Create and edit sessions

If you want to create a session select Create session from the Sessions screen. To edit sessions, find the session you want to edit and select Session options and Edit settings.

  • Type a meaningful session name. This helps students find the right session.
  • Set the date and time the session starts and ends. You can choose to keep a session open or repeat. You can also select if students can enter the session prior to the start time.
  • Optionally, type a detailed description of the meeting.
  • Copy the moderator link for your personal use, such as adding to a personal calendar item. Anybody using this link must be able to sign in with the session creator credentials.
  • Set guest access for the meeting. Clear the Guest access check box to remove guest access.
  • You can send the copy of the guest link to your students, or other guests. You can also decide if your guests join as participants, presenters, or moderators by default. Guest links are public links and can be used by anybody who has the link. To learn more, see Session Security.

    Session links can be long and break when sent. Use a URL shortening service, such as TinyURLTM, to create a short alias for your session.

  • Decide if guests join as a participant, presenter, or moderator. Not sure of which permissions to grant someone? Don't worry. Permissions can also be set during your meeting.
  • Invite users to the session. Expand Invitations and select Add new invite or Search for existing users. To learn more, see Create and manage users.

Session Settings

Session Settings

Use Session Settings to decide if users can download recordings, share audio or video, post chat messages, and more.

Only moderators and administrators can change session settings.

Watch a video about session settings

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory 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: Private Chat shows you private chat in action.

Settings to make BEFORE sessions begin

While most settings can be changed any time during the session, we recommend setting some settings before the session begins, if you want to use them. These include allowing anonymizing chat messages and enabling telephony.

  1. From the Sessions screen, find a session.
  2. Select Session options, Edit settings, and Session Settings.
  3. Optionally, set these settings:
    • Allow recording downloads: If you want to let users download recordings, you can set this before the session and recording begins.

      You can set recording downloads later, if you change your mind. If the session has ended, change the session end date to the current or a future date and select Save.

    • Anonymize chat messages: You can make chat messages posted during the live session appear as anonymous posts in the recording.

      Any recording made after selecting this option has anonymous chat messages. It does not apply to recordings made before selecting this option.

      Chat Recordings are only available in the HTML5 player which is only available in the Ultra Scheduler, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), and Blackboard Collaborate ULTRA building block users at this time.

    • Allow users to join a session using a telephone: When selected, all attendees see an option in the Session menu to use their phone for audio during a session. If you don't select it, telephone is not available during the session.

      More on telephony and calling into a session

    • Participants can only chat with moderators: Private chat is available by default. When selected, participants can only chat privately with moderators. If you don't select it, participants can chat privately with any body else in the session.

    • Moderators supervise all private chats: When selected, moderators can see everything that is said in private chat channels. An alert appears at the top of the private chat channel informing users that the chat is being supervised. If you don't select it, you don't see the private chat channels.

This is only available to users with moderator access to the Scheduler, use Collaborate in an LTI compatible LMS, or use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in their Blackboard Learn course at this time. Not sure which one you use? Jump to Schedule Sessions.

Attendance Reporting

Collaborate Attendance Setting for Blackboard Learn

If you are using Collaborate from your Blackboard Learn course, you can choose to have Collaborate send student attendance to your Blackboard Learn course Attendance page.

This must be set BEFORE the session begins.

Sharing Collaborate attendance information with your course is only available in Blackboard Learn. Not sure if you are using Blackboard Learn? Jump to Schedule a Meeting to see which Learning Management System is yours.

More on attendance reporting

Settings you can change DURING a session

Moderators can change participant permissions any time before or during a session. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. Select Session Settings.

Not sure where the Collaborate panel is? Jump to Find Your Way Around.

By default anyone with a participant role is allowed to show their profile picture, share their audio and video, post chat messages, and draw on the whiteboard and shared files.

Optionally, change these settings:

  • Show profile picture for moderators only: If selected, participant profile pictures don't appear anywhere profile pictures are seen in the session. This includes in the Attendees panel, chat, breakout groups, and on the main stage. The default avatar appears for participants instead.
  • Share their audio: If selected, moderators can mute participants as needed. If not selected, only moderators and presenters can turn on their audio.
  • Share their video: If not selected, only moderators and presenters can turn on their video.
  • Post chat messages: If not selected, moderators and presenters can still use chat. Participants can't use chat but they can see any chat messages posted by moderators and presenters.
  • Draw on whiteboards and files: If not selected, only moderators and presenters can draw on whiteboards.

Settings in webinar mode

By default, sessions support up to 250 attendees to join. Administrators can create sessions in webinar mode to support more attendees. Webinar mode allows a session to support up to 500 attendees.

Not all features are available in webinar mode. These features are turned off.

  • Participant permissions: Participants can't share audio, video, post chat messages, or draw on whiteboards and files.

    Moderators can choose to turn chat on DURING a session. Moderator permissions don't change.

  • Breakout groups: Breakout groups is not available while in webinar mode.

If you expect more than 250 attendees in your session, ask your administrator to create a session in webinar mode for you.

What if I want to let participants chat or use their audio?

If you want a single participant to share audio or video, post chat messages, or draw on whiteboards and files, promote the participant to presenter.

More on managing attendees

Turn on webinar mode

Webinar mode is not available for our clients on the Moderator Access (Classroom) license. It is available for clients on our Department and Enterprise licenses. For questions about your license or to upgrade, please contact your Blackboard Account Executive.

Change a session to webinar mode and support up to 500 attendees. To help manage the increased number of attendees, webinar sessions have these limitations.

  • Webinar sessions can't be longer than 24 hours in length
  • Guests must be assigned the participant role
  • Participant permissions are turned off
  • Breakout groups aren't available

To create a session in webinar mode, go to the Session Settings and select Allow 250+ attendees to join. If you don't see the option in Session Settings, submit a request to enable it on Behind the Blackboard.


Moderators can record their sessions and share them. The recordings are saved as MP4 files. Users can stream or download them to view them. 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.

More on recording storage on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

More on recordings for moderators


Administrators, managers, and moderators can view reports from the Scheduler.

More on reports

Use a toll-free number

Save your students long distance charges and add a toll-free number for session dial in. Owners of the toll-free number are responsible for the charges instead.

Collaborate doesn't provide toll-free numbers. If you don't already have one, you can purchase them from services like Toll-Free Forwarding

  1. Set up your toll-free number to forward to one of Collaborate's dial-in telephony numbers.
  2. Submit a request to replace the number in the session user interface with the toll-free number on Behind the Blackboard.