Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be discontinued at UBC on April 30, 2021 and will no longer be available for use. Access to Collaborate Ultra recordings will end on July 31, 2021. If you need to download your recordings, please do so before July 31, 2021. Please refer to the Collaborate Ultra Transition Guide for more information and instructions on how to download your recordings.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a cloud-based, web conferencing platform that provides a space for participants to hold real-time discussions, share files, and interact using a virtual whiteboard.


Integrating Blackboard Collaborate Ultra into Canvas
  1. Access your Canvas course site.
  2. Click Settings in the course menu on the left.
  3. Select the Navigation tab.
  4. Drag the Collaborate Ultra item from the bottom section of the page to the top section.
  5. Click Save.

You may be required to refresh your browser for the course menu link to appear in Canvas.

Creating a new session
  1. Click on the Collaborate Ultra link in the course menu on the left.
  2. Click on Create Session and fill in your event details, including a name for the session.


You can go to the Session Settings tab to change what attendees are allowed to share (e.g., audio, video, chat) or to disable anonymous chat. 


Note: Students can join a session through a U.S. phone number, but this is not recommended as it may incur charges, depending on their phone plan. Instructors can turn this option off in Session Settings by deselecting Allow attendees to join the session using a telephone.

Starting a session
  1. Click on the session you created and then click Join Session. A new window will open.
  2. Allow access to your webcam and microphone when prompted by your browser.
  3. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will guide you through audio and video tests to confirm your device is configured properly.
  4. Once setup is complete, you will join the discussion. At first, you will be hidden and muted by default. Press the camera and/or microphone buttons to enable them when ready.
Managing a session
  1. Click the purple button with the << arrows, located at the bottom right side of the screen, to open up the Collaborate Panel. 
  2. Select from four tabs in the Collaborate Panel: Chat, Attendee, Share or Settingsto manage your session.

The Chat tab allows you to view comments from attendees. You can also start private chats with individual attendees, chat with all the moderators and all attendees

The Attendee tab allows you to see who is connected. Attendees can virtually raise their hands to get your attention or ask a question. When they raise their hand, their names will appear at the top of the list and you will receive a notification. Select Lower Hand to remove raised hands. This tab also shows you each person’s role (Moderator, Participant, or Presenter).

  • Moderator: Instructors and TAs are given the Moderator role by default. As a Moderator, you can select an individual attendee to change their role, mute them, or remove them from the session.
  • Participant: Students are given the Participant role by default. Participant permissions are determined by the Moderator(s).
  • Presenter: The Presenter role can be granted to students who will be presenting content, without giving them full Moderator privileges. As a Presenter, you can upload, share, edit, and stop sharing content.

The Share tab enables many forms of interactivity in your session:

  • Share a virtual whiteboard to sketch diagrams
  • Share a screen or program window
  • Share camera: you can share another camera connected to your computer
  • Share a file (e.g., a PDF or PowerPoint Presentation)
  • Initiate a multiple choice or yes/no poll
  • Move attendees into breakout rooms

    • Form groups by dragging names into desired groups or automatically generate them by selecting Randomly Assign
    • Move from one group to another to check in on students’ discussions

The Settings tab allows you to adjust audio, video, notifications and what participants can do during the session:

  • Set up your camera and microphone
  • When and what type of notification would show up (i.e. if someone raises a hand, students leaving/entering the session)
  • What participants can share
Recording a session

Moderators can record sessions for students to view at a later time. 

  1. Click the menu button on the top left side of the screen and open the Session Panel. 
  2. Click Start Recording on the top left of the screen to start and stop recording. You can create multiple recordings during a session.

Recordings will capture:

  • Audio
  • Shared files and video
    • If both are shared at the same time, only the shared content will be recorded.
    • Allow 8 seconds for the recording to include the shared file before continuing.
  • Public chat messages
    • Messages in private chats and breakout groups will not be recorded

Recordings are automatically saved in Canvas. You or your students can access recordings from the Collaborate Ultra link in your Canvas course site’s sidebar. Open the menu sidebar on the top left and click on the Recordings tab.

Leaving a session
  1. Click the menu button on the top left side of the screen and open the Session Panel.
  2. Click Leave Session.
  3. You will be prompted to fill out an optional survey about your connection quality. You can click Skip and close your browser tab.

NOTE: Much like a group call, leaving a session does not end it for everyone. You can choose to rejoin the session or edit the session settings to end it at an earlier time.

Last updated on: June 23, 2020

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If you have any questions or if you would like to report an issue regarding a learning technology, please don’t hesitate to contact us at For in-person support, please join our LTRs at one of our drop-in sessions.