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Blackboard Help

Collaborate Update - March 2017

Here's everything you need to know about the March 2017 (v17.3) release of Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

Available March 4, 2017

Collaborate with the Ultra experience v17.3 is deployed to all data centers on Saturday, March 4.

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 are excited to introduce you to the detachable Participants panel.


Keep the Participants panel open at all times

Now you can leave the Participants panel open all the time. Chat with others and see everyone in the session at the same time. You can tell who is away, has their microphone on or is having network connection trouble. All while chatting and participating in the session.

You need to detach the Participants panel to keep it open. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Open the Collaborate panel. Drag-and-drop the Participants icon to the main stage.
  2. Open the Collaborate panel and select Participants. Select More options at the top of the panel. Select Detach Panel.

The main stage adjusts so you can still see everything on it. Any video, content, whiteboard and application shared are moved to the left to make room for the panel.

Close the panel any time. Select More options at the top of the panel. Select Merge Panel.


Experience updates

Based on your feedback, we've made a few enhancements.

  • Instructors and students in Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) compliant Learning Management Systems (LMS) have an improved experience when they open Collaborate in their course.
    • The Join room is easier to find.
    • Instructors see a new Create Session button in the center of the screen. This is available until the first scheduled session is created.  Additional sessions after the first scheduled session is created, use the Create Session button above the Course Room.
    • Instructors can copy guest links from a session's More options button. They no longer have to edit or join a session to get the guest link.
  • Screen reader users can access text from PowerPoint and PDF files shared in the session. This provides an easy way to follow along as slides change.

    Moderators and presenters must select Share Files and upload the files to Collaborate for screen readers to access the text.

  • A transcript of session chat is available from the recording player. This is only available for recorded sessions.

What's fixed

More on resolved issues


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


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.