Session Settings

On this page

    From Session Settings moderators 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 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: Session Settings explains session settings.


    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 change this later, if you change your mind. You can choose this option at any time. Either before the session is delivered or anytime after the recording has been created.

      • 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 Session Administrator System (SAS) , 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.


    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.

    If your session has over 250 attendees, everything is off for participants by default and can't be changed. To learn more, see Large session settings.


    Large session settings

    Large sessions in Collaborate have over 250 and up to 500 users in the session. This is a lot to manage. For this reason we've turned off some of the features that can be disruptive in a session with that many attendees.

    • Participant permissions: We turned off these participant permissions.
      • Share audio
      • Share video
      • Post chat messages

        Moderators can choose to turn this on DURING a session.

      • Draw on whiteboards and files

      The permissions are off for participants only. Moderators and presenters can still do all of these things.

    • Breakout groups: We've also turned off breakout groups as the group is too large for small group collaboration.

    If you expect over 250 attendees in your session, you must submit a large session request to the Collaborate support team on Behind the Blackboard BEFORE the session begins.

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

    If you want participants to share their audio or video, post chat messages, or draw on whiteboards and files promote them to presenters or moderators.

    You can also have all attendees join as a presenter or moderator. If you do this during a large session, try and limit the number of users drawing on a whiteboard at once. Mute all users to limit the potential for disruption.

    More on managing attendees