Entering a Session
To enter a Collaborate Ultra Session, simply click on the name (link) for an active session. If you created the session, if you are the instructor who created the session, then you will automatically enter the session as a Moderator.
Moderator Interface Main Screen
Starting with the icons at the top of the page, from left to right:
- Open Session Menu: Click on this button to start recording, switch between telephony and computer audio, report an issue to Blackboard, access Blackboard Collaborate Help and tutorials, and to leave the session.
- Content Display: Video, whiteboards, and shared files will appear here.
- My Settings: Clicking this icon will bring up the My Setting pop-over window which allows you to add a photo, set up and change your audio and video settings, generate a phone number for telephone audio, change your notification settings, and change your session settings. Clicking on the check icon will allow you to change your status or send feedback to the room.
- Share Audio: Clicking this icon will toggle your microphone off and on.
- Share Video: Clicking this icon will toggle your video off and on.
- Raise Hand: Clicking this icon will alternately "raise" or "lower" your hand, a raised hand. Just as in a face-to-face classroom, you can use this to indicate that you have a question or want to answer a question.
- Collaborate Panel: Clicking this icon opens the Collaborate Panel, where you can access the Chat, Participant List, Share Content, and My Settings menus.
Now that we've looked at the function of each of the interface icons, let's examine how use some of them in more detail.
Here is a description of the options available in the Session Menu. These options will be covered in more detail in individual guides.
- Close: Click the X button to close the menu and return to the session.
- Start Recording: Click this option to start session recording.
- Use your phone for audio: Click this option to switch audio modes.
- Report an Issue: Click this option to submit a report to Blackboard if you encounter problems during the session.
- Tell me about Collaborate: Click this option to view a short tutorial on the Blackboard Collaborate interface.
- Blackboard Collaborate Help: Click this link to access Blackboard's help resources.
- Leave Session: Click this option to exit the session. You can reenter the session as long as the session is live.
The Collaborate Panel allows you to manage the session interactivity:
- Chat: Click the Chat button to open the Chat window.
- Participants List: Click this button to view the Participants List.
- Share Content: Click this button to share content with participants.
- My Settings: Click this button to change your session settings.
- Close: Click the X button to close the Collaborate Panel.
If you are using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in your courses, you might want to share this page with your students, as it provides detailed navigation guides on how to access Collaborate Ultra, participate and troubleshoot common issues.
Changing a Participant's Role or Dismissing Participants
This guide will demonstrate how to change a participant's role in a Blackboard Collaborate session, as well as how to dismiss a participant. For more details about each role, please refer to the guide on Session Roles.
Accessing the Collaborate Panel
To change a participant's role, or to dismiss a participant, you will need to open the Collaborate Panel. To open the Collaborate Panel, click on the purple button in the bottom right corner.
Changing or Dismissing a Participant, Part 1
Changing or Dismissing a Participant
- Make moderator: Select this option to make the participant a moderator.
- Make presenter: Select this option to make the participant a presenter.
- Make captioner: Select this option to make the participant a captioner.
- Remove from session: Select this option to dismiss the participant from the current session.
Detaching the Participants List
Blackboard Collaborate allows for the Participants List panel to be detached from the Collaborate Panel, so the Participants List is always visible in the Collaborate environment.
Detaching the Participants List
Merging Panel back into the Collaborate PanelZoom: Image of the Collaborate Panel shown as a separate panel on the Collaborate screen with the following items indicated: 1.Click on the Options Menu button at the top of the Participants List2.Select Merge Panel from the menu.
To merge the panel back into the main Collaborate Panel:
- Click on the Options Menu button at the top of the Participants List
- Select Merge Panel from the menu.
The Participants List will now appear in the Collaborate Panel.
Using the Chat
This guide will demonstrate how to use the chat tool to interact with participants.
Accessing the Collaborate Panel
To chat with session participants, you would need to open the Collaborate Panel. To open the Collaborate Panel, click on the purple button in the bottom right corner, and then click on the Chat button (indicated by the chat bubble icon) to initiate a chat.
Using the Chat
After opening the Chat window, you will now see a screen similar to the one above, with a search bar and available chat rooms:
- Find someone to chat with: Type a name in the search box to search for participants to send private chats.
- Everyone: Select this option to open a chat room in which messages are visible to all participants in the current session.
- Moderators: Select this option to open a chat room with other moderator users.
- Users: Individual users who have sent private chat messages will appear here.
You will also see a preview of the last message sent here.
Sending a Chat Message
After opening a chat room, you will see a screen similar to the one above. Previous messages will appear on the top, while messages can be composed using the text entry field at the bottom.
Recording a Session
You can easily record a Session Blackboard Collaborate Ultra so that participants can review the Session at a later time or it can be viewed by someone who was unable to attend the Session.
Only those with moderator access can turn on recordings in sessions; those with participant or presenter session roles cannot. Anyone in the course can access the recordings with an unlimited number of views.
To start recording a Session, click on the Session Menu button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Starting Recording, Part 2
After opening the Session Menu, click on the Start Recording link to begin recording.
To stop recording a Session, open the Session Menu again, and select Stop Recording from the menu.
Viewing a Recording
To view a Collaborate Ultra recording, go to the your Collaborate link in Blackboard and click on it--this will take you to the Blackboard Collaborate screen--this is the same scree where your Session are listed.
- Click on the Menu button to open the menu
- Click on Recording in the left-hand menu.
- Click on the View Recording link in the list of recordings that are available.
If you do not see your recordings, click on Filter By and Select Recordings in a Range and enter a date range to see your recordings.
This guide will demonstrate how to share audio to participants in a Blackboard Collaborate session. For the best audio experience, we recommend working individually in a quiet environment with a headset microphone. If you are experiencing problems with your audio, you can switch to your telephone to listen to the session audio, or you can adjust your audio and video settings to select the correct input and adjust volume levels..
Sharing Audio, Part 1
Once you are in a Collaborate session, click the Share Audio Button (microphone icon) to share your audio.
Sharing Audio, Part 2
After clicking the Share Audio button, the button will turn green, and the bar in the microphone represents your speaking volume level. When you are finished, click the Share Audio button again to mute your audio.
This guide will demonstrate how to share video using Blackboard Collaborate. If you experience issues, you can change your audio and video settings to select the proper input. Note: Some integrated webcams have a slider that covers the camera. If you are not getting video, check to see if the webcam cover is open. Blackboard Collaborate allows up to five simultaneous cameras.
Sharing Video, Part 1
To start sharing video, click on the Share Video button at the bottom of the screen.
Sharing Video, Part 2
Sharing Video, Part 3
Your video will now appear as a thumbnail in the bottom left corner of the screen, while participants' video will appear in the center of the screen. When you are finished, click the Share Video button to stop sharing your video.
Editing Audio/Video Settings
This guide will demonstrate how to change the audio and video settings within a Blackboard Collaborate session.
Accessing the Collaborate Panel
To change the Audio and Video settings in Collaborate, you will need to open the Collaborate Panel. To open the Collaborate Panel, click on the purple button in the bottom right corner.
Accessing the Audio and Video Settings
Modifying Audio and Video Settings
- Set up your camera and microphone: Select this option to set up or change your cameras and microphones.
- Use your phone for audio: Click this option to generate a telephone number and PIN to listen to the session audio using your telephone.
- Speaker Volume: Use the slider to adjust your speaker volume.
- Microphone Volume: Use the slider to adjust your microphone
Setting up your Microphone
The steps below will explain how to select and set up your microphone for Blackboard Collaborate:
- The purple bar represents the volume level of the currently selected microphone as you speak.
- Use the dropdown menu to select the available microphones.
- If the purple bar is not moving when you speak, click the No - I need help button for support assistance.
- If the microphone is working, click the Yes - It's working button to proceed to the next step.
Setting up your Webcam
The steps below will explain how to select and set up your webcam for Blackboard Collaborate:
- A preview of your video feed will appear here.
- Use the dropdown menu to choose from available webcams.
- If you are having problems, click the No - I need help button.
- If everything is working, click the Yes - It's working button to return to the session.
Setting your Status and Sending Feedback
Blackboard Collaborate allows participants in the room to send feedback to other participants in the room. The feedback is shown to other users for 30 seconds on avatar thumbnails in the main collaboration window, as well as in the Participants list. In addition, users can indicate themselves as being either present or away.
Sending your Status
To send your status to participants, click on the green checkmark that appears on the My Settings button.
Selecting a Status
You would then be able to select from the available statuses shown in the image above:
- Away: Use this option to indicate that you have stepped away from the room.
- Leave Session: Use this option to leave the session. You will need to log back in to rejoin the session.
Participants' statuses can be viewed in their thumbnail on the main screen for 30 seconds or can be viewed from the Participants List.
Enabling Microphone and Camera Use in Web Browsers
If your webcam or microphone is blocked or disabled by your web browser, you will need to enable those tools in order to use Blackboard Collaborate. This guide will detail how to enable these tools in your web browser.
If you are using a computer that you do not have administrative rights to, you may need to check with whomever manages your computer to change the web browser settings.