Blackboard Collaborate is an always on real-time online meeting tool available in all Blackboard courses. It lets you share your audio and video, add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate Ultra opens right in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join or manage a session.
All major browsers now are now supported - Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. Chrome offers additional screen sharing and video playback options. Collaborate also works well on tablets and phones. On iOS devices, Safari is required. On Android devices, Chrome is required. See Blackboard's information on recommended browsers.
How to Get Started
In your Blackboard course menu, click Tools and then Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Click Join Room to begin.
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Please share our student guide to Collaborate Ultra with your students.
Instructors can view a list of all attendees of a Collaborate session. After a sessions, in the Collaborate tool in your Blackboard course, find the session (you may need to change "All Upcoming Sessions" to "All Previous Sessions" and click the menu arrow next to the session. Choose "View reports." For an ongoing session like a Course Room, each time there is a distinctive meeting there will be a different attendance report.
Start a recording once you join the session. Click the black tab at the top right of a session to find the Record link. You must start the recording - it does not record automatically. The recording stops when you click stop or everyone leaves the session.
A separate recording is created each time you start and stop recording during sessions. The recordings live in your Blackboard Course or Organization, in the Collaborate Ultra tool—click the Menu button and change to Recordings.
- If you don't see your recordings, change Show Recent Recordings to Show Recordings in a Range.
- In order to allow recordings to be downloaded, go back to the session settings and check the Allow Recording Downloads option.
- Recordings are in mp4 format and can take up to one hour to display in Blackboard after the recording ends.
- Chat from the sessions is available by clicking the purple tab at the bottom right of the recording.
- Instructors can change the name of the recording by clicking the options icon to the far right of the recording name.
Use the guest access link to allow anyone (no login/Mason NetID required) to attend your session. Instructors may wish to use guest access to allow students from multiple sections/courses to meet online in one room.
Next to the course room or a scheduled session, click the more button and then choose either Get guest link or Edit settings to view and copy the guest link. Choose if guests will be participants or have a role with additional privileges. Send users the guest link via email or post in Blackboard.
The guest access link is an easy way to access sessions via the Blackboard Student app.
Group Work/Student Rooms
Faculty often wish to give students access to a Collaborate room in which the students have full access to share content. This is now a feature in Blackboard's group tool. In a course, go to Control Panel > Users and Groups > Groups. Each group will have access to a Collaborate room.
If you want to give the students the ability to record, change that option under Tool Availability when setting up the group. Recordings are only visible to students in the group and the instructor. Students cannot get a link to, download, or re-name the recording; however instructors can view the recording via the group's Collaborate page and can get a guest link to share with the rest of the class if needed (see above).
Mobile access to Collaborate Ultra works via the Safari browser in iOS, and the Chrome browser for Android devices. Click a Collaborate link in a Blackboard course or a provided guest link to join the session.