In March 2016, SHSU Online launched a soft rollout of a new version of Blackboard’s online meeting tool, Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra was then turned on by request for any faculty member that wanted to use it.
Collaborate Ultra offers a browser-based, user-friendly, quick way to host online meetings, share instructor/student screens, give presentations and communicate with students synchronously.
The pilot of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra took a full year, so that function and compatibility could be tested as well as to wait for feature parity (all the same tools/functions) with the previous version.
Once the Spring 2017 semester is complete, SHSU Online will turn on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for all Blackboard courses.
What does this mean for Blackboard faculty…
who haven’t used Collaborate in the past?
Nothing, except that they gain access to an easy-to-use online meeting tool that will encourage student engagement in fully-online, hybrid and web enhanced courses.
who have used the previous version of Blackboard Collaborate in previous semester courses?
The courses where the old Collaborate was used will need to have any links to the tool removed and replaced with a link to the new tool. Faculty members will be hearing from their instructional designers, who can help them replace the links and offer advice on how to handle the change
Collaborate Ultra Primer
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a real-time video conferencing tool designed specifically for education. With its comprehensive tools and capabilities you can engage in the virtual classroom as if it were face-to-face. Here is a document containing instructions for using Collaborate Ultra.
Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience gives faculty members a room for each of their courses. The room lasts for the life of the course. You can connect live and in person with one or all of your students any time you want.
Blackboard Collaborate allows you to:
- Hold synchronous or "real-time" meetings with your students
- Participate in Chat Sessions
- Share Video/Audio of your self and your students
- Share files (PDF, PPTX, and image files)
- Share Applications from your computer (or just your desktop)
- Students and yourself can join sessions quickly as the tool is browser based and does not require the participant to install java or a launcher.
Click the link below to watch a brief video to learn more: