Connect live and in person with your students in your class.

Collaborate scheduler

When you first access Blackboard Collaborate you'll encounter an intuitive design for scheduling sessions in the Ultra experience and viewing recordings. We call this the Collaborate Scheduler.

The Collaborate scheduler is available in Blackboard Learn and LTI compliant LMS courses or directly from a web link. The Collaborate scheduler is not available in the Blackboard Open LMS Collaborate activity module.

Set the date for your session, the designated start and stop times, and then tell your student how to find it.

In the Scheduler, or sessions list, you'll find these things.

  • Course room: At the start of the page is a course room. The course room is an open session dedicated to your course.

    This is only available when you go to Collaborate from inside a course.

  • Create Session: Create new sessions. Sessions you create appear after the course room and Create Session button. 
  • Session options: Open the Session options menu to join, edit or delete the session. You can also copy a guest link and view reports for this session.
  • Menu: Open the menu to switch between a list of sessions and a list of session recordings.

Filter and search for sessions

You can filter the list of sessions that appear by all upcoming sessions, all previous sessions, and sessions in a date range. Use the filter to help you find the session you are looking for.

If you know the name of the session you are looking for, select Search Sessions and type the session name.

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.

Not sure where to find Collaborate in your course? Ask your institution administrator to find out.


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.

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 sessions

Create Collaborate Sessions

From the Scheduler sessions list, select Create Session. The Create session panel is organized by tabs.

The tabs you see depend on if you create sessions from inside your course or not. Only event details are required to create the session. The other tabs are optional.

  • Event details: Basic information required for a session. More on Event Details.
  • Invitations: Optionally, send email invitations to specific attendees. More on Invitations.

    This feature is only available from the Scheduler web page. You can't send invitations from inside LMS courses.

  • Session Settings: Optionally, decide if users can download recordings, share audio or video, post chat messages, and more. More on Session Settings.
  • Attendance Reporting: Optionally, share session attendance data to your Blackboard Learn course. More on Attendance Reporting.

    This feature is only available in Blackboard Learn.


Event Details

Event details include the name, date, and time of a session. Decide if the session is open ended or recurring. Make the name something meaningful for your attendees so they know what the session is for.

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

You can also allow guest access from the Event Details tab.

Edit recurring sessions

Recurring sessions are based on the first session in the series. To change the time of the whole series, make the update in the first occurrence. You can also update individual occurrences.

  1. From the Scheduler find the recurring session.
  2. Expand the session to see all occurrences.
  3. Select the Session options menu and select Edit occurrence.
  4. Edit the occurrence and save.

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.

Guest access is off by default to limit access to authenticated attendees. If you want to keep your session secure, don't use guest links.

More on session security

After you allow guest access, choose a role for your guests based on the permissions you want to give them. Make sure you understand the different roles and their permissions before assigning them to guests.

More on roles and permissions

If you allow attendees to teleconference into your session, anonymous dial-in information is also available. As with guest links, anybody who has the dial-in information can use it. You also won't know who the attendee is as they'll be anonymous. If you want to keep your session secure, don't share the anonymous dial-in information. Attendees can still teleconference but with dial-in information that authenticates them.

More on Collaborate teleconference

Remove guest access

If you allow guest access and change your mind later, clear the Guest access check box in the session's Event Details tab. Any guest links that were previously shared will no longer work. The session is still active but the guest link is broken. Attendees will need to join from your course or email invitation.

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.

Invite attendees

Students enrolled in your course automatically have access to a session when it is available. It's good practice to set the Default Attendee Role in Session Settings as Participant, unless you want students to join as presenters or moderators.

Students may not always be aware of new sessions. Be sure to let them know when and how to join.