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Session inactivity

Continuous Delivery Collaborate June 2019 | Release to Production 30 May 2019
Collaborate June Release release schedule
New features

With the June 2019 release, if attendees in a session are not active after a time, the session ends. This includes activity such as using audio, raising a hand, sharing content, and so on. Inactive attendees in the session see and hear a reminder that the session is open and will close in a minute.

New Features

Share content to breakout groups

Continuous Delivery Collaborate June 2019 | Release to Production 30 May 2019
Collaborate June Release release schedule
New features

Moderators can share files, with one or more breakout groups. When sharing a file with a breakout group, the first slide of the file displays in the breakout group.

New Features

Maintenance release

Continuous Delivery Collaborate May 2019 | Release to Production 16 May 2019
Updated features

The Collaborate May release is a maintenance release. You can view maintenance items on Behind the Blackboard on May 16.

Updated Features

Maintenance release

Continuous Delivery Collaborate April 2019 | Release to Production 11 April 2019
Updated features

The Collaborate April release is a maintenance release. You can view maintenance items on Behind the Blackboard.

Updated Features

Session user connectivity indicators

Continuous Delivery Collaborate March 2019 | Release to Production 21 March 2019
New features

Now you can easily determine an attendee's relative ability to exchange audio, video, or application sharing during a session. Move your pointer over the connectivity indicator of any attendee to see all the details.

  • Their ability to share or see audio, video, and content
  • The quality of audio, video, and content
  • If there is any delay in audio

Fortunately, there is no need to figure out from the numbers what an attendee might be experiencing. Collaborate does the math for you. The connection status indicator tells you what an attendee’s experience is most likely to be (excellent, good, fair or poor).

  • Excellent: Attendee can share, see, and hear everything with no issues.
  • Good: Attendee can share, see, and hear everything with little to no issues.
  • Fair: Attendee may experience some changes in their experience.
  • Poor: Attendee may have difficulty hearing, seeing, or sharing anything.

More details on network connection

New Features

Custom polling

Continuous Delivery Collaborate March 2019 | Release to Production 21 March 2019
New features

Moderators can now add their own questions and answer choices to Collaborate polls. Select the poll type, type your question and answer choices, and select Start.

This is an optional feature. Moderators can leave the question and answer choices blank and still use the poll. Attendees will see the same simple poll originally available in Collaborate.

More on polling for moderators

Updated Features, New Features

Browser support updates

Continuous Delivery Collaborate March 2019 | Release to Production 21 March 2019
Updated features

We are excited to announce these changes to browser support in the March release:

  • Adding native WebRTC-based support for users in Safari® 11 on macOS, Safari 12 on macOS®, and Microsoft Edge® on Windows® 10.
  • Adding (beta) native WebRTC-based support for users of Safari in iOS 11 and iOS 12.
  • Ending support for browsers that do not natively support WebRTC, and require the use of Adobe Flash® for media - this means ending support for Internet Explorer® 11 on Windows and Safari 10 on Mac OS.

When Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience was released in 2015, Adobe Flash was a significant enabling technology for live media in the browser. This was at a time when only Google ChromeTM supported WebRTC well enough for the interactive demands of online classrooms with hundreds of participants. Today, every major, modern browser has support for WebRTC.

WebRTC provides a superior experience to Flash for media access, with the ability to view multiple speaker videos, higher quality audio and video, and better bandwidth adaptation.

In July 2017, Adobe announced the end-of-life for the Flash plugin to take effect at the end of 2020. Browser vendors have communicated plans for ending support of Flash in their browsers and are making it difficult to enable and use Flash. These decisions make it clear that the best path forward for Collaborate with the Ultra Experience is with browsers that natively support WebRTC.

In addition to our support for WebRTC in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox®, we are excited to add support for WebRTC in Safari 11, Safari 12, iOS 11, iOS 12, and Microsoft Edge. We are confident that focusing on these technologies strengthens our ability to provide our users with the best possible experience.

Updated Features

Collaborate Attendance Integration with Blackboard Learn

Continuous Delivery Collaborate February 2019 | Release to Production 6-7 February 2019
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
New features, Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Building Block

This will be available with the Collaborate February release scheduled 6-7 February 2019.

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. In this Collaborate release, Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.

Based on criteria you can set, Collaborate tracks if a student is present, late, or absent from a session. Collaborate then sends that information directly to the Attendance page in your Blackboard Learn course.

Attendance from the Collaborate session is counted in each student's average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn 9.1

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn SaaS 

New Features, Integrations, Blackboard Learn Integration, Course View: Ultra, Building Block, Course View: Original, FDO Q2 2019

Metric, Recording, and Attendance reports available from Collaborate Scheduler

Continuous Delivery Collaborate February 2019 | Release to Production 6-7 February 2019
Updated features

You no longer need to submit a support ticket for your institution reports. With this release, managers can view their institution Metric, Recording, and Attendance reports from Collaborate Scheduler.

More on the reports

Updated Features

Changes coming with the March Release of Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience

Collaborate March Release| Release to Production March 2019
Support bulletin on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

To better support users of Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience, we are excited to announce these changes to browser support in the March release:

  • Adding native WebRTC-based support for users in Safari® 11 on macOS, Safari 12 on macOS®, and Microsoft Edge® on Windows® 10.
  • Adding (beta) native WebRTC-based support for users of Safari in iOS 11 and iOS 12.
  • Ending support for browsers that do not natively support WebRTC, and require the use of Adobe Flash® for media - this means ending support for Internet Explorer® 11 on Windows and Safari 10 on Mac OS.

When Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience was released in 2015, Adobe Flash was a significant enabling technology for live media in the browser. This was at a time when only Google ChromeTM supported WebRTC well enough for the interactive demands of online classrooms with hundreds of participants. Today, every major, modern browser has support for WebRTC.

WebRTC provides a superior experience to Flash for media access, with the ability to view multiple speaker videos, higher quality audio and video, and better bandwidth adaptation.

In July 2017, Adobe announced the end-of-life for the Flash plugin to take effect at the end of 2020. Browser vendors have communicated plans for ending support of Flash in their browsers and are making it difficult to enable and use Flash. These decisions make it clear that the best path forward for Collaborate with the Ultra Experience is with browsers that natively support WebRTC.

In addition to our support for WebRTC in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox®, we are excited to add support for WebRTC in Safari 11, Safari 12, iOS 11, iOS 12, and Microsoft Edge. We are confident that focusing on these technologies strengthens our ability to provide our users with the best possible experience.

New Features, Updated Features

Collaborate December 2018 release

Collaborate December Release | Release to Production 20 December, 2018
Updated features, Collaborate December 2018 release schedule on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

In this release, we focused on resolving issues to continually improve your experience. We fixed a session server crash issue that was causing sessions to be disrupted when they were migrated to a new session server.

Updated Features

Support for SRT caption files for recording post-captioning

Collaborate November Release | Release to Production 31 Oct - 1 Nov, 2018
Updated features, Collaborate November 2018 release schedule on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

We recently added the ability to upload a caption file to your recordings in the Collaborate Scheduler user interface (UI). These captions are then displayed in the playback of the recording. When we released this capability, we only supported the WebVTT (Web Video Text Tracks) caption file format. We have now also added support for SRT (SubRip Subtitle) caption file.

Upload a SRT caption file to add or replace captions in recordings. From Recordings, find the recording you want, open the Recording options menu, and select Add caption source.

Updated Features

See when someone is typing in chat

Collaborate November Release | Release to Production 31 Oct - 1 Nov, 2018
New features, Collaborate November 2018 release schedule on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

Most students are extremely comfortable with some form of text-based communication. You may see students participate in chat who might be hesitant to speak up in audio/video settings.

Now you can see when someone is typing in chat. Monitor chat to see if someone is about to ask a question or make a comment.

One person is typing

Several people are typing

New Features

Attendee report

Collaborate October release | Release to Production 18 October, 2018
New features

Collaborate October release details on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

The Attendee report provides administrators with an overview of all sessions, and session attendee details, beyond what is in the Session attendance report today. This may include the time the session was opened, the time the session was closed, each attendee’s join time, and their leave time.

The Attendee report is available as a CSV download only, and must be requested by your Institutional administrator through our Customer Support team. Submit a case on Behind the blackboard to request the report (available in English only). Requests must come from an Institutional Collaborate Administrator.

More on the Attendee report

New Features

Recording report

Collaborate October release | Release to Production 18 October, 2018
New features

Collaborate October release details on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

The Recording report provides administrators with data about their institution’s recordings. This data includes the recording name, a link to the recording, recording creation date and time, and the total duration of the recording.

The Recording report is available as a CSV download only, and must be requested by your Institutional administrator through our Customer Support team. Submit a case on Behind the blackboard to request the report (available in English only). Requests must come from an Institutional Collaborate Administrator.

More on the Recording report

New Features

Session timer

Continuous Delivery | Release to Production 9 August, 2018
New features

Introducing the session timer. Moderators can set a timer for everyone in the session or make it just visible to other moderators. Open the Collaborate panel, select Share Content and start the Timer.

New Features

User Management

Continuous Delivery | Release to Production August 2018 | Release schedule on Behind the Blackboard
New features

We are excited to introduce user management from the Collaborate with the Ultra experience!

Managers and administrators will now be able to manage user accounts directly in the Ultra experience of Collaborate. No more switching experiences.

More on user management

New Features

A special note from Product Management

Continuous Delivery v18.7 | Release to Production 25 July, 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Collaborate Ultra 18.7 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Universal design

  • Manually upload VTT caption transcripts to your recordings
  • Request a metric report
New Features

Metric report

Continuous Delivery v18.7 | Release to Production 25 July, 2018
New features

The Metric report is designed to provide a detailed overview of your Collaborate with the Ultra experience usage. Information includes the frequency and scale your institution is using so you can make informed decisions about the service.

The Metric report is available as a CSV download only, and must be requested by your Institutional administrator through our Customer Support team. Submit a case on Behind the blackboard to request the report (available in English only). Requests must come from an Institutional Collaborate Administrator.

More on the metric report

New Features

Add captions later

Continuous Delivery v18.7 | Release to Production 25 July, 2018
New features

Upload a VTT caption file to add or replace captions in recordings. From Recordings, find the recording you want, open the Recording options menu, and select Add caption source.

More on the 18.7 release date and times on Behind the Blackboard

New Features