Access Blackboard Collaborate

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about finding Blackboard Collaborate from your course.

Your administrator can add Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience to your Blackboard Learn courses. You can find Blackboard Collaborate in your Course Tools.

Your administrator decides the Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience you use in your course.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: You have both a dedicated course room and the ability to schedule as many new sessions as you want.

Blackboard Collaborate: You have one room dedicated to your course. You can edit the room and add a link to it from your course content.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate


ULTRA: Access Blackboard Collaborate

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing Blackboard Collaborate.

Your administrator can add Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience to your Blackboard Learn courses. You can find Blackboard Collaborate under your course Details & Actions. Next to Course Room, open the More options for Collaborate menu.

From this menu you can get the course room guest link, edit the course room settings, view the course room attendance report, and disable the course room.

You can also view all scheduled sessions and watch recordings.

Join Sessions for Moderators


Join sessions

In Blackboard Collaborate Ultra a unique session link is generated to help each session identify you. Each link is associated with an individual session and a specific user in that session. This means that the link only works for you in that moment. You are not able to use the link to join session again or share your link with another user. Session links expire after 5 minutes.

If offered by your institution, you can use the telephony feature to communicate with other users. To learn more, see Join by Collaborate Teleconference.

  1. From the Scheduler, select the session you want to join.
  2. Select Join session.

ULTRA: Join sessions

In Blackboard Collaborate Ultra a unique session link is generated to help each session identify you. Each link is associated with an individual session and a specific user in that session. This means that the link only works for you in that moment. You are not able to use the link to join session again or share your link with another user. Session links expire after 5 minutes.

If offered by your institution, you can use the telephony feature to communicate with other users. To learn more, see Join by Collaborate Teleconference.

  1. From under your course Details & Actions, select Join session.
  2. Select the session you want to join.

View your course while in a session

Collaborate sessions open in a new window or tab depending on your browser settings. Go to the course tab or window, if you want to view the course content during a session.


Course Room

Course Room Overview

The course room is an open session dedicated to your course.

This makes it easier for you to use Collaborate with the Ultra experience in your courses. It also provides you and your students a convenient launch point for classes or impromptu meetings.

The course room is on by default but can be turned off. To learn more, see Turn off the course room.

Not sure where to find Blackboard Collaborate in your course? Jump to Join Sessions and select your LMS.

Select the session name or Session options menu to join the session. This opens a panel with the information to you need to join the session:

  • Join Session link associated with your account. Select this to open the session. Each link is unique to an individual session and a user in that session. This means that the link only works for you in that session. You are not able to use the link to join session again or share your link with another user. Session links expire after 5 minutes.
  • Dial in information, if available

Turn off the dedicated course room

If you don't want students to view or join the open course room session, you can turn it off.

  1. Open the More menu for the course room.
  2. Select Lock course room.

If you don't see or can't open the Course Room, your administrator has turned it off.


ULTRA: Course room

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing Blackboard Collaborate.

The Course Room is an open Collaborate session dedicated to your course. This makes it easier for you to use Collaborate with the Ultra experience in your courses. It also provides you and your students a convenient launch point for classes or impromptu meetings.

The room is on by default. The Collaborate camera icon appears in purple to show you and other course members when people are active in the Collaborate room.

Select Join session and Course Room to join the session. This generates a unique link to help the session identify you.

Each link is unique to an individual session and a user in that session. This means that the link only works for you in that session. You are not able to use the link to join session again or share your link with another user. Session links expire after 5 minutes.


ULTRA: Turn off the course room

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about turning off the course room.

To disable the course room, open the menu next to Course Room. Select Disable course room to prevent your students and other course members from accessing it. The Join session link changes to say Room disabled. You can re-enable the course room from this same menu.

Collaborate Course Room FAQs


Can my students use the room without me?

Yes, the room is on until you turn it off. To learn more, see Turn off the course room.


Why create new sessions if I have a course room?

There are a number of reasons you may want to create scheduled sessions when you have a course room. Two examples are:

  • Supervised sessions: When the course room is unlocked anyone can join the session at any time. Instructors don't have to be present for students to join the session. If you don't want students to join a session unsupervised, lock the course room and create scheduled sessions.
  • Multiple sessions at once: If you want to run multiple sessions at the same time for students to use as virtual study room, for example, you can create multiple sessions for the different groups to join.

Create and edit sessions

Create Collaborate Sessions

From the Sessions list, select Create Session. Give the session a name.

Not sure where to find the Sessions list? Jump to Join Sessions and select your experience.

Event Details

The event needs some basic details before creating.

  • 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.

    Collaborate uses your computer’s local time zone for session start and end times.

  • Type a detailed description of the meeting. This helps students find the right session.

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. Submit the request BEFORE the session begins.


Session settings

Decide who can do what in your sessions.

  • Allow recording downloads from the Recordings page as well as on the recording play back page.
  • Show the profile pictures of moderators only.
  • Allow participants to use audio, video, chat, and the whiteboard editing tools.
  • Allow users to join the session using a telephone for their audio.

More on Session Settings


Add sessions to your course content

Add a link to the session in your course. Copy the guest link and paste it in a place that's easy for your students to find.

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about adding sessions.

If you are using the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool, you can add Blackboard Collaborate directly to your course content.

  1. From the content area select Tools and More Tools.
  2. Select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. By default the link name is Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

    When you add Blackboard Collaborate to your course content, it links to the tool, not a specific session. Help your students find the session you want them to join. Tell them the session name in the link name or content editor.

  3. Select Submit.

If you are using the Blackboard Collaborate tool, go to Blackboard Collaborate in Course Tools. Use the date restriction options in Add Link to Course to add sessions to your course. Choose when and how long you want the session to appear in a content area.

Add reminders for your sessions so nobody misses them. To learn more, see Set reminders.


ULTRA: Add sessions to course content

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about scheduling sessions.

  1. From the Sessions list, find the session you want and open the Session options menu.
  2. Copy the session guest link.
  3. From your Course Content, select Add.
  4. Select Create and select Link.
  5. Name the link and paste the session link in the Link URL field.
  6. Select Save.

Group Sessions


Group sessions

Improve critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, and communication with group sessions. There are different ways you can set up group sessions.

  • Breakout groups: Use breakout groups during a session for in the moment group collaboration.
  • Multiple sessions: Create multiple sessions. If you want to run multiple sessions at the same time for students to use as virtual study room, for example, you can create multiple sessions for the different groups to join.
  • Course group tool: If it's for long term group work, create groups in your course and give access to a Collaborate session.

More on creating groups in your Blackboard Learn course


View session recordings

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about viewing recordings.

Record your sessions so that your students can access presentations whenever they need them.

Recorded sessions are saved as MP4s. Recordings include audio, any content shared or active speaker video, and the captions entered during the live session.

If you want users to download the recordings, you must allow session recording downloads for each session. Open a session's Session Settings and check Allow download recording. Any recordings made in this session can be downloaded while downloads are allowed.

  • In the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool, select the tool menu. Select Recordings for a list of all recordings.
  • In the Blackboard Collaborate tool, recordings are listed below the course room.

More on recording sessions


ULTRA: View session recordings

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about viewing recordings.

You can find your Course Room recordings in the menu. Select the three dots next to your Course Room, then select View all recordings.


Attendance Reporting

The ability to share attendance information with a course is only available in Blackboard Learn. Don't have Blackboard Learn? You can still view attendance information in the Session Attendance Report.

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. Host a Collaborate session from your Blackboard Learn course without tracking attendance manually.

Collaborate Attendance in LMS

Attendance reporting is off by default. You must turn attendance reporting on for each session you want to track attendance in. 

  1. From the sessions list, create a new session or edit a session with an end date and time.

    Attendance reporting is only available in sessions with an end date and time. You can't track attendance in your course room.

  2. Expand Attendance Reporting.
  3. Select Share attendance information with LMS.
  4. Optionally, change the late, absent, and time is session thresholds.
    • Late after: Attendees who join the session after the number of minutes entered are marked late. By default, attendees are late if they join 6-20 minutes after the scheduled start time.
    • Absent after: Attendees who join the session after the number of minutes entered are marked late. By default, attendees are absent if they join the session 21 or more minutes after the scheduled start time.
    • Required time in session: Attendees must be in the session for the percentage of time selected, or longer, to be marked present. By default, attendees must be in the session for at least half of the session running time to be marked present.
  5. Select Save.

Based on the criteria you 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 attendance in your Blackboard Learn course