Skip to main content
pdf?stylesheet=default
Blackboard Help

Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience

Self- and Managed-Hosting administrators, you're in the right place!
SaaS administrators, view Collaborate Ultra information in the help section for your deployment.

What is Collaborate with the Ultra experience?

We've redesigned Blackboard Collaborate to give your users a better learning experience—the Ultra experience. Now, they can spend more time learning and less time setting up.

Join sessions quickly. You no longer need to install Java or a launcher to access sessions. Now you can quickly join browser-based sessions with ease!

Enjoy a modern aesthetic. Our sleek and intuitive interface provides a clutter-free experience that puts everything at your fingertips. We call this the Ultra experience.

Focus on learning. The easy to use interface allows you to focus on learning, not how to use the software!

More on how participants use Collaborate with the Ultra experience

More on how moderators use Collaborate with the Ultra experience


Get started: Choose a building block

Your users can join a Collaborate with the Ultra experience session from their Blackboard Learn course. They don't need to install Java or download and open Java-reliant files to their devices. The session opens in a new window or tab, depending on their browser settings.

You have two choices to get started with Collaborate with the Ultra experience in Blackboard Learn 9.1. There are two building blocks with similar but distinct functions:

  • Blackboard Collaborate: With this building block, instructors have one open session dedicated to their course, known as the course room. The course room lasts the life of the course. They can turn student access to the room off, but they can't create new sessions.

    With the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block, you can use Collaborate with the Original experience or Collaborate with the Ultra experience for the course room. You control which courses use each experience.

    The Blackboard Collaborate Building Block is available for Blackboard Learn SP 12 and higher, but older versions only support Collaborate with the Original experience. To get the building block that contains Collaborate with the Ultra experience, you’ll need Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 and higher.

    More information on the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block is available on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only)

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: With the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block, instructors have both a dedicated course room and the ability to schedule as many new sessions as they want. The room lasts the life of the course and can be turned off.

    The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block uses Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) compliant credentials.

    More on requesting credentials

    This building block is bundled with Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 and later, and the upgrade path from one version to the next is very simple.


What's the difference?

Here are some essential details to keep in mind:

  • The Blackboard Collaborate Building Block offers you the choice to use Collaborate with the Original experience OR Collaborate with the Ultra experience.
  • The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block only lets you use Collaborate with the Ultra experience. The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block uses Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) compliant credentials, but this is different from using an LTI integration. This building block allows you to configure the availability of Collaborate with the Ultra experience directly within the Administrator Panel.
  • A Blackboard Collaborate integration is also available through an LTI integration, without having to install a building block. The LTI integration requires you to link Blackboard Learn to the Collaborate Session Administration System, an external portal where you schedule and manage sessions.

Looking for information on how to use Blackboard Collaborate on Learn SaaS deployments? Learn more about using Collaborate Ultra in the two course views.


Which Building Block is right for my institution?

Not sure which Building Block is best for you? It comes down to the technology you want to use. You can use the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block at the same time as the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block, if you want the features to overlap.

This table compares the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block and the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block (with Collaborate with the Ultra experience enabled).

Scenarios Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block Use Blackboard Collaborate Building Block (with Ultra enabled)
Instructors can schedule more than one session in a course graphic yes  
Instructors can view the session attendance report graphic yes  
Instructors have a dedicated course room that can be turned off graphic yes graphic yes
Instructors and students can view recordings graphic yes graphic yes
Recordings can be downloaded graphic yes  
Admin can choose between Collaborate Ultra and Original experiences on a course-by-course basis   graphic yes

Remember: if you decide to use the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block, your only choice is to use Collaborate with the Ultra experience. You can choose Collaborate with the Original or Ultra experience if you use the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block.


Get your credentials

To use Collaborate with the Ultra experience with Blackboard Learn, start by contacting Blackboard to have it enabled on your instance and receive your integration credentials.

Submit a case on Behind the Blackboard (available in English only). Fill in all of the fields and make these selections:

  • From the Environment menu, select Web Conferencing.
  • From the Issue Topic menu, select Integrations.
  • From the Functional Area menu, select Blackboard Learn.
  • From the Category menu, select Request integration credentials.
  • In the Description area, specify the Collaborate Building Block you want to use.

Install and configure

After you decide which Building Block you want to use, you need to install it on your Blackboard Learn instance. You also need to configure the building block before instructors can begin to use Collaborate.

Configure the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block

The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block uses Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) compliant credentials. You need to request new credentials after you install this building block. If you previously used the LTI integration to add Collaborate to your Blackboard Learn instance, you can reuse those credentials.

  1. Go to Administrator Tools, Building Blocks, and Installed Tools.
  2. Find Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and select Settings.
  3. Select Web Conference Settings.
  4. Fill in the Collaborate Services Configuration information with the information Blackboard gave you.
  5. Select Submit.
  6. After you configure the building block, turn it on.

Configure the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block

  1. Go to Administrator Tools, Building Blocks, and Installed Tools.
  2. Find Blackboard Collaborate, and select Settings.

    If this is the first time you’re using this building block, you’ll have to enter the credentials Blackboard provided to you.

  3. Select Set Availability for Courses and choose Use the Ultra experience.
  4. After you configure the building block, turn it on.

When you choose Use the Ultra experience, Collaborate with the Ultra experience is available immediately to all Blackboard Learn courses, organizations, and associated users, and Collaborate with the Original experience is no longer an option.

Any existing Collaborate sessions using the Original experience in a Blackboard Learn course won’t be converted to the Ultra experience. Original experience recordings continue to be available in Blackboard Learn courses even if Collaborate with the Ultra experience is enabled for the course. However, each course room only uses the Ultra experience after you choose this option.

If you’d like to choose the Collaborate experience for specific courses, you can select Custom. Search for the courses, and choose the Collaborate experience you’d like those courses to use.


Turn Collaborate on

After you have configured Collaborate, turn it on.

  1. From the Administrator Panel select Tools.
  2. Find Blackboard Collaborate or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
  3. Turn on the course and organization tools as needed.

After the room is turned on for their course, an instructor or someone with a higher role makes the room available to other course users when they first access it. The room stays open for the life of the course.

More on controlling tools in Blackboard Learn courses


Frequently asked questions

Can I reuse my existing Blackboard Collaborate Building Block credentials in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?

No. You need to request new credentials.

I use the LTI with Collaborate Ultra in Blackboard Learn, can I use my LTI credentials in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?

Yes. You can use your LTI credentials in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block.

Can I use the Blackboard Collaborate and the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block at the same time?

Yes. They are independent of each other.

Will my Ultra sessions and recordings migrate from the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?

No, but the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block can be used at the same time so you can still locate the recordings there.

Will my Ultra sessions and recordings migrate from the Ultra LTI to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?

Yes. You see your Ultra LTI sessions and recordings in the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block.

Will the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block have my sessions?

No. You have a new Course Room and can create new sessions.

Where do I find more information on scheduling sessions in the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block?

Information on scheduling sessions for moderators