Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is one of the three University virtual classroom systems. It is a web based online interactive session platform that is integrated into Minerva module areas. It includes audio, video, text chat, an interactive whiteboard, PowerPoint display, application sharing, breakout rooms, polling and session recording.
Collaborate Ultra has been in full service since September 17/18 and is available to all staff and students via modules and organisations in Minerva. It can be used for virtual office hours, tutorials, student led discussions or informal chat. External users can participate as guests.
How Collaborate Ultra Can Be Used in Digital Education
- Allows people to engage in dynamic conversations.
- Allows tutors to intervene in student learning as it takes place (seeing problems unfold, witnessing thinking processes etc).
- Provides visual and verbal cues for social presence.
- Brings a group of people together in a shared, immediate event.
The Minerva support pages have several guides on how to use Collaborate Ultra, a good place to start is the:
There are also two new quick start guides for staff who are new to Collaborate Ultra and need to start using it immediately:
- Delivering tutorials
- Delivering lectures (includes the option to record lectures without students present and share)
Planning webinars and live sessions
Live, or synchronous sessions provide a valuable opportunity for the most immediate form of online contact between teachers and students, you can find advice on the Digital Practice website, see Live (synchronous) teaching sessions for online learning
University’s AV recording policy
The University’s AV recording policy now describes the position in relation to all major digital education systems available for audio video recording (Mediasite, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Stream, Collaborate Ultra), this can be found on the Digital Practice website, see Audio Video Recording Policy: Guidance for Staff
Collaborate Ultra are continually evolving to improve the teaching and learning experience, you can find out about new features by visiting their news site, What’s new for Collaborate Ultra
Join the Digital Education Systems User Group (DESUG)
The DESUG is open to all University staff and students and enables systems end users to propose enhancements to our teaching and learning systems, directly shaping the future product roadmaps of our digital education systems.
Meetings are held 3-4 times a year; attendees receive updates and can feedback on recent and future systems’ enhancements and digital education system projects. If you would like to be added to the Digital Education Systems User Group, please request to join the DESUG Team.
Join the Digital Education Systems Group (DESG)
The DESG is open to University staff and provides information on what’s happening and what’s coming up. Members are added to the Microsoft DESG Team and are invited to a monthly meeting to input into discuss on systems and projects. Once you are a member of the team, you will find channels for different systems as well as general discussion groups. If you would like to be a member of this group, please request to join the DESG Team.
Join the Tips Community
The Teaching Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS) Community is a network for teaching and support staff with the aim of collecting and sharing examples of effective practice from across the University. If you would like to join the TIPS community, please request to join the Tips Team.