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.

    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

Use Session Settings to decide if users can download recordings, share audio or video, post chat messages, and more.

Only moderators and administrators can change session settings.

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: Private Chat shows you private chat in action.

Settings to make BEFORE sessions begin

While most settings can be changed any time during the session, we recommend setting some settings before the session begins, if you want to use them. These include allowing anonymizing chat messages and enabling telephony.

  1. From the Sessions screen, find a session.
  2. Select Session options, Edit settings, and Session Settings.
  3. Optionally, set these settings:
    • Allow recording downloads: If you want to let users download recordings, you can set this before the session and recording begins.

      You can change this later, if you change your mind. You can choose this option at any time. Either before the session is delivered or anytime after the recording has been created.

    • Anonymize chat messages: You can make chat messages posted during the live session appear as anonymous posts in the recording.

      Any recording made after selecting this option has anonymous chat messages. It does not apply to recordings made before selecting this option.

      Chat Recordings are only available in the HTML5 player which is only available in the Ultra Scheduler, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), and Blackboard Collaborate ULTRA building block users at this time.

    • Allow users to join a session using a telephone: When selected, all attendees see an option in the Session menu to use their phone for audio during a session. If you don't select it, telephone is not available during the session.

      More on telephony and calling into a session

    • 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.

This is only available to users with moderator access to the Scheduler, use Collaborate in an LTI compatible LMS, or use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in their Blackboard Learn course at this time. Not sure which one you use? Jump to Schedule Sessions.

Attendance Reporting

Collaborate Attendance Setting for Blackboard Learn

If you are using Collaborate from your Blackboard Learn course, you can choose to have Collaborate send student attendance to your Blackboard Learn course Attendance page.

This must be set BEFORE the session begins.

Sharing Collaborate attendance information with your course is only available in Blackboard Learn. Not sure if you are using Blackboard Learn? Jump to Schedule a Meeting to see which Learning Management System is yours.

More on attendance reporting

Settings you can change DURING a session

Moderators can change participant permissions any time before or during a session. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. Select Session Settings.

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

By default anyone with a participant role is allowed to show their profile picture, share their audio and video, post chat messages, and draw on the whiteboard and shared files.

Optionally, change these settings:

  • Show profile picture for moderators only: If selected, participant profile pictures don't appear anywhere profile pictures are seen in the session. This includes in the Attendees panel, chat, breakout groups, and on the main stage. The default avatar appears for participants instead.
  • Share their audio: If selected, moderators can mute participants as needed. If not selected, only moderators and presenters can turn on their audio.
  • Share their video: If not selected, only moderators and presenters can turn on their video.
  • Post chat messages: If not selected, moderators and presenters can still use chat. Participants can't use chat but they can see any chat messages posted by moderators and presenters.
  • Draw on whiteboards and files: If not selected, only moderators and presenters can draw on whiteboards.

If your session has over 250 attendees, everything is off for participants by default and can't be changed. To learn more, see Large session settings.

Large session settings

Large sessions in Collaborate have over 250 and up to 500 users in the session. This is a lot to manage. For this reason we've turned off some of the features that can be disruptive in a session with that many attendees.

  • Participant permissions: We turned off these participant permissions.
    • Share audio
    • Share video
    • Post chat messages

      Moderators can choose to turn chat on DURING a session.

    • Draw on whiteboards and files

    The permissions are off for participants only. Moderators and presenters can still do all of these things.

  • Breakout groups: We've also turned off breakout groups as the group is too large for small group collaboration.

If you expect over 250 attendees in your session, administrators must submit a large session request to the Collaborate support team BEFORE the session begins.

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

If you want participants to share their audio or video, post chat messages, or draw on whiteboards and files promote them to presenters or moderators.

You can also have all attendees join as a presenter or moderator. If you do this during a large session, try and limit the number of users drawing on a whiteboard at once. Mute all users to limit the potential for disruption.

More on managing attendees

Request a large session

Submit a support request at least 72 hours in advance if you are planning a large event.

More on requesting a large session on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

  1. Create a session in the scheduler with a set start and end time.
  2. Go to Behind the Blackboard (available in English only).
  3. Select Create a case.
  4. From the Environment menu, select Web Conferencing.
  5. From the Issue Topic menu, select Large Event Request.
  6. From the Functional Area menu, select number of participants you expect.
  7. Optionally, fill in Instance, User Role, Client OS, Client OS Version, Browser Version, Java Version, CMS/LMS, and CMS/LMS URL.
  8. In URL Accessed, paste the session link.
  9. In Subject/Error Message, type "Large Event Request for Collaborate Ultra".
  10. In Description, provide these details about the event.
    • Contact name
    • Session name
    • Session date and time
    • Session link
  11. Select Create New Case.


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


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

More on reports