Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Most of the webinar sessions for the ALT Online Winter Conference will be delivered using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. You can familiarise yourself with Blackboard Collaborate by dropping in to the ‘Virtual Cafe‘.

Detailed user information about Blackboard Collaborate is available on the Blackboard Help pages. We have also developed a a visual overview of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

Making live sessions accessible

Please have a look at the help information including best screen reader experience, keyboard navigation and navigating Collaborate.

Known issues

For some Mac OS users

When using Mac OS “Big Sur” 11.0 or “Catalina” 10.15 and Safari 14 with Collaborate Ultra the audio a user hears is breaking up or cracking.

Affected Platforms

Mac OS “Big Sur” 11.0 and Safari 14
Mac OS “Catalina” 11.0 and Safari 14

Workaround

If Safari 14 is installed on your computer, please plan on using either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with Collaborate Ultra sessions

For underpowered Chromebooks and iOS devices

Some users on older or underpowered ChromeBooks and iOS devices (iPads and iPhones) may experience audio breaking up in their live Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session due to hardware configuration and CPU capabilities.

Affected Platforms

The issue seems to be related to older or underpowered Chromebook and iOS devices. However, older or underpowered Windows machines may also be affected. Examples: the Apple iPhone 6 or a ChromeBook with an Intel Celeron N4020 processor.

Workaround

Be sure any unused applications on your computer or device are closed before starting your Collaborate Ultra session and closing unused browser tabs.

BEFORE THE EVENT

How do I test my access to the Blackboard Collaborate software before an event?

ALT requests that all participants check their systems before a webinar, to ensure they can access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and participate during the event. You can test Blackboard Collaborate Ultra by dropping in to the ‘Virtual Cafe‘. We strongly recommend that you do so in advance, as we will only be able to offer limited technical support once the session is in progress.

When you enter the session, configure your audio by entering the settings tab in the Collaborate panel, opened from the arrow in the bottom right-hand corner.

I don’t have a microphone – can I still take part in a webinar?

Yes – you don’t have to have a microphone to be able to participate. To ask a question, you will be able to raise your hand or write in the chat window, and to agree or disagree with a comment you can use the happy/unhappy face icons or the tick/cross. These can all be found in the Collaborate panel, using the icons below the list of participants.

DURING THE EVENT

I can’t hear the speaker – what should I do?

If you can’t hear the speaker, you can turn up the speaker volume using the controls in the Collaborate panel > MY Settings (bottom right-hand corner). If this does not work, try using the audio setup wizard (‘Set up your camera and microphone’). If you still can’t hear, please post in the chat window and a moderator will help you.

My microphone isn’t working – what should I do?

If your microphone is very quiet or is not working, check it is not muted on the icon in the bottom middle of the screen. You can turn up the volume using the controls in the settings tab.  If you still can’t be heard, please post in the chat window and a moderator will help you. Note that the maximum number of simultaneous speakers is often limited in a session, and you may need to wait until others have turned off their microphones before being able to speak.

How can I ask a question?

You can ask a question by typing in the chat window or raising your hand by clicking the hand icon in the bottom middle of the screen. The speaker or moderator will then allow you to ask your question.

How can I chat to other participants?

If you want to chat to another participant without all other participants seeing your message, you can select who receives your message using  the function above the chat window.

How can I chat to the moderators only?

You can send a message to the moderators of a session by selecting ‘moderators’ from the chat box.

How can I agree/disagree with something?

To agree or disagree with something, you can use the happy/unhappy face, the tick/cross or the clapping icons. These can all be found in the bottom right-hand corner, in the drop down next to the text input box and in the settings tab.

AFTER THE EVENT

Where can I find a webinar recording?

Recordings of webinars will be added to the session page when they become available.