Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for Students

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Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Welcome to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra guide for students. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows you to meet with your class virtually inside your existing Blackboard course.

This tutorial will walk you through the steps for accessing the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session via a link in your Blackboard course and using the basic features including audio, chat, and sharing your screen.

Ready to get started? Click the forward arrow below.

Your Device

A computer with a camera, speakers, and microphone will allow you to use the features in the session. The speakers are the most critical part because you will need to be able to hear your instructor. If you don't have a microphone, you can still type in the chat box to communicate. Using a separate headset with headphones and a microphone is a good solution and may provide better audio quality because of the reduction in background noise. Join the session before your class meeting time to test and set up your equipment.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra works best with the Chrome browser so download and install Chrome if possible.

You may also be able to join the audio portion of the session by dialing in with a phone. More information about dialing in is provided later in the tutorial.

Head to your Course in Blackboard

Log in to Blackboard. Navigate within Blackboard to your course.

Inside your course, look for an announcement or a link to the Blackboard Collaborate session your instructor has created. If your course is divided into Modules or Weeks, check inside the current Module or Week you are working on to find the link.

Module or Week

Click on the link.

Link to the Session

Joining the Session

Type in your full name so that your instructor and classmates can tell who you are when you're speaking, chatting, or sharing your screen.

Type in Your Name

Click Join Session.

Audio and Video Tests

You are now inside the session.

If this is the first time you have used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, the browser will ask for permission to use your audio. Click Yes. You will be prompted to complete the Audio Test to make sure you can hear and be heard in the session.

The browser will ask for permission to use your camera. Click Yes. You will be prompted to complete the Video Test to be sure your camera is on and working.

Start the Tutorial

If you have not used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra before you may be offered a tutorial. If you'd like to take the tutorial, click Start Tutorial.

Inside the Session

If others are in the session, you will see their camera views in the center and their names in the Collaborate panel on the right.

There are three areas with controls and options inside the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session. We will start with the controls in the center at the bottom of the screen.

Empty Session

Share Audio, Share Camera, and Raise Hand

In the center at the bottom, you will find My Status and Settings, Share audio, Share video, and Raise hand.

Center Settings

You are muted when you enter the room. Keep yourself muted except when you are wishing to speak. This helps to reduce background noise and feedback. Click on the symbol of the microphone with the slash through it to unmute yourself. Click on it again to mute yourself when you're not speaking.

You can choose to turn your camera on so that your instructor and classmates can see you. Click on the camera symbol with the slash through it to make yourself viewable. Click it again to stop sharing your camera.

Your instructor may ask a question and ask those wishing to respond to raise their hand and then speak. Your instructor may also use the raise hand function to take a poll. Click on raise hand to raise your hand and again to lower your hand.

Collaborate Panel

Click on the purple arrows on the right side to open the Collaborate panel.

Collaborate Panel

The first tab of the panel is Chat. You can receive and send messages to everyone in the session in the Chat panel. The default option is for chats to go to everyone. You can send a private chat by clicking next to a participant's name in the Participants list.

The next tab is the Participants list where you can see everyone who is in the room. You will see yourself listed there.

The third tab is Share Content which allows you to share a blank whiteboard, share an application or your entire screen, and share files. You may or may not have access to these options depending on the settings your instructor has chosen. Your instructor may promote you to Presenter so that you can share content.

My Settings

The final tab, which looks like a gear, is the settings tab. Under Audio and Video Settings, you can set up your camera and microphone if you were not prompted to do so when you entered the session or you can go here to troubleshoot any issues. Make sure your Speaker Volume is up.

Audio and Video Settings

Audio Test

Using a Phone for Audio

If your speakers are not working/you cannot hear the other people in the session, you can click on Use your phone for audio which provides a number for you to call in on your phone then you will be prompted to enter the PIN also provided.  

Using a Phone for Audio

Notification Settings

Under Notification Settings you can determine when you want notifications and which kinds.

Notification Settings

Upper Left Menu

The third and final options area is in the top left where you see three horizontal lines. Click on the lines to expand the menu. The call in information is duplicated here. Click Leave Session at the bottom of the menu when you are ready to leave.

Left Menu


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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