Blackboard Collaborate Ultra – Guide for Participants

Blackboard Collaborate is an online tool which will allow you to take part in sessions from home. To access the session, we recommend you use a PC or Laptop. Don’t worry if this isn’t possible for you, you will also be able to access the session using a smartphone.

We recommend using Google Chrome as your web browser, as unfortunately, the system (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) does not support Internet Explorer.

Getting Started

You will be sent a link that will give you access to the online ‘room’ where the session will take place. The ‘room’ will open 10-15 minutes before the session start time, so that we can help you with any technical issues that you may have. Please make sure you arrive promptly so that we can sort out any technical issues before the session starts. To access the session:

  1. If you have them, plug in your headphones
  2. Open your web browser in your laptop or smart phone (we recommend Google Chrome)
  3. Copy the link that you have been provided into the address bar and press Enter
  4. Type your first name and first initial in when prompted and then click Join Session
  5. When prompted, make sure you allow access to your microphone and camera even if you don’t intend to use them (Some browsers need access to your microphone to play audio, even if you don’t plan to speak. To hear others in the session, including the person leading the session, you will need to give permission to access the microphone).
  6. You will then be prompted to test your microphone and camera. No one else can hear or see you at this point.

Are you having audio problems?

If you can’t hear the presenter when you first log into the session, there are few things that you should check before asking for help:

  1. Are your headphones plugged in correctly?
  2. Is the computer’s audio muted or turned down?
  3. Have you selected the correct microphone device? (You may have more than one microphone so double check)
  4. Unplug your headphones and plug them back in (or if this still doesn’t work, try without headphones)
  5. Log out of the session and then log back in so that you can try the audio set-up again. To leave the session, click on the 3 lines in the top left and you will see ‘Leave session’ at the bottom of the list.
  6. Check that you are using Google Chrome as Explorer does not work with sound

If you have tried these things and you’re still struggling, type into the Chat Box and someone will help you to figure it out!

How to contribute to sessions

During the online sessions, there will be several ways that you can communicate with us and get involved in the sessions.

  • Microphone – In some sessions, you will be able to use your microphone to contribute to the workshop. When you’re not contributing, or the presenter is talking, we will ask you to mute your microphones to minimise any background noise.
  • Chat – In some sessions, there will a chat box where you will be able to contribute to the session by typing a message. You will also be able to use this to inform us if you are having any technical issues.
  • Polls/Q&A/Raise hands – Our talks and workshops will be interactive, so look out for any poll or Q&A features popping up that you can get involved in!
  • Kahoot – In some sessions we will use an interactive quiz called Kahoot.  To access this you will need to use your smartphone (preferred) or a second browser window on your computer so you can see and select your answers, whilst still seeing the main summer school on your first screen.  You will be asked to visit and given a PIN number to enter the quiz.