SaaS administrators, you're in the right place!
Self- and Managed-Hosting administrators, view Collaborate Ultra information in the help section for your deployment.
What is Collaborate with the Ultra experience?
We've redesigned Blackboard Collaborate to give your users a better learning experience-the Ultra experience. Now, they can spend more time learning and less time setting up.
Join sessions quickly. You no longer need to install Java or a launcher to access sessions. Now you can quickly join browser-based sessions with ease!
Enjoy a modern aesthetic. Our sleek and intuitive interface provides a clutter-free experience that puts everything at your fingertips. We call this the Ultra experience.
Focus on learning. The easy to use interface allows you to focus on learning, not how to use the software!
When Collaborate is integrated into Learn, your instructors and students can enjoy an experience that goes beyond simple Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI). Sessions are secure, convenient, and easy to use. And the experience is only going to get better as we continue to build a deeper integration.
Get the best of both worlds with seamless access to sessions that are both secure and open
Students join sessions securely when they join from their course. The students are authenticated through the LMS and provided with secure session links only they can use. At the same time, instructors can use guest links to invite anyone not enrolled in their course, such as a colleague or an external expert for a Q&A session. Access from these guest links can be turned off at any time.
Joining sessions and meeting as a class is made easier and convenient
Students can access Collaborate sessions from directly in a course. Instructors don’t need to send invites. A course room is available for use any time. Instructors don’t have to create new sessions unless they want to. Everyone enrolled in the course automatically has access to the session and with the right level of permissions in the room. They don’t need to sign in again. And instructors can automate attendance tracking.
With the integration, instructors can save time on administration with automated attendance tracking between Collaborate and the course
Instructors decide what makes a student present, late, or absent. Collaborate then does the attendance tracking for them and sends the information to the course Attendance page for review and grading.
Recordings are automatically available for secure access
Once the session’s recording is over, it’s automatically posted in the course. Recordings of the sessions are only available to those enrolled in the course by default. Instructors can choose to grant public access and share a recording link. They can tell at-a-glance who has access to the recordings and edit the permissions any time.
Create breakout groups based on your course groups
Groups created in your Blackboard Learn course are available in your course Collaborate sessions for breakouts. Instructors can use their existing course groups to create breakout groups in advance and save time. Build on existing student collaboration. With this integration, students can stay in the same group without extra work for the instructor. In the Collaborate session, the instructor can also enjoy some flexibility and adjust groups as needed without impacting the groups in Learn. For example, to balance groups among attendees.
The Collaborate and Blackboard Learn groups integration is available on the SaaS deployment. It applies to both experiences:
- Original course experience group sets (not standalone groups)
- Ultra course experience course level groups
Leverage the tool for group collaboration in your Learn course
Work groups inside your course can use Collaborate on their own too if you want it. Finally, give students in your courses their own private group space to meet in their group tools. These group sessions are self-organized and a great place for students to practice presenting online. Instructors don’t need to do anything except make the group space available.
- In Learn Original course experience, Collaborate can be a group tool providing each group with their own private room.
- In Learn Ultra course experience, activate Conversations on Group assignments so students can use discussions and a private Collaborate room. They’re even informed when somebody from their group is already in the room!
A unified data platform
Learn SaaS institutions can leverage Blackboard Data to make sense of the learning data across their tools including Learn and Collaborate. The unified canonical data model of Blackboard Data enables you to access and explore the underlying datasets and get insights that combine information from across your ecosystem.
With the Developer Tier you can create custom queries and analyses based on your institutional data.
With the Reporting Tier you’re provided a set of pre-built reports which show you the learning activity taking place in your Blackboard tools, and help you solve Usage and Adoption questions.
Ready to take the next step? Follow the steps on this page to to set up your integration.
To use Collaborate with the Ultra experience with your Learning Management System (LMS), start by contacting Blackboard to have it enabled on your instance and receive your integration credentials.
Submit a case on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only). Fill in all of the fields and make these selections:
- From the What's New for... menu, select Collaborate.
- Select Create a case.
- From the Account menu, select your school's account.
- From the Product Line menu, select Collaborate.
- From the Environment menu, select your school's Collaborate license.
- From the Issue Topic menu, select Ultra Experience.
- From the Functional Area menu, select New LMS Integration credential requests.
- From the Category menu, select your Learning Management System.
- Blackboard Learn
- LTI integration
- Moodle plugin
- Rest API integration
- From the Instance menu, select your instance:
- In the Description area, specify Collaborate Ultra.
The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block uses Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) compliant credentials. You need to request new credentials after you install this building block. If you previously used the LTI integration to add Collaborate to your Blackboard Learn instance, you can reuse those credentials.
- Go to Administrator Tools, Building Blocks, and Installed Tools.
- Find Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and select Settings.
- Select Web Conference Settings.
- Fill in the Collaborate Services Configuration information with the information Blackboard gave you.
- Select Submit.
- After you configure the building block, turn it on.
After you have configured Collaborate, turn it on.
- From the Administrator Panel select Tools.
- Find Blackboard Collaborate or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
- Turn on the course and organization tools as needed.
After the room is turned on for their course, an instructor or someone with a higher role makes the room available to other course users when they first access it. The room stays open for the life of the course.
Attendance reporting is only available in sessions with an end date and time. Attendance is not tracked in course rooms.
Let Collaborate take attendance for you. Your Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.
Based on criteria you and your instructors 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 the appropriate Blackboard Learn course.
Attendance from the Collaborate session can be counted in each student's average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.
Configure attendance reporting
The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block must be enabled and configured on your system before you can use attendance reporting. Each Learn instance must also have a unique Collaborate consumer account. If you share a Collaborate consumer account between your staging and production environments, you must request an additional Collaborate consumer account.
To use attendance reporting you need to register the Cloud Site ID and enable the attendance reporting feature.
- From the Administrator Tools select Building Blocks, and Installed Tools.
- Find Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and select Settings.
- Select Cloud Site ID Registration.
- Choose Register and select Submit.
- Select Attendance Settings.
- Select the Report Attendance check box.
This allows instructors to choose to use the attendance reporting feature in their sessions. Instructors must still choose to use the feature for each session they want to track attendance. To learn more, see the instructor help for attendance reporting.
- Optionally, edit the attendance thresholds. These thresholds are not locked. Instructors can change them in their sessions.
- Late after: Attendees who join the session after the number of minutes entered are marked late. By default, attendees are late if they join the session later than 5 minutes and up to to 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. If the attendee joins a second after the 5 minutes they are marked late.
- Absent after: Attendees who join the session after the number of minutes entered are marked absent. By default, attendees are absent if they join the session later than 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. If the attendee joins a second after the 20 minutes they are marked absent.
- 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.
- Select Submit.
Frequently asked questions
Can I reuse my existing Blackboard Collaborate Building Block credentials in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?
No. You need new credentials.
I use the LTI with Collaborate Ultra in Blackboard Learn, can I use my LTI credentials in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?
Yes. You can use your LTI credentials in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block.
Can I use the Blackboard Collaborate and the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block at the same time?
Yes. They are independent of each other.
Will my Ultra sessions and recordings migrate from the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?
No, but the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block can be used at the same time so you can still locate the recordings there.
Change the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block to recordings only, if you don't want instructors to host sessions using the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block but still have access to their recordings.
Will my Ultra sessions and recordings migrate from the Ultra LTI to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?
Yes. You will see your Ultra LTI sessions and recordings in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block.
Will the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block have my rooms?
No. You have a new Course Room and can create new sessions.