Home > Portland > Blackboard > Students > Collaborate for Students

Collaborate for Students

Collaborate (also known as Collaborate Ultra and Collaborate with the Ultra Experience) is a collaboration tool that allows students and instructors to collaborate in real-time with video and audio.

Setup & Getting Around

Your instructor will establish a Collaborate session for you, including:
  • A link to the session that you will receive via email or announcement within your course.
  • Meeting at a specified time in the Course Room.

Room availability and use of the tool are determined by the instructor's preferences. Contact your instructor first if you are unsure of whether or how Collaborate will be used in your course.

Important: At this time, Google Chrome is the only supported browser for Collaborate Ultra. Critical functionality for Collaborate is only available within the Chrome web browser.


Getting setup with Collaborate is easy. No applications to install or added software is needed. When using Chrome, Flash is not required.
  1. Complete the first-time access audio/video setup for the best experience.
    You will be prompted to complete this step.
  2. You will typically receive the role of Participant for your sessions.
    Participants can participate in chat and other areas the moderator (instructor) has enabled.
  3. Use the buttons in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen to share your video and audio.
  4. More features are available in the expandable panels in the Session Menu and the Collaborate Panel.

Getting Around


Features & Tools

Use Chat

Chat with your participants without taking the focus off the speaker. React to the speaker without disrupting the speaker’s flow with an emoji.
  1. Open the Collaborate Panel.
  2. Click the chat bubble to open the Chat pane.
  3. Enter text, or select a fun emoji!
  4. Customize your chat notifications in My Settings.

Use Phone for Audio

Prefer to use your phone for your session’s audio? Collaborate Ultra has a phone bridge that can serve this purpose.
  1. Open the Session Menu.
  2. Select Use your phone for audio.
  3. Call the phone number listed and enter the unique PIN provided for your session.

Whiteboard Markup

Use the Whiteboard tools to markup a blank whiteboard, or markup shared content in real-time with your session attendees. Draw lines, highlight sections of a shared document, annotate a graph.
  1. On the shared Whiteboard or file, the tools available will be displayed in the upper-left portion of the interface.
  2. Options include, text, pencil, shapes, and the ability to save the annotated content by right-clicking on the area and saving.

Technical Info

Collaborate Ultra is different from the Java-based Blackboard Collaborate that you may have experienced in the past. No Java installer or launcher application is required and, when using Chrome, Collaborate should seamlessly load into a new tab on your web browser. Use the information below to ensure you have an ideal experience.

System Requirements

  • Operating System
    • Computers running Windows (7+) or Mac OSX
  • Internet
  • Mobile
  • Supported file types (for sharing)
    • File Types: PPT/PPTX, DOC/DOCX, PDF
    • Image Types: GIF, JPEG, PNG

Troubleshoot Issues

Use Google Chrome as your browser for all Collaborate Ultra interactions.
  • At this time, Chrome is the only supported browser for Collaborate Ultra. Critical functionality for Collaborate is only available within the Chrome web browser.
Experiencing connection alerts or missing elements of the session?
Content-sharing issues? (E.g., file sharing, application sharing whiteboard, etc.)
Problems with your audio or video?
Noise interference?
  • Try muting your audio or hiding your video to see if the connection/quality of the session improve.
  • Use a headset to reduce external noise coming from your end.
  • Mute your microphone when you are not actively speaking.
Cannot present to class or share screen/file?
  • This is likely because you do not have the appropriate role. Visit the //Participant FAQ//s for more information on roles.
  • Contact your instructor for adjustment of your user role in the Collaborate session.

Get Help

Find answers to common questions, learn about updates, and get support information.