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Online Tutorials

If you need to use Collaborate Ultra to replace a face to face tutorial, it is recommended that you set up a session in Collaborate Ultra to host this.

SES have provided additional guidance for the 2021 session on using Collaborate Ultra in online teaching.

How to add a link to Collaborate Ultra

You will need to add a link to Collaborate Ultra in your module so that students can access both the Course Room (for lectures), and tutorial sessions.

Students should be invited to attend a lecture or tutorial at a specified time, as they would a physical teaching room.

To set up a link to the virtual classroom, go to the Collaboration menu item and go to Tools > More Tools > Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

Collaboration menu item Adding a Collaborate link

Change the title to 'Join the Course Room' and provide some further information in the text box. Let students know that this link will be used to access the virtual classroom for online lectures and tutorials, and to arrive at least 5 minutes before the start time on their timetable. Click Submit. This has now created a link to the tool.

Make the Collaboration menu item available to students if it isn't already by selecting Show Link from the drop down options next the menu item.

Show link option

How to create a session

Click on the link that you have created in the Collaboration menu item.

Click ‘Create Session’.

Create a session

Give the session a clear title, e.g. Tutor A's Room. Select No End (open session), and keep Early Entry set at 15 mins before start time.

If you are jointly teaching multiple modules in the same session, you must enable guest access and send all participating students the guest link. For more advice see the latest SES guidance on appropriate room setup (appendix B) in the 2021 teaching session.

We would recommend keeping the default session settings, however, session settings will need to be reviewed if you expect more than 250 participants.

Click Create.

Repeat this process to create a tutorial room (session) for each tutor teaching on the module.

Students will be assigned a Participant role when they enter the room. Staff will automatically have a Moderator role.

Sharing Content or Presentations

At least 15 minutes before your tutorial is due to start, enter the Course Room as above. Click on the purple arrow icon in the bottom right to open the Collaborate Panel.

Select the ‘Share Content’ icon.

share content icon

Select ‘Share Files’, then either drag and drop or upload your Powerpoint presentation. This will create your slides so that they are ready to use. Click ‘Share Now’ when you are ready.

How to record the tutorial

You need to inform students if a session will be recorded - see our full guidance on recordings for information.

If you need to record your tutorial so that students can watch this at a later date, you must start and stop this manually. To start recording, go to the session menu in the top left corner and click ‘Start Recording’. Repeat this at the end of the tutorial and click ‘Stop Recording’.

Screenshot of session menu

Recordings take a few minutes to process, after which they will be available for both instructors and students.

To find recordings, go back to the virtual classroom link that you set up within the module. Click on the menu icon towards the top left, then Recordings. All recordings will be listed here. Direct students to the same location so that they can watch the recording if necessary.

recordings menu

Equipment and location

It is recommended that all both instructors and students use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to access Collaborate Ultra. Please note that Internet Explorer is not supported.

Instructors will need to use headphones with a microphone, and a webcam if they wish to be seen. Where possible, use a wired internet connection for the best experience.