Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Your instructor can choose to host live sessions online using the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra activity, allowing you, your peers and the instructor to interact within the session.


Setting Up Your Computer

Note: Google Chrome is the recommended web browser for the best experience. Some features may not work with other browsers. 

In your first session, you will be asked by to provide permissions to use your device's audio and video to participate in your Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session.

Alternatively, you can choose to skip your audio and video setup by clicking No on the banner.

You can setup your microphone and camera later in the Settings tab of the Collaborate Panel in the bottom right corner of the session screen. 

Entering a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Session

  1. Click the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra activity in your course home page.

  1. Select the session that your instructor has set up.

  1. Wait for the session to load, and you will automatically join the session.

Interacting with the Session

There are a number of ways in which you can interact with the instructor and your peers whilst in a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session.

Media Space Tools

The media space is where your instructor displays session content. There are several tools at the bottom of the screen that you can use:

Note: Some of these tools can be disabled by your instructor

Set your status as Away to inform others that you’ve stepped away. You can also give real-time feedback during a session to react to the content being presented. 

Toggle your microphone on/off.
Toggle your video on/off.
Raise your hand. This lets others know that you have a question.

Collaboration Panel Tools

These tools are found in the Collaboration Panel, by opening the menu from the bottom-right corner of the screen.


Allows you to communicate via text with other participants in the session.

Shows other participants in the session. You may choose to leave the Participants panel open during the session. This can be done in two ways:

  • Open the Collaborate panel and drag-and-drop the Participants icon to the main stage.
  • Open the Collaborate panel and select Participants. Select More options at the top of the panel. Select Detach Panel.

You can close the panel by selecting Merge panel from the More Options link, or by simply dragging and dropping the Participants panel back to the Collaborate panel.

Allows you to view content moderators and presenters have shared with the session.
Change audio/video settings, or notification options.

 During the session, your instructor can use a variety of teaching tools:

  • Whiteboard: Your instructor can use a whiteboard to illustrate certain ideas that are discussed
  • Shared Application: Your instructor can share programs running on their computer for you to see.
  • File Sharing: You can see files that your instructor has shared with the session. To share files as a student, your instructor must first change your role to either 'moderator' or 'presenter'.
  • Polling: Your instructor can ask you to provide your input through a poll during the session.



Download Session Recordings

Your instructor may choose to record the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions, however recordings are only available after the session is complete.

To access recordings, enter the Recordings list from the side menu of the Sessions page. You can download the recording by clicking the download button.

Accessing Sessions On Mobile

You can access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra activities on your smartphone using either the Blackboard App, or a compatible web browser.

To access via app, download Blackboard from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store accordingly:


Accessing sessions with your phone:

  1. On your phone browser, navigate to the URL provided by your instructor for the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session. This can be done by clicking the link directly, or copy and pasting it into your phone browser.

  2. The following page should appear. Click the app on the left to join the session using the Blackboard app. If you would like to join using the app, continue to step 4. 

  3. If you don't have the app and would like to join using the browser, the following page should appear. Click Join from a browser.

  4. Type in your name for others to identify you.

  5. To leave the session, tap the leave icon on the upper left corner.

Breakout Groups

The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Breakout Groups allow participants to engage in groups separate from the main room. Participants in the group can chat, share files, collaborate on the whiteboard and video call privately from the main group. Note: Breakout group interactions aren't captured in session recordings.

Breakout groups are designed for group collaboration independent from the main group. Participants can privately share files, video call within their own group. Note: Content shared in a breakout group is not available when breakout groups end.

Share Content within your Breakout group

When in a breakout room you can share content with the other participants in the group

1. Click the Share Content button

2. Select the type of content you want to share i.e Whiteboard or files

3. Confirm by clicking "Share"


Switching Breakout Groups

Instructors can activate a setting which allows participants to manually switch between groups, to do this:

1. Click the arrow icon next to the group you want to join

2. Click "Join Group"


Using chat within Breakout Groups

You can choose to chat with the people in your group or to everyone in the session, to do this:

1. Click the chat bubble icon at the bottom of the screen

2. Select the group you want to chat with by selecting an option from the drop down list