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Teaching & Learning: Tools T&L



As of mid-September 2015, Blackboard Collaborate with Ultra View has been available on Calvin's Moodle environment!

No more Java downloads, launchers, or players!!! You will enjoy a better user experience and a cleaner interace that is more akin to Google Hangouts!

Here are the steps to take in order to try out this new version:

  1. Log into Moodle and go into your desired class
  2. Click on the "Turn editing on" button
  3. In the appropriate section/module/week, click on the Add an activity or resource link
  4. Select the Collaborate item and complete the settings screen as desired


What are the differences between Bb Collaborate Version 12.6 (the version we have been using) and the new Bb Collaborate with Ultra View? Which features are not yet available in the new version?


  • With Bb Collaborate Ultra View, you can do course backups and restores or exports and imports from semester to semester and things work very well. This is not the case with Bb Collaborate Version 12.6, where it is recommended to make MP4's of the recordings, and then post those MP4s to your future courses. (You can also work with URLs for recordings made previously with Bb Collaborate Version 12.6 (see Daniel Christian for assistance)).

  • When using Collaborate with the Ultra experience, an Application Share session can only be started/hosted using Google Chrome. Flash browsers, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, support viewing the Application Share session only. Flash browsers do not have the ability to start the Application Share feature. A Blackboard Collaborate Chrome "Desktop Sharing" extension is required in order to Application Share using Chrome. First time users should be prompted to install the extension automatically upon starting an Application Share session. If for some reason the Chrome Desktop Sharing Extension does not install automatically, the extension can also be downloaded directly from:

  • IMPORTANT: To insure that all of your students can be seen and heard, post chat messages, and use the interactive whiteboard, be sure to go under the Collaborate panel > Session Settings and turn those functionalities on:



For further information about Blackboard Collaborate with Ultra View, see:



Click here to access Blackboard Collaborate's website

Blackboard Collaborate is a state-of-the-art, powerful set of web-based collaboration tools that provides videoconferencing, audio-conferencing, application sharing, interactive whiteboards, web touring capabilities, file transfers/sharing, mobile collaboration, polling, breakout rooms and more.

With Blackboard Collaborate, you can:

  • Flip the classroom -- that is, you can offer your students the ability to watch recordings of any PowerPoints that you've created -- complete with your accompanying video, audio, annotations and PPT slides
  • Poll your students
  • Invite remote students, other faculty members, and/or guest speakers into your classrooms
  • Host virtual committee meetings or departmental meetings
  • Offer virtual office hours, group study sessions, web-based tutoring
  • Create and participate in professional development opportunities
  • Lower Calvin's environmental footprint
  • Collaborate online via interactive whiteboards, shared applications, web tours
  • Establish and build upon your worldwide communities of practice
  • Significantly reduce travel costs while enjoying free communications* -- worldwide!
  • Distribute files to live attendees and even to those folks who will be checking out your recordings later on!
  • View rich media and travel with your students on the web via the web touring capabilities
  • Separate your online classroom into breakout groups/rooms
  • Give your students the ability to record their own presentations
  • And more...

Blackboard Collaborate support, documentation, resources



* NOTE: To take part in free communications using Bb Collaborate, you need:

  • A USB-based webcam
    (A headset provides optimal audio performance but is optional as long as you have a webcam.)
  • The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher <-- only for the "Classic Version" (i.e., Version 12.6); this launcher is NOT necessary with the latest version of Collaborate (i.e., Blackboard Collaborate with Ultra View)



Recent enhancements/changes to Blackboard Collaborate with Ultra View:



Avoiding a Tunnel Effect when Sharing Applications in Collaborate with the Ultra Experience

When sharing an application or screen in Collaborate with the Ultra experience, it is possible to inadvertently produce a tunnel view, or infinite-window effect. This will occur when the screen or browser that is selected for sharing is displaying the Collaborate with the Ultra experience session at the time.

Collaborate Ultra - Tunnel Effect

There are a number of ways to avoid this behavior, such as:

  • If two or more monitors are available, ensure that the window hosting the Collaborate session is moved off of the screen that will be shared prior to initiating a screen share.
  • Share an individual application as opposed to the entire screen.
  • Prior to sharing the browser that hosts the Collaborate session, open a new browser window to use for shared content.
  • If multiple browsers are available, use one to host the session, and one to host the shared content.