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Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is web based online interactive session platform. It includes audio, video, text chat, an interactive whiteboard, PowerPoint display, application sharing, breakout rooms, polling and session recording.

Screenshot of the Blackboard Collaborate Interface

Getting Started

Staff can access Collaborate Ultra via Minerva; a link to Collaborate Ultra can be added to ANY module or organisation. If you don't have access to an existing module or organisation see the Basics section on our FAQs.

In most cases staff will be best suited using an existing Minerva module or organisation (if module or school/programme related) to facilitate sessions.

Quickstart guides

We have created two new quickstart guides for staff who are new to Collaborate Ultra and need to start using it immediately:

Getting started in Minerva

To use Collaborate Ultra, a member of staff needs to set up a room in their Minerva module or organisation and then add a link to it so students can access it. If you want to invite participants from outside the University, this is also possible via a guest invitation URL.

Collaborate Ultra is web based meaning you don’t have to install any software to access it. For the best experience use the most recent version of Google Chrome or Firefox. IE 11 is not supported. Check the full list of supported browsers.

If you want to keep a copy of your Collaborate Ultra Session for students to review you can record it. Remember to check your students are happy to be recorded first though (there is an option to remove students' names from recordings but this has to be enabled before the session takes place.)

To sum up:

  1. Choose which Collaborate Ultra Room you want to use.
  2. Review the Session Options (this is when you can remove students' names before a recording is made).
  3. Add a link to Collaborate Ultra and direct students to it in your Minerva module or organisation/create a guest invitation if required.
  4. Collaborate Ultra is unable to provide suitable captioning functionality at present. This guide provides options to enable captioning.
  5. Adding a profile picture can make students more comfortable with participating online.
  6. Visit your Module (Course) Room before first use, where you can familiarise yourself with the interface, configure audio & video, and add a profile picture.
  7. Once the session has finished, direct students to the recording in your module/organisation if relevant. There is also the option to download an MP4 if you wish to keep a copy of the recording for wider distribution.

Use our Checklist to help you remember what you need to do before delivering a Collaborate Ultra Session.


Web based training sessions are being offered by OD&PL, which you can book via their website.