Create and edit sessions

If you want to create a session select Create session from the Sessions screen. To edit sessions, find the session you want to edit and select Session options and Edit settings.

  • Type a meaningful session name. This helps students find the right session.
  • 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.
  • Optionally, type a detailed description of the meeting.
  • Copy the moderator link for your personal use, such as adding to a personal calendar item. Anybody using this link must be able to sign in with the session creator credentials.
  • Set guest access for the meeting. Clear the Guest access check box to remove guest access.
  • You can send the copy of the guest link to your students, or other guests. You can also decide if your guests join as participants, presenters, or moderators by default. Guest links are public links and can be used by anybody who has the link. To learn more, see Session Security.

    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.
  • Invite users to the session. Expand Invitations and select Add new invite or Search for existing users. To learn more, see Create and manage users.

Session Settings

Session Settings

Session Settings lets you control what you want to allow in your session. Some settings you need to set before the session begins. Other settings you can change any time before or during the session.

Settings to make before sessions begin

While most settings can be changed any time during the session, you must set some settings before the session begins, if you want to use them.

  • Guest access
  • Default Attendee Role
  • Anonymize chat messages
  • Enable session telephony
  • Private chat settings
  • Profanity filter
  • Allow 250+ attendees to join

    If you don't see this large scale session option, it may not be available in your integration. Your administrator can set this for you.

Settings you can change during a session

Some settings you can change during the session. If you want to change settings during a session, open the Collaborate panel, select My Settings, and open Session Settings.

  • Only show moderator profile pictures
  • Participant permissions

Video: Session Settings in Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience

Watch a video about session settings

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: Session settings shows you session settings that must be set before a session and settings you can change during a session.

Guest access

Guests are attendees who don't need to sign into the session or be enrolled in your course to join the session. Guests don't require authentication.

When you allow guest access, a guest link is available for the session. This link is a public link that can be used and shared by anyone who has it. Anyone with the guest link can join the session.

More on guest access

Default attendee role

By default, everyone joins the session as a participant. Session owners and course instructor join as a moderators. Use the Default Attendee Role menu to change the default for guests and students. 

You can't change the default during the session. But if there is no end date for the session, you can change the default before the next time you use it.

Make sure you understand the different roles and their permissions before making any a default.

More on roles and permissions

Session recording settings

Session Recording Settings

  • Allow recording downloads: If you are the session owner, you don't need to turn this option on to download recordings. Session owners, course instructors, and administrators can always download recordings. The Allow recording downloads check box lets others download the recording. Select this option to let your attendees and students download recordings.

    You can turn this setting on after the session has ended. If the session has ended, change the session end date to the current or a future date and select Save.

  • Anonymize chat messages: Chat messages posted during the session appear as anonymous posts in the recording. You need to plan ahead with this option and turn it on before recording the session. Once the recording has started you can't change your mind. This option is not reversible.

Show profile pictures for moderators only

If you want to keep your session secure and free from inappropriate profile pictures, only allow moderators to show theirs. If selected, participant profile pictures don't appear anywhere profile pictures are seen in the session. This includes in the Attendees list, chat, breakout groups, and on the main stage. The default avatar appears for participants instead.

Participant permissions

By default, all participant permissions are on for sessions with fewer than 250 participants. Participants can share share audio, video, post chat messages, and draw on whiteboards and files. Clear any check box to turn off the permission.

You can change participant permissions any time before or during the session. These settings turn the permission on or off for all participants. You can't change permissions for just one participant. If you want certain attendees to have different permissions, change their role.

Participant permissions don't change what moderators and presenters can do.

For larger sessions all participant permissions are off by default and can't be changed. To learn more, go to Settings in webinar mode.

Enable session telephony

Select Allow attendees to join the session using a telephone to let attendees dial into the session teleconference. Up to 25 attendees can call into a session from the phone. If the maximum number of dial-in attendees has been reached, nobody else can call in.

You can't change this setting during the session. If you want to let attendees dial in, select this check box before the session starts.

More on Collaborate teleconference

Private chat settings

Private chat between attendees is on by default but you can limit how it's used.

  • Participants can only chat with moderators: 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 between attendee. An alert appears at the top of the private chat channel informing attendees that the chat is being supervised. If you don't select it, you don't see the private chat channels.

More on private chat

Collab Chat Profanity Filter


Chat profanity filter

If someone uses inappropriate words in the chat those words are filtered out in both the live session and the recording. The words are replaced with a series of stars.

Inappropriate English and Spanish terms are filtered.

The chat profanity filter is off by default. Some terms may not be inappropriate for every subject. For example, some biological terms may be filtered out that are appropriate for biology classes. The list of inappropriate terms is predetermined and can't be changed at this time.

You can't change this setting during the session. If you want to filter out profanity, select the Hide profanity in chat messages check box before the session starts.


Large scale session

By default, sessions support up to 250 attendees. You can set up your session to support up to 500 attendees. From the session's settings, select Allow 250+ attendees to join before the session begins.

If you don't see the large session option, check the session length. The session needs an end time and can't be more than 24 hours in length. 

If you still don't see this large scale session option, it may not be available in your integration. Your administrator can set this for you.

This option makes the session a webinar that supports up to 500 attendees. Not all features are available in webinar mode. These features are turned off:

  • Participant permissions: Participants can't share audio, video, post chat messages, or draw on whiteboards and files.

    Moderators can choose to turn chat on DURING a session. Moderator permissions don't change.

  • Breakout groups: Breakout groups aren't available while in webinar mode.

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

If you want a single participant to share audio or video, post chat messages, or draw on whiteboards and files, promote the participant to presenter.

More on managing attendees


Turn on webinar mode

Webinar mode is not available for our clients on the Moderator Access (Classroom) license. It is available for clients on our Department and Enterprise licenses. For questions about your license or to upgrade, please contact your Blackboard Account Executive.

Change a session to webinar mode and support up to 500 attendees. To help manage the increased number of attendees, webinar sessions have these limitations.

  • Webinar sessions can't be longer than 24 hours in length
  • Guests must be assigned the participant role
  • Participant permissions are turned off
  • Breakout groups aren't available

To create a session in webinar mode, go to the Session Settings and select Allow 250+ attendees to join. If you don't see the option in Session Settings, submit a request to enable it on Behind the Blackboard.


Recordings

Moderators can record their sessions and share them. The recordings are saved as MP4 files. Users can stream or download them to view them. Recordings capture the audio, video, and any content that is shared during a session. Recordings also capture any real time captions or subtitles available during the session. If there are more than one captions available during the session, the recording will capture only the first one.

More on recording storage on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

More on recordings for moderators


Reports

Administrators, managers, and moderators can view reports from the Scheduler.

More on reports


Use a toll-free number

Save your students long distance charges and add a toll-free number for session dial in. Owners of the toll-free number are responsible for the charges instead.

Collaborate doesn't provide toll-free numbers. If you don't already have one, you can purchase them from services like Toll-Free Forwarding

  1. Set up your toll-free number to forward to one of Collaborate's dial-in telephony numbers.
  2. Submit a request to replace the number in the session user interface with the toll-free number on Behind the Blackboard.