Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Web Conferencing (How-to)

What is Blackboard Collaborate Ultra?

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is an online synchronous application for moderating classes, meetings, or other group collaborations where participants can share whiteboards and screens, chat by voice or text, and engage in other ways like taking polls and answering questions. Video and audio capabilities are also available.

Best Practices When using Web Conferencing

Best Practices for Moderators 

Best Practices for Participants

By following these best practices, you will increase the success of your conferences for both you and your participants. 

Introductory video covering best practices for distance learning

Getting Started in Two Steps


How will you use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra?

  • Classroom Facilitation or Lecture Capture: Without the constraints of a physical space, your classroom web conferencing activities can hold many people who are interested in attending. You can also co-facilitate with a colleague from another institution, invite guests, take polls and surveys, moderate discussions in smaller breakout chat rooms, and share a recording of your presentation later with attendees or those who were not able to attend.
  • Facilitate Meetings and/or Office Hours: Schedule meetings without worrying about travel arrangements or booking rooms. Take advantage of the interactive whiteboard to brainstorm and work out ideas, share documents, and enable the session recording to have an archive of your meeting. You can have a maximum of 6 video participants at the same time, in addition, there are unlimited attendees without video capabilities.

Setting Up the Web Conference

For best results, use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your web browser. Blackboard does not recommenced using Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. 

Setting up web conferencing depends on where you plan to use it.

If using inside of a Blackboard course:

  1. From within your Blackboard course, under the Control Panel click Course Tools.
  2. Select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
  3. Click the Course Room option at the top of the page.
    • Be aware that the course room will have default settings already applied. They can be altered if desired.
  4. If you would like to create sessions for specific uses or custom settings, click the Create Session button on top of the page.
  5. You are now on the Create Session form. Complete the form and click Save.

When you are ready to make the link available to your students:

  1. Add it to a Content Area by
    1. Go to the Content area in your course where you want the link available. 
    2. In the main frame of the screen, click the large Tools button, then More at the bottom of the menu. In the next column, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will add a link to the Collaborate Ultra tool in your content area. NOTE: Unfortunately we are not currently able to add individual sessions a this point without copying links for each session.
  2. Add it to the Menu by
    1. Using the "+" symbol at the top of the left menu and selecting "Add Tool Link".  Name it accordingly and choose the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool from the drop down list.

Additional Resources

Attendance Reporting from Collaborate Ultra

View Session Recordings

Can my students use the room without me?

Additional help with using Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate Ultra: Troubleshooting Audio/Video quality issues

How to share streaming and on computer video in a Collaborate session

For more information on using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, please see the links below.

Getting started as a Participant (Student role): Start with the basics and More information for participants

Getting started as a Moderator (Instructor role): Start with the basics and More information for moderators


User interface tour of Collaborate Ultra

If using outside of a Blackboard course:

  1. Please complete a Blackboard Consultation request for assistance.