Join Session

Part 3: Navigating Collaborate

  1. After clicking Join Session button on the Collaborate Ultra home page, you will be added to the course room
  2. Inside the course room, you can access conferencing tools in two ways:
    a. Expand the Session Menu in the top-left for technical assistance and recording settings
    b. Expand the Collaborate Panel in the bottom-right to access tools like live chat, file sharing, or audio settings:

    Screen capture of the Session Menu and Collaborate Panel locations

  3. To turn on video and audio, click on the camera and microphone icons at the bottom of the page:

    Screen capture of the Collaborate Room's microphone and camera buttons

  4. Once the session is complete, exit the course room by closing the browser tab or clicking Session Menu > Leave Session

For more information on using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra within your courses, please contact the LeBow Instructional Tech Services team.