Bb Collaborate Ultra

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Bb Collaborate Ultra is a synchronous communications tool that can facilitate communication and collaboration between staff and students.

Bb Collaborate Ultra allows you to:

  • talk online in real time
  • chat via text online
  • share videos, presentations and applications.

Not sure if you’re ready to move to the new Bb Collaborate Ultra experience, compare Bb Collaborate Ultra and Classic.


In order to use the accessibility features in Bb Collaborate Ultra, you must meet the following system requirements:

  • For the best Bb Collaborate Ultra experience with your screen reader, use Internet Explorer and Jaws on Windows, and Safari and VoiceOver on a Mac.

For more information about Accessibility in Bb Collaborate Ultra refer to the Accessibility Guide for Moderators.

Bb Collaborate is an externally hosted platform for online learning and collaboration. When you use Bb Collaborate your information, including any personal information you provide, will be disclosed to Bb Collaborate to be stored in its datacentres around the world. This will include your image, voice, or identifying information in readable format (Personal Information).
When you upload information to Bb Collaborate you are consenting to any Personal Information you include being disclosed to Bb Collaborate.

Bb Collaborate’s datacentres may be located in countries which do not have privacy protections comparable to that in place in Victoria. In particular, you may have no right of redress for an interference with your privacy committed overseas and the datacentre may be subject to a foreign law that compels the disclosure of Personal Information to a third party (e.g. a government or law enforcement authority).

You are responsible for Personal Information that you post to Bb Collaborate. Posting refers to making files, texts, chats, audio, video or any other form of data available on Bb Collaborate including by way of uploading or direct recording. You must remember that Personal Information that identifies you or another individual will be viewed by other users, and may be collected and used by other users of the site. It may also be accessed by administrators and technical support staff employed or engaged by Deakin or by Blackboard. Please exercise caution in posting Personal Information.

You must not post Personal Information about another person (including, without limitation, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, photographs or recordings of individuals) without their consent.

You are encouraged to review Blackboard Collaborate’s privacy policy at

Note: This usage disclaimer will appear every 120 days.

As Bb Collaborate Ultra is entirely web-based, there is no software to install.
Please note, Google Chrome is the preferred browser.

The online environment is great for ‘networking’ and getting to know one another, and the rules of common courtesy or ‘netiquette’ apply here as they do in any classroom or public area.

If you are having difficulties setting-up your microphone, speakers, or headset, contact the IT Service Desk.

Set up your microphone and speakers

For a better audio signal, we recommend using an external microphone and external speakers. Common PC microphones do not work in a Mac microphone jack, so USB microphones are preferred. You can get headsets from any store selling electronic or audio visual equipment.

When you join the Bb Collaborate Ultra session, you can set up your camera and microphone and check that the speaker and microphone volumes are configured correctly.

  1. Open the Collaborate panel Collaborate Panel on the bottom right hand side of your screen.
  2. Click on My Settings.
  3. Then, click on the Set Up your Camera and Microphone.
  4. Choose the microphone you want to use. It tells you that you sound great when it is receiving your audio. Select Yes, it’s working.
  5. Choose the camera you want to use. It tells you that you look great when it is receiving your video. Select Yes, it’s working.
  6. You can adjust your speaker and microphone volume by dragging the button.

Note: Even though it is possible for multiple people to talk at the same time, it is recommended that you release the Talk button each time you have finished speaking to avoid a possible echoing effect.

  1. Go to your unit site.
  2. Click the Resources link in the Site Navigation bar.
  3. Go to an existing module.
  4. Click Add Existing Activities and select Additional Applications.
  5. From the pop-up window, select Bb Collaborate Ultra.
  6. Click on the link that you have just created.
  7. Click on the Create Session link to create a new session.
  8. Type in a New Session. Please use the following naming conventions.
    • For unit sites: Year (space) Trimester (space) Unit Code (space) Context/purpose e.g. 2014 T2 SEPXXX Revision Seminars or 2014 T2 SEPXXX project meeting
    • For course/non-unit sites: Faculty (space) Name of the course/non-unit site (space) Other information re context/purpose if necessary e.g. SEBE Information Technology Course Hub or SEBE Life & Environmental Sciences (Honours Programs) 2014
    • For other purposes: Faculty (space) Context/purpose e.g. SEBE CloudDeakin Support Team meeting or SEBE Bb Collaborate Training
  9. Select a Start Date and Time and End Date and Time.
    Note: If you plan to use Bb Collaborate Ultra throughout the trimester, schedule the session from the beginning of trimester to the end of trimester so that you can reuse the session.
  10. You can leave the default at 15 minutes for Early Entry to allow participants to access the session early.
  11. If you wish to invite participants who are not enrolled in your unit (Deakin or non-Deakin user) to your session, you must provide them with the guest link. Select the box of Guest Access and select the Guest Role you wish the guest to have. If you have given the guest a Participant role, you can promote the guest to moderator during the session. Remember to email the guest the Guest Link so they can access the session.
  12. Click on the Session Settings.
  13. If you wish to change the default participant role, you can do so here.
  14. Please be sure to click on the checkbox for Allow Recording Downloads so that your students will be able to download the recordings at a later date.
  15. You can manage the participant’s ability to perform certain tasks here (share audio, share video, post chat messages, and draw on the whiteboard and files). Note: These can be changed from within a session.
  16. You can Enable Session Telephony here. This allows participant’s to be able to join a session using a telephone. Note: This is a VIC number and participant’s will need to pay for the phone call.
  17. Then, click Save.
  1. Go to your unit site.
  2. Click on the Resources link on the navigation bar.
  3. Go to the module where the Bb Collaborate Ultra link is created and click on the link.
    Note: You’re required to accept the Disclaimer. This Disclaimer will appear every 120 days.
  4. Click the name of the session.
  5. The Bb Collaborate Ultra session will open.
  6. Your name, along with other participants/moderators, will be listed in the Participants list.
  1. Go to your unit site.
  2. Click on the Resources link on the navigation bar.
  3. Go to the module where the Bb Collaborate Ultra link is created and click on the link.
  4. Click on the Session options icon on the right-hand side of session to edit the session details.
  5. From the pop-up dialog box, click on Edit settings.
  6. Once you’ve updated the details, click the Save button.

In a Bb Collaborate Ultra session, staff are moderators and students are participants by default. The following is the guide to using Bb Collaborate Ultra as a moderator. Also see the Student Help Guide on using Bb Collaborate Ultra as a participant.

As a moderator, you can start or stop recording your session at any time during the session. In the recording, all activity in the main room during the session will be recorded. This means that all audio, public text messages and any content that is shared in the main room during a session will be captured in the recording and played back as the session occurred.

Begin or resume recording
  1. Click on the Open Session icon at the top left of the window. You can do this at any time during the session.
  2. A dropdown box will appear and click Start Recording. When the recording starts, the Recording in progress icon will appear (at the top left of the window) indicating to everyone that the session is being recorded and a voice message will indicate recording has started.
Stop and pause a recording
  • Click on the Open Session icon and click Stop Recording. You can do this at any time during the session.
Retrieve a recording
  1. Go to your unit site.
  2. Click on the Resources link on the navigation bar.
  3. Go to the module where Bb Collaborate Ultra link is created and click on the link.
  4. Click on Menu icon Session menuon the left-hand side on your screen, and then click on Recordings.
  5. You will see your recordings if they have been recorded in the last week. If recordings are longer than a week, you will need to change the date range. These are available in MP4 format.
Share audio
  1. Click the Share audio Collaborate Panel icon and speak into the microphone.
  2. When you are finished talking, click the Sharing audio, select to mute icon to release the microphone and allow another person to speak.
Step away from a session

If you want to step away from the session temporarily, hover over the ‘tick’ on your image in the Audio and Video panel Set as away icon and click ‘Set as Away’. (This can also be done in the My Settings menu by clicking the ‘Present’ link (below your name) and click Set as Away. A pop-up will appear on your screen and you can click ‘I’m back’ when you are ready to return to the session.

Session settings

The permissions are displayed in the Session Settings (Collaboration Panel and click on My Settings). To grant or revoke permissions for all participants, check or uncheck the desired permissions (Share audio; Share video; Post chat messages; Draw on the Whiteboard and files).

The Collaboration panel has four panels:

  • Chat panel
  • Participant panel
  • Share Content
  • My Settings.
Chat panel

The chat tab is where you can send and receive chat messages. You can send your message to everyone in the session (All) or just moderators.

Chat window showing a chat message
Send a chat message to all participants (public)
  1. Ensure that you’re in the Chat tab. (The default setting is Chat with: Everyone.)
  2. Type your message in the message text field at the bottom the screen.
  3. Press Enter key in your keyboard to send.
  4. The message will then appear in the conversation area.
Send a chat message to all moderators
  1. Ensure that you are in the Chat tab.
  2. Change to Chat with: Moderators.
  3. Type your message in the message text field.
  4. Press Enter key in your keyboard to send.
  5. The message will then appear in the conversation area.
The Participants panel provides a list of all participants in the session. It indicates when participants have control of the microphone. This is also where roles can be changes by the moderator.
Participant tab on collaboration panel

View participant activity

In the Participants panel you will often see various icons next to participants’ and moderators’ names to indicate which participants/moderators are using the microphone. For example, you will know someone has their microphone turned on when the Audio Vector drawing of a microphone activity indicator appears next to their name in the Participants list.

Experience delay

You can tell at-a-glance who in your session is having trouble connecting. Network indicators have been added to the Participants panel. Move your pointer over participants in the Participant panel to see the indicatorswi fi symbol. Move your pointer over the indicator to see network status information.

When others are experiencing network delays, moderators can continue to talk.

Change roles

There are four types of user roles within Bb Collaborate Ultra: Moderator; Presenter; Participant; Captioner. You may wish to change the privileges to one or more of the participants during your session while still maintaining your own moderator access. You can do this at any time during the session.

Presenter role: This role is designed to share the workload while presenting or for students presenting their work for assessment. Presenters can:

  • share content including applications, files and the whiteboard
  • see and manage polling and breakout groups
  • manage the session.

Participant role: This role is designed for students. Participants can:

  • chat
  • see raised hands
  • enable and disable notifications.

Captioner role: This role provides an accessible learning experience for students. Captioners can:

  • type what is being said
  • type in multiple languages (by multiple people)
  • caption in real time.

Once you give a participant Moderator privileges, they will have the ability to perform the same functions during the session that you have as the original moderator, such as to upload files and record sessions.

Provide different roles
  1. Open the Collaboration panel on the bottom on the screen. Select the Participant panel and next to t the Participant’s name, select the Moderator controls iconMore options icon and change the role.
  2. From the pop-up, select the role.
  3. The Participants panel will be updated so that everyone in the session can see the change.
Remove participants
  1. To remove a participant from a session, click on the Moderator controls icon next to the Participant’s name in the Participants panel.
  2. Select Remove from session.
Lower a participant’s hand

Each time a person raises their hand, a number (1, 2, 3 etc.) will appear on the Raise hand icon Raised hand at the bottom of the screen. The number represents the order in which the hands were raised.

  1. Click on the Moderator controls icon More options icon next  the participant in the Participants panel.
  2. Select Lower Hand.
  3. When a hand is lowered, the number is removed from the hand column and the queue is reordered.
The Share Content area enables Moderators to:

  • Share Blank Whiteboard (for brainstorming)
  • Share Applications (share screen/desktop)
  • Share Files
  • Create Polls
  • Create Breakout Groups

The Whiteboard is the main presentation window. Moderators use this region to load presentations. Moderators and participants can also use the tools on the Whiteboard to draw, write or insert icons and images.

Share blank whiteboard

You can Share a Blank Whiteboard here. This creates a blank page, ideal for brainstorming, drawing, concept mapping, and the development of content.

Click on the Share Content panel in the Collaboration panel and click on Share Blank Whiteboard. The Content editing tool has the following functions and appears in the top left-hand side of the window:

  • Select
  • Pointer
  • Pencil
  • Shapes (rectangle, ellipse, line)
  • Text
  • Clear


This is the pointer tool to use as a laser pointer Pointer icon.

Draw on the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Pencil icon Drawing tool.
  2. A colour circle will appear at the end of the palette and you can choose different colours from this box.
  3. Position the cursor on the whiteboard where you wish the stroke to begin.
  4. Press and hold down the left mouse button.
  5. Drag the cursor to create the stroke.
  6. When done, release mouse button.

Draw shapes on the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Shapes Shapes tool icon to be able to add shapes to the whiteboard. You can choose rectangle, ellipse or line.
  2. A colour circle will appear at the end of the palette and you can choose different colours from this box.
  3. Position the cursor on the whiteboard where you wish the stroke to begin.
  4. Press and hold down the left mouse button.
  5. Drag the cursor to create the shape.
  6. When done, release the mouse button.

Type on the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Text icon Text-tool-icon.
  2. Click on the Whiteboard to create the text box.
  3. You can change the colour of the text by choosing a different colour from the colours icon at the end of the palette.
  4. Type your text.
  5. When done, click anywhere in the Whiteboard.

Edit or delete an object from the whiteboard

  1. Click on the Select icon Selector icon.
  2. Click on the object. The selected object will appear with a border around it.
  3. You can edit the object or delete the object once it is highlighted. Press the Backspace or Delete key on your keyboard to delete the object.
You can share your screen or an application (e.g. a website) on your computer with other participants.

  1. Click on the Share Application icon Share application icon in the Share Content tab of the Collaboration Panel.
  2. You will be prompted to choose which screen/window you wish to share.
  3. Click Share.
  4. Once you want to stop sharing, click the Stop sharing icon Stop sharing icon.
Share a file

Note: To share files and applications to the Whiteboard you must have Moderator or Presenter access. Your files must not exceed 60 MB. (Acceptable files include image files, PowerPoints and PDF).

  1. Click on the Share Content button in the bottom of the Collaboration panel.
  2. Click on the Share files icon Share files icon.
  3. You can either click the Add Files Here button, or drag files across.
    Note: This might take a while depending on the number of slides you have and please do not try to interrupt the process.
  4. Once the presentation is loaded click, the Share Now button at the bottom of the screen and click on the first slide to begin.
  5. To stop sharing a file, click the Stop sharing icon Stop sharing icon.
Use the polling feature

You may wish to ask participants to respond to a question using the polling feature. Participants will be able to respond to your questions by clicking on the available response buttons on their toolbar. The responses will be visible to you in the polling pop-up window.

  1. Click on Polling Polling icon in the Share Content tab Share content icon in the Collaboration panel.
  2. Click on the type of poll you wish to display.
  3. Click on Start.
  4. Once you have given participants enough time to respond and wish to stop using the Polling tool, click on End polling.
A breakout group has the same features as the main room and can be used to facilitate small group activities or private sessions. Breakout groups have their own private audio, whiteboard, application sharing, video, polling, etc. What is said or viewed in a breakout room will not be captured in a recording.
Moderators can create breakout rooms at any time during the session and move participants between rooms. There is no limit to the number of breakout rooms or the number of participants in each room.

Create Breakout Groups
  1. From the Share Content panel, select Breakout Groups.
  2. Here you can Assign Groups. You can select Randomly assign or Custom assignment. You can also tick here if you want to allow participants to switch groups (Randomly assign: Bb Collaborate Ultra creates groups and randomly assigns participants for you. (This is only available if there are four or more people in the room), or Custom assignment, which allows you to create your own groups.
  3. You can click the Plus button to create additional group.
  4. Moving participants can be done by simply dragging people into groups.
When the session has finished, click on the Session menu button in the top left-hand side of the window Session menu and click Leave Session (at the bottom left-hand side of the screen).