We redesigned some features in Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

This topic is an overview of Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

Watch a video about Blackboard Collaborate

The following narrated video provides a visual representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience user interface tour shows you Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience in action.

End user

End user details

Feature Description
Application Sharing Application sharing is noticeably faster and easier to use. Application sharing uses the new WebRTC standard giving a high definition experience with superior image quality.

Restriction: Application sharing requires an extension on Google ChromeTM and Firefox®.

More on application sharing for moderators

Attendees By default sessions can have up to 100-250 attendees depending on license. If you expect more attendees in your session, you must submit a large session request to the Collaborate support team on Behind the Blackboard BEFORE the session begins.
Audio and Video The Ultra experience uses the new WebRTC standard giving a high definition experience with superior image and sound quality for users with Google Chrome and Firefox. Browsers that do not yet support WebRTC receive audio, video and application sharing using a Flash plugin.

Audio and video turn off briefly for all users when a session first reaches 150 attendees. The session moves to a dedicated server so it can continue to grow.

More on audio and video for moderators

Breakout Groups Moderators can choose student groupings or allow Collaborate to randomly group students for them. They can also choose to let attendees switch to another group, and even join a particular breakout group to help facilitate collaboration.

Breakout groups can be turned off if you want. Submit a request to turn off Breakout groups on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

More on Breakout groups for moderators

Chat Users can still chat during a session. Moderators may disable chat in their session. The emoji pack for Collaborate with the Ultra experience supports diversified emojis and Unicode 8 characters.

Chat in the Everyone channel is included in session recording. Private messages and chat messages in breakout groups are not recorded. Collaborate's chat history only has 50 messages displayed at any given time.

More on chat for moderators

File Sharing Like application sharing, file sharing is faster and easier to use. Uploaded files are accessible during the specific session they are uploaded to. After creating a session, moderators can open it any time and load the files they want to share. These files stay in the session until deleted by a moderator.

Restriction: Users can upload PPT, PPTX, PDF, and most image files at this time.

More on share files for moderators

First Time Connection Walkthrough Users are presented with a choice to switch to the Ultra experience.
Live Closed Captioning Sessions can now include live closed captioning. Moderators must make attendees captioners. Captioners type what is being said during a session. Other attendees can view what is being typed in real time. You can have multiple captioners for multiple languages. Captions are included in session recordings.

More on Live closed captioning

VTT caption file Moderators can upload a VTT caption file to add or replace captions in recordings.

More on adding captions

Plan Not Available Yet
Recording Recordings capture the audio, video, and any content that is shared during a session. Recordings also capture any real time captions or subtitles available during the session. If there are more than one captions available during the session, the recording will capture only the first one. Recordings also capture chat messages in the Everyone channel.

More on recording sessions for moderators

Navigation Navigation in Collaborate with the Ultra experience is simple and intuitive. Everything users need is available exactly when they need it. The interface dynamically adapts to all activity in the session, putting the focus on who is speaking and any content that is being shared.

More on finding your way around Collaborate

More on keyboard navigation

Polling Moderators can poll attendees at any time using one of five different types of polls: Yes/No and multiple choice (1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5).

More on polling for moderators

Profiles Users have access to simple profiles with their names and the ability to add profile pictures.

More on profiles

Reports Moderators, administrators, and managers can access a Session attendance report that tells them when attendees joined and left their sessions.

More on the Session attendance report for moderators

Institutional Collaborate administrators can request a metric report that provide a detailed overview of your Collaborate with the Ultra experience usage.

More on the metric report

Timer Moderators can set a timer for everyone in the session or just make it visible to other moderators. Open the Collaborate panel, select Share Content and start the Timer.
Whiteboard Users have access to a basic whiteboard, which includes basic annotation and text entry tools for making edits.

More on using whiteboards for moderators


Attendees can be moderators, presenters, participants, and captioners in the Ultra experience.

More on roles


Platform related details
Feature Description
Accessibility Some of the accessibility features include full-screen reader support of all key workflows, whiteboard activities, and uploaded files. Global keyboard shortcuts for common actions are also supported.

The Ultra experience now provides live closed captioning. This provides an accessible learning experience for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for students whose native language is different from the moderator's.

More on accessibility

API Framework Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience uses REST APIs for custom LMS integrations.

The public Collaborate APIs have been updated to include scheduling session, requesting session links, and attendance. Please contact Blackboard Services for more information.

Blackboard's Cloud infrastructure Blackboard Collaborate uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure and Blackboard hosting data centers to launch Ultra sessions.

Collaborate Ultra AWS Cloud hosted sessions FAQ's (available in English only)

New domains for Collaborate (available in English only)

Collaborate with the Ultra Experience Networking Information (available in English only)

Connection Efficiency The Ultra experience uses WebRTC encoding.

More on network connection management

Deployment Collaborate is a SaaS deployment.
Downloads The Ultra experience is entirely browser-based. No downloads or installs are required.
Localization Collaborate with the Ultra experience supports these language preferences:

Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Irish Gaelic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Maori, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese for Portugal, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish (Universal), Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, UK English, US English, Vietnamese, and Welsh.

Collaborate uses the language preference set in your browser. If the language is not supported, your session is in English.

Integrations The Ultra experience is available through the following means.

The public Collaborate APIs have been updated to include scheduling session, requesting session links, and attendance. Please contact Blackboard Services for more information.

Mobile Browsers on mobile devices are supported on Windows® touch devices such as the Surface at this time. Users can choose to use either the Blackboard app, Blackboard Instructor app, or the device browser.

Mobile apps that support Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience:

Telephony With Integrated Telephony, you don't need your own teleconference provider. The teleconference service is provided by Blackboard Collaborate. Teleconference phone numbers and PINs are automatically generated during session creation. Anyone can dial into the session and initiate the connection between the session and the teleconference bridge.

We supply a Virginia-US number for U.S. and Canada, a UK number for Europe, and a Sydney number for Australia. Long distance and international calling charges may apply.

More on telephony for moderators