Make your sessions more engaging with Chat!

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

Open the Collaborate panel and select Open Chat to start chatting.

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

Allow chatting in your sessions

Chat may not be on when you first enter your session. You may need to turn it on.

Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. Select Session Settings and select Post chat messages.


How do I know when there are new chat comments?

Collaborate uses notifications that appear on your screen to let you know what's happening in your session. These notifications tell you when there are new chat comments.

The notification stays on the screen for a few seconds then disappears. It tells you if you have a new chat message, if there are more than one, and what chat channel the comment is in.

If you have the chat panel open, you'll see a new comment alert.

You can also see when someone is typing in chat. Open the Chat panel and see if someone is about to ask a question or make a comment.

One person is typing

Several people are typing

Chat emoji

The emoji pack for Collaborate with the Ultra experience supports diversified emojis and Unicode 8 characters.

Use one of five supported skin tones on any human emoji. Add underscore, tone, and the supported tone number (1 through 5) to your emoji when typing. Don't forget the colons on either end of your emoji text.

Example: :wave_tone5:

Chat history

Collaborate's chat history only has 50 messages displayed at any given time. Scroll through the messages or use the hidden keyboard controls at the top of the Chat panel if you use a keyboard to navigate.

Chat history keyboard controls

Chat history keyboard controls in Collaborate

Use the keyboard controls at the top of the Chat panel to move between messages. The keyboard controls are only available after messages have been posted in Chat and are only available with keyboard navigation.

  1. From the text entry field in the Chat panel press Shift + Tab to open the keyboard controls. Or from the Chat with menu at the top of the panel press Tab.
  2. By default, the focus is on the Next chat message control. Press Shift + Tab to find the Previous chat message and First chat message controls. Press Tab to find the Last chat message control. Collaborate's chat history only has 50 messages displayed at any given time.
  3. Press Space Bar to activate the control and listen to the message.
  4. Press Tab to move through the controls and return to the chat text entry field.

Chat messages in recordings

If a session is being recorded, chat messages in the Everyone channel are being recorded as well. Private messages and chat messages in breakout groups are not recorded.

More on chat messages in recordings

Private chat

Chat privately with anybody else in your session.

Private chat does not work with the student Blackboard app at this time.

By default you see the Everyone chat when you first open Chat. Select Previous Panel by the Everyone heading. Then just type the name of the person you want to chat with and start chatting.

Be careful what you say in your private chats! Moderators may supervise private chats between participants to monitor for inappropriate language or bullying. There is a warning when moderators are supervising.

Moderators can limit who participants chat privately with. Moderators can choose to allow participants to only chat privately with moderators.

Moderators also have their own private chat already created for them. Participants won't see the Moderators chat channel.

If moderators want to supervise private chat, the option must be selected BEFORE the session starts. See Session Settings for more on settings you can set before and during a session.

Only the Everyone chat is included in session recordings.

Watch a video about private chat

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.

Private chat settings

Moderators can limit who participants can chat with. Moderators can also supervise all private chats.

If you want to supervise private chats or allow participants to only chat with moderators, you must select each option in Session Settings BEFORE the session starts.

  • 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.