Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a web conferencing system connecting staff, students and external guests. Sessions are accessible through a web browser with no need for additional software. It's simple to use – once set up, a Collaborate Room can be accessed via a Blackboard course or a weblink.

With Collaborate you can:


This video from Blackboard Inc introduces you to the Collaborate Ultra tool.

How it works

A Collaborate room is created within a Blackboard course or organisation. Timed sessions are then set up within this room, which participants can access at the relevant time through Blackboard or via a guest link (for example, if the guest link is sent as an announcement).

When an enrolled member of staff joins a session via the Collaborate room they are automatically logged in as a moderator.

When students join a session via the Collaborate room it will automatically log them in as a participant.

Where someone clicks a guest link they will be prompted to add their screen name and then logged in as a participant. 

When a user first joins a session they will be given a brief tutorial to orientate them in the tool. We recommend that you allow for this and ask students to join five minutes before the first session.

Student access

For most Collaborate sessions students will be a participant. Usually it's as simple as clicking a link and joining the session. The Collaborate Ultra Help for Participants page will help a participant get started.

If accessing as a participant, we recommend: 

Staff access

The Collaborate Ultra Help for Moderators page has guides to help you give the best experience through Collaborate. Note that where variations in advice for different systems are displayed, staff need to follow guidance for Blackboard Learn.

If running a Collaborate session we recommend:

Getting started

This interactive video demonstrates how to set up a Collaborate room, how to create sessions, and basic techniques like sharing a screen with participants.

Image of collaborate training video.

Blackboard also provide excellent guidance for getting started with Collaborate.

Further reading and advice

  1. Improve Student Outcomes with Blackboard Collaborate
  2. University of Reading Collaborate Case Studies
  3. Recording sessions
  4. Sharing files and content
  5. Breakout groups