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Blackboard Help

Collaborate Update - Jan 2017

Here's everything you need to know about the January 2017 (v17.1) release of Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

Available December 28, 2016

Collaborate with the Ultra experience v17.1 is deployed to all data centers on Wednesday, December 28.

To learn more, see the Collaborate Support Bulletin (available in English only).


What's new and improved

We're continually evolving to improve the teaching and learning experience. In this release we focused on supporting WebRTC in Firefox, increasing session sizes, and updating the recording player.


Firefox Update - Support for WebRTC

Enjoy the benefits of WebRTC using the Firefox® browser. With this addition, Collaborate now supports the WebRTC experience in both Google ChromeTM and Mozilla Firefox and the Flash® experience in Microsoft Internet Explorer® and Apple Safari® browsers.

The WebRTC experience in Firefox provides an almost identical experience with Chrome. This means moderators can now do the following on their Firefox browsers.

  • Share applications
  • Share their desktop
  • View two videos at one time
  • View videos in both grid and follow-the-speaker views

Firefox version 49 or higher is required for the WebRTC experience.

More on setting up audio, video, and desktop sharing in Firefox 49 and higher


Invite 250 of your closest peers!

Want to present to a larger group? You can now host sessions that have up to 250 participants attending.


New recording player

The recording player now has the same look and feel as your Collaborate session. We've updated the interface to make it easier to use and more accessible.

  • There is a Recording menu similar to the Session menu in your live sessions. From here you can download the full recording, get extra help or report an issue if you are having trouble with the recording.
  • Closed captions play with the recording.
  • Playback controls are intuitive and include access to captions, if they are available.

More on the new recording player


Visual Updates

Based on your feedback we've made a couple of enhancements.

  • We changed the hand raise icon to use an image that represents all cultures in our global community.
  • We updated the image displayed when you are the only person in the room. It is now more responsive.
  • We've given the Present/Away icon better color contrast so it is more accessible.
  • We've made the Scheduler calendar control easier to use. It now automatically sets the end date to the selected start date.

Known issues

Rome wasn't built in a day. The page below identifies known defects and workarounds in Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

List of known issues on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)


Communication and adoption toolkit

We know that getting your faculty and students caught up on the latest technologies can be a big undertaking. We've created an adoption toolkit designed to assist you in educating your users about Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience. 

More on the adoption toolkit

Want to see images for this release? Jump to the January 2017 screenshot library.


Statements regarding our product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent our current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available to our customers.