Creating a Collaborate Ultra Session
In this module you will learn how to create, edit, and delete a Collaborate Ultra session.
Note: Since sessions are hosted in your browser, it is suggested that you use Google Chrome for the best experience.
Entering the Collaborate Ultra Portal
Entering the Collaborate Ultra Portal within your course site depends on where you created a link to it - either in 1) the Course Menu or 2) a Content Area.
1) If you have created a Collaborate Ultra tool link in your Course Menu, you can click on this directly to launch the application.
2) If you have created a Collaborate Ultra link within a Content Area, first click the name of the Content Area in the Course Menu, and then click the Collaborate Ultra link in the Content Area.
If you have not yet created a Collaborate Ultra link in either the Course Menu or a Content Area, then please refer to the Enabling Collaborate Ultra in Your Blackboard Course guide.
Once you have clicked on the Collaborate Ultra link in either the Course Menu or in a Content Area, you should see the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra screen shown below.
Creating a New Session
To create a session, click the Create Session button on the left.
A new panel will open along the right side of your screen, with two tabs: Event Details and Session Settings
Entering the Session Name
You will now see the Event Details tab on screen: The steps below will detail how to set up the session information.
Enter the title that you would like for the session.
After entering the session title, you can set up Guest Access for the session:
- Check the checkbox to enable guest access.
- Use the dropdown menu to select the default role for guests (the role that individuals would have when they enter the session). The available roles are Participant, Moderator and Presenter. For more information about these various roles, please see the Session Roles guide.
- The session link will be generated after the session details are saved.
- Select a start/end date/time for the session.
- If you would like to create a session that is open 24/7 the entire semester, check the box for No End (Open Session).
- You may select Repeat Session if you would like to create multiple weekly sessions at once, rather than create them individually. (See step below for further details)
- Early Entry: Select how many minutes prior to the start of session that participants are allowed to enter.
- Provide a Description (Optional): You may enter a description of the session that will appear in Blackboard for students.
- If you wish to create a session with default settings, click the Create button. If you wish to modify settings, click the Session Settings tab at the top.
After checking the option to set up a repeating session, you can specify the session properties:
- Frequency: Use the dropdown menu to choose how frequently to repeat the session (e.g. weekly, monthly, daily)
- Meeting schedule: Based on the option selected above, choose how often to repeat the schedule
- Use the icons to select which days to schedule sessions for.
- Select whether to end the session at a number of specified occurrences, or on a specific date.
- Click on the Session Settings tab to modify the session settings.
- Default Attendee Role: The system preloads the Participant role by default, but you may select a different default role for all student users in the session. See the article on Session Roles.
- Recordings: Check the Allow Recording Downloads box if you want students to be able to download recordings from Blackboard to their devices. If this box is not checked, students will only be able to stream any recordings that are available. Note: This box also must be checked if faculty want to be able to download recordings. To anonymize student names in the chat, check the box labeled Anonymize Chat Recordings. This option is recommended for FERPA compliance, especially if you are sharing the recordings outside of the classroom or reusing recordings from previous semesters.
- Moderator Permissions: Checking this box prevents participants from seeing each other's profile pictures.
- The Participants Permissions category is where you can enable/disable permissions that participants have. These can also be altered within the session itself. The options include share their audio, share their video, post chat messages, and draw on whiteboard and files.
- Enable Session Telephony: By default, this box is checked, allowing participants to use their telephones to connect to the session's audio. Because using the telephone is an alternative for participants whose computer speakers and microphone are not working, we recommend keeping this option selected.
- Private Chat: This section contains options related to the use of private chats in a session (chats sent to individual users in the session). If you do not want students to chat with each other privately, and only be able to chat with session moderators, check the option labeled Participants can only chat privately with moderators. If you want to monitor private chats, check the option labeled Moderators supervise all private chats.
- Large Scale Session: Check this box if you plan to have more than 250 participants in the session. Selecting this option will disable the Participant Permissions.
- Profanity Filter: Check the checkbox to automatically filter profanity in the chat.
Session Attendance Reporting
In order to use the attendance reporting feature, an end date must be specified in the session parameters.
To enable automatic session grading for the session:
- Click on the Attendance Reporting button to set up attendance reporting for the session
- Share Attendance with LMS: Check this button to enable attendance reporting for the session.
- Late After: Enter the number of minutes after which students would be marked as Late
- Absent After: Enter the number of minutes after which students are marked as Absent
- Required Time in Session: Enter the percentage of the session students must attend in order to avoid being counted Absent.
Creating the Session
Once all options have been set, click the Create button at the bottom of the panel.
Note: If you are receiving errors about not being able to connect to Collaborate, please go to http://status.blackboard.com and check on the status for Collaborate - Web Conferencing (US Hosted). This will let you know if Blackboard is having issues with Collaborate Ultra.