Schedule Sessions in Blackboard Learn

Where do I find 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


What is the course room?

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about the course room.

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

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

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.

If it's for group work, create groups in your course and turn on the Collaborate Ultra group tool. You and members of a group can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings.

More on creating groups in your Blackboard Learn course


Turn off the course room

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

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

  • In the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool, open the More menu for the Course Room. Select Lock course room.
  • In the Blackboard Collaborate tool, select Edit Room to restrict access to the room.

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


Create and edit sessions

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

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


Join and invite others to your session

Select a session to open to open the session details. The information you need to join or share the session is immediately after the session name. 

  • Guest access is on by default. Clear the Guest access check box to turn it off. 
  • Copy and send the copy of the guest link to your students, or other guests.

    Session links can be long and break when sent. Use a URL shortening service, such as TinyURLTM, to create a short alias for your session.

  • Decide if guests join as a participant, presenter, or moderator. Not sure of which permissions to grant someone? Don't worry. Permissions can also be set during your meeting.

    More on roles and permissions


Add sessions to your course

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.


Group sessions

Improve critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, and communication with group sessions.

Use breakout groups during a session for in the moment group collaboration.

More on breakout groups

If it's for long term group work, create groups in your course and turn on the Collaborate Ultra group tool. You and members of a group can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings.

More on creating groups in your Blackboard Learn course


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.

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: Where do I find Blackboard Collaborate?

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

Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience gives you a room for each of your courses. We call this a Course Room.

You can find the Course Room under your course Details & Actions. It lasts for the life of the course.

The Course Room only appears after an administrator successfully sets it up.


ULTRA: What is the 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 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.

Can my students use the room without me?

Yes. The Course Room is available to students.


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.


ULTRA: Schedule sessions with your students

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

From the menu next to Course Room, select View all sessions to create new 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.


ULTRA: 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.


ULTRA: Group sessions

Improve critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, and communication with breakout groups.

More on breakout groups