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Center for Teaching & Learning: Blackboard Collaborate - Web Conferencing

Supporting the MCPHS faculty and staff in their commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows you to add a human element to your course, by offering an all-in-one platform for web conferencing anywhere, anytime! You can connect with one student, or your entire class.  Students can collaborate with each other, using audio, video, and recording functions to capture their experience.  

Want to learn more? Explore the information we've provided here, and when you're ready to implement this into your course, send us an email to speak with our team!


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra's services are in high demand across the country -- please bookmark their system status page to view current/pending service interruptions.

Collaborate Ultra User Interface

Collaborate Ultra is completely web-based, and provides a smooth and modern experience for facilitators and learners alike.

Check out this quick video to get familiar with how Ultra looks and feels:


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Session Page

Familiarize yourself with the Ultra experience Session page in your Blackboard course:

Collaborate Ultra Session Page


Button Feature Function
Course Room button Course Room The Course Room is a session set to be run continuously in the background of your course. The Course Room can be used by you and your students to facilitate ad-hoc online meetings.
Session Options button Session Options Located to the right of each session, the Session Options button can be used to join an open session, get the anonymous dial in for a session, edit a sessions settings, view reports, and copy the session's guest link.
Create Session button Create Session Click Create Session to create a new scheduled session. For more information about creating sessions, please visit our resource on Creating and Managing Sessions in Ultra.
Scheduled session button Scheduled Session Click the name of a scheduled session to join the session. Instructors can also click the name of a session to edit the Event Details.


Collaborate Ultra

Upon launching Collaborate Ultra for the first time in your browser, you'll be prompted to start a tutorial to help familiarize yourself with the tools--and help you set up your audio and video too!

If you'd like to make changes to your settings after you've completed the tutorial or if you upgrade your hardware, simply open the Collaborate settings panel, and select the gear icon to click "Setup your camera and microphone".

Creating and Managing Sessions - Ultra

If you'd like to create a session, select Create Session from the Sessions screen.  To manage sessions, find the session you want to edit and select Session options and Edit settings.

  • Type a meaningful name, helping your students easily identify the correct session
  • Set the starting and ending date/times.  You can choose to keep a session open or repeat, and you're also able to choose if students will be able to enter the session prior to the start of the meeting.
  • Type a detailed description of the meeting (this is optional, but helps guide participants)
  • Set guest access for the meeting.  Click On to allow participants to invite additional guests.
  • You can send a copy of the guest link to your students or to other guests.  
  • Decide if your guests join as participants, presenters, or moderators by default.  Unsure? These settings can be changed during your meeting. 
  • Invite users to your session.  Expand Invitations and select Add new invite or Search for existing users.

Create session button


Create Session window

Session Settings

While most settings can be changed any time during the session, you must set some settings before the session begins if you want to use them.

Let's explore session settings:

Sharing PowerPoint Slides

Learn how to successfully share your slides:

Polling in Collaborate Ultra

Polls are great to engage your attendees and keep them interested. Start a discussion by asking your attendees their opinion on something. Ask questions to see how well they understood what you presented. Or use reflective questions to help them retain what you presented. Attendees respond to your poll by selecting one of up to five responses. You decide how many choices attendees see.

Let's learn more:

Breakout Groups

To facilitate small group collaboration, you can create breakout groups that are separate from the main room and assign participants to them. Breakout groups have their own private audio, video, whiteboard, application sharing, and chat. Any collaboration that takes place in a group is independent of the Main room (and other groups).

Let's learn more:


Running an Attendance Report

After a scheduled session is over, you can run an attendance report to receive a participants who attended the live session.  To run an attendance report:

  1. Enter the desired course and navigate to Control Panel > Course Tools > Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
  2. Click Filter by, select Session in Range, and use the calendar buttons to select the date range during which the session occurred.
  3. Click Session Options  (the ellipses) next to the desired session and select View Reports.
    Filter by > calendar dates > session options
  4. Click the Filter by drop-down and select either Recent Reports or Reports in a Range. If selecting a range, use the calendar buttons to specify the desired date range.
  5. Click the View Report button to open the report. The next page will show a list of participants for the session.
    View Report button

Here's what you'll see in the report:

Labeled image of a Collaborate Ultra Attendance Report. The photo has labels A - J which correspond to the table below




A Session Details Scheduled session information including the time and date it occurred, the number of attendees (includes moderators, presenters, and participants), and average time users spend in the session.
B Export Reports Download the report to a printable page or excel spreadsheet.
C Name Names of the people who attended the live session.
D Role The roles of the people who attended the live session.
E Type How attendees accessed the session. LTI means through Blackboard, and invitee indicates that they entered through the guest link.
F First Join Time when the attendee first entered the session.
G Last Leave Time when the attendee exited the session and did not return.
H Total Time How long the attendee spent in the session. If they joined multiple times throughout the session, this is the sum of the time they spent in the session.
I Joins How many times the attendee entered the live session.
J Joins Breakdown Specific information about how many times an attendee entered the session, with individual enter and leave times per join.


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