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Technology Manual for Law Faculty and Staff


A Blackboard Collaborate button has been added to all Law courses. You will find it in the menu on the left side of the page. You must turn it on to make it visible to students.

Course Room

The course room is an open session dedicated to your course.

This course room is on until you turn it off. Instructors don't have to be present for students to join the session. If you don't want students to join a session unsupervised, lock the course room and create scheduled sessions.

To disable the course room, open the More options for Collaborate menu. Select Disable course room to prevent your students and other course members from accessing it. The Join session link changes to say Room disabled. You can re-enable the course room from this same menu.

Schedule Collaborate Sessions

1. From the Sessions list, select Create Session. Give the session a name.

2. Event Details

The event needs some basic details before creating.

  • Set the date and time the session starts and ends. You can choose to keep a session open or repeat. You can also select if students can enter the session prior to the start time.

    Collaborate uses your computer’s local time zone for session start and end times.

  • Type a detailed description of the meeting. This helps students find the right session.

3. Customize Session Settings.

Decide who can do what in your sessions.

  • Allow recording downloads from the Recordings page as well as on the recording play back page.
  • Show the profile pictures of moderators only.
  • Allow participants to use audio, video, chat, and the whiteboard editing tools.
  • Allow users to join the session using a telephone for their audio.

Add Sessions to Course Content

You must add links to Scheduled Sessions in your Course Content in order for students to join.

1. Find the session you want and open the Session options menu.

2. Copy the session guest link (Ctrl+C).

3. From within your Course Content, select Build Content.

4. Select Create and select Web Link.

5. Name the link and paste the session link in the Link URL field.

6. Select Save.

Join Session

To join a session:

1. Navigate to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Scheduler from the Course Tools Menu.

2. From the Scheduler, select the session you want to join.

3. Select Join session.

Share Presentations and Documents

Moderators and presenters can upload certain types of content or share the desktop screen with participants. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra performs best in Google Chrome. Moderators and presenters must have the Chrome extension installed for desktop and app sharing to function within the browser.

Sharing Files

  • Upload GIF, JPEG and PNG images, PDF files, or PowerPoint presentations to your session.
  • Select Add Files Here or drag a file into the box to upload it. Click Share Now when ready for participants to see the file.

Sharing Whiteboard:

  • Collaborate with your students using the whiteboard. Open a blank whiteboard to draw or just jot down notes.

Sharing Applications:

  • Share your desktop or a software application to teach students about a particular topic. Whenever you move through the application or desktop, your students automatically follow along.

Sharing PowerPoint:

  • Select Share Files when using PowerPoint presentations of 60MB or lower. This gives you and your participants the best experience.
    • Upload your PowerPoint and click Share Now
    • A slide navigator panel opens showing you all of your slides. 
    • Select a slide to start sharing it. Click the presentation name to open the slide navigator panel again at any time.
  • TIP: Use Share Application, if your presentation has animations. Choose Entire Screen or make sure your presentation is in Present mode before sharing it as an application.

Sharing Video (NEW!):

Until recently, attempts to share video content would not include any accompanying audio material. That has changed with a recent update to Blackboard Collaborate. Now, when moderators and presenters share a video in a session, all attendees can hear the audio.

In order to use the Share Video in a Chrome Tab feature, use the following sequence of steps.

  1. As a moderator, open two separate windows of the Google Chrome browser.
  2. In the first window, join a Blackboard Collaborate session. In the second window, open the location of the video content. It is essential not to minimize this browser window.
  3. Returning to the browser window with the opened Collaborate session, click on the Open Collaborate Panel in the lower right-hand corner.
  4. Click the Share Content icon, and then click on the Share Application/Screen link.
  5. From the dialogue box that opens, click on the Chrome Tab option. Click on the desired webpage with the video content, and then check the box beside Share audio.
  6. Finally, click the Share button. From the second window of the Google Chrome browser, play the video content. Attendees will be able to both see and hear the video and accompanying audio.

Record and Post Session

If you are using Blackboard Collaborate for instructional sessions, you should record them so that students can access them later. Only moderators (instructors) can turn recording on in sessions.

Recorded sessions are compressed and saved as MP4s. Recordings include activity in the live session.

  • Audio
  • Any content shared or active speaker video. If both are shared during the session, only the content shared is recorded.
  • Captions must be entered during the live session or added later by a moderator. Only one caption track is available. If your session had more than one caption track, only the first available one is captured.
  • Chat messages in the Everyone channel. Private messages and chat messages in breakout groups are not recorded.

Record Sessions:

Open the Session menu and select Start Recording. The recording camera appears on with a red dot while recording is in progress.

To finish recording, open the Session menu and select Stop Recording.

Recordings need to be converted into a playable format before viewing. The first time a recording is accessed the conversion begins. It may take a few minutes but once is has been done the recording can be viewed by everybody.

If you allow it, students can download recordings and transcripts from the Recording menu.

Open the Recording menu at the top left of your screen.

  • Download the full recording
  • Download caption transcripts
  • Download chat transcripts

Find and Post Recordings:

  1. Access the recording control panel.
  2. Identify the specific recording you want to share.
  3. Click the three-dot menu on the far right of that recording to access its Collab menu.
  4. Select Copy Link.
  5. Create a new content item, web link, announcement, etc.
  6. Embed your recording link.
  7. Save.

View Session Attendance

After a session ends, you can access an attendance report and push points to the Grade Center. The points are solely for attendance.

1. In the session's menu, select View Session Attendance.

On the View Session Attendance page, you see a list of the students who attended the session. If a student exited the session and returned, his or her name appears in the list again.

2. To automatically award the predetermined points for attending the session, select Post Attendance to Grade Center. You can't select which users receive points, but you can adjust points for individual users from their Grade Details pages in the Grade Center.

3. In the Grade Center, point to the column heading to view more information about the column on the Grade Information Bar. You can edit the column title in the column heading's menu.