Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - Session Setup
This document explains how to set up a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session in Learn@UW-Stout (D2L)
Instructors at UW-Stout now have access to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Ultra is a browser-based web conferencing tool and can be accessed through Learn@UW-Stout. Since it is browser-based, it does not have any Java requirements. Chrome is the preferred browser for use with Ultra as it provides the fullest functionality with the tools.
To get started, launch your Chrome browser. If you do not have Chrome installed on your computer, you can get if from Software Center.
Enter your Learn@UW-Stout course. Once you are inside, click on the Other Tools tab toward the right-hand side of the screen.
In the Other Tools menu that opens, choose Collaborate: Ultra from the list.
After you click on Collaborate: Ultra, the Sessions area will appear.
One important thing to notice is the Course Room. Every Blackboard Collaborate area in your courses has a course room by default. It is also the only room that has a Join Room button. If attendees are in a hurry, they may accidentally click the Join Room button instead of scrolling down to click on the session you have created.
To prevent this from happening, you can lock the course room. Start by going to the far right of the screen and locating the circle with three dots in it. If you mouse over it, a popup that says, "Course Room options" will appear.
Click on the circle and the Course Room options menu will appear. Click on the option that says. "Lock course room."
After you have locked the Course Room, the Join Room button will disappear. The Course Room will also show a status of, "Locked."
To start work on creating your session, click on the Create Session button.
A new panel will open for setting up your session. Start by entering a name for your session.
The next section to work on is the Guest Access area. In the Guest role menu, you can choose whether participants will enter the meeting as participants, presenters, or moderators. The Guest link box shows the URL of the session and the icon to the right enables you to copy the guest link. This link can be sent to people outside of the course (such as guest presenters) to allow them to enter the session without being enrolled in the course,
Under Event Details, choose the start and end date of your session. If you want an ongoing session, check the box that says, “No End (Open Session).”
If you want to have a recurring session, check the Repeat Session button. In the area that opens, you can choose to have the session repeat daily, weekly, or monthly. You can also choose the daily, weekly, or monthly frequency. For example, if you choose Repeat Weekly, you can choose Every Week, Every Two Weeks, and so on.
The circles are for the days of the week. The day of the week for when your repeat session starts will be highlighted in green.
You can set the session to end after a certain number of occurrences or on a certain date.
Further down in the New Session window you can determine how early you want to allow participants to enter the session. If you want your session to have a description, click where it says, “Add a description” and type one in.
Now click on the Session Settings tab. The Default Participant Role menu enables you to change the role of the participants entering the meeting.If you check the "Allow recording downloads" box it will allow participants to download recordings of the session. If you check the "Anonymize chat messages" box, participants will be able to send anonymous chat messages to the chat area. If you check the box for Moderator Permissions, only profile pictures of Moderators will be shown in the session.
If you keep the Participant Permissions checked, participants will be able to use the audio and video tools to share their audio and video, chat via text, and draw on whiteboards and files. If you leave the Enable Session Telephony box checked, users will be able to use their phone to get audio from the session. If there are any features that you do not want participants to have, uncheck the box for that feature. You can change these permissions from within your session, and as many times as you like.
NOTE: Learning Technology Services (LTS) does not pay for any phone charges incurred by users who use their phones for session audio. Users are responsible for paying their own charges if calling in by phone.
Click the Save button at the bottom when you are finished.
After you click the Save button, the session you set up should be visible in your list of sessions.
If you wish to delete a session or edit the settings, click on the circle with the three dots in it to the far right-hand side of the session name. Click the pencil icon to edit your session. If you wish to view reports about your session, click on View reports. Click on the trash icon can to delete the session. To copy the guest link to share with guest, click on Copy guest link.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- You can set up multiple session rooms in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, so there is no need to try to use one session room for everything in your course.
- It is easier to set up one ongoing room for things that you intend to use often, such as office hours.
- You can promote and demote participants at any time during the session, and as many times as you want.
- It is not advisable to promote anyone to Moderator status unless they are an actual moderator for the session. The Presenter status is sufficient for those who just need to present.
If you would like training or assistance with Collaborate Ultra, please contact the LTS Instructional Technology Consultant for your college.