Skip to main content

Get to know your way around Collaborate. We’ve organized everything into three convenient areas: a content presentation area, the Session menu, and a Collaborate panel.

Content presentation area

The content presentation area, media space, or main stage, in Collaborate is where the content of the session is displayed. The size of this space is maximized to create an inherent full-screen experience at any screen size.

Tip: Select the picture-in-picture window to switch your focus. Your main screen becomes the picture-in-picture and the picture-in-picture becomes the main screen.

If there is no shared content, you’ll see attendee profiles and video in a grid view. You can switch between a grid view and a view that follows the speaker.

With the follow-the-speaker view, the focus moves to the current speaker as the discussion unfolds.

Tip: The Ultra experience switches to follow-the-speaker view automatically when there are more than five attendees.


Grid view Follow the speaker view

Content presentation tools

Tools that appear in the content presentation area relate directly to what is happening in the session at that moment. Tools also depend on the permissions moderators set.

Tool Description

Turn your audio on. Lines through the microphone icon means that it is turned off. Select Share Audio to turn it on.

With your keyboard, press Alt + M to turn your microphone on and off.


Turn your video on. Lines through the camera icon means that it is turned off. Select Share Video to turn it on.

With your keyboard, press Alt + C to turn your camera on and off.

Hand raise

Raise your hand to answer a question or get another moderator’s attention. Select Raise Hand.

With your keyboard, press Alt + H.

Collaborate panel

Open the Collaborate panel.
Session menu

Open the Session menu.
Follow the speaker view

Switch to the follow-the-speaker view.
Grid view

Switch to the grid view.

Change the focus of your screen. If shared content is on your main screen, switch to watching the speaker. Select the picture-in-picture to bring that content to your main screen.

Show your status as away. Point to the green checkmark by your avatar image and select Set as Away. Select I’m back! when you return.

Tip: You can also update your status to give feedback during the session.

Session menu

The Session menu opens a collection of high level session actions and information. Open it using the Session menu button at the top left of the screen.

Session menu tools

Tools and features you use only once or twice during a session are conveniently grouped here.

Tool Description
Start a recording

Moderators can start recording the session from the Session menu.
Use your phone

Get a dial-in number and unique PIN to use your phone for audio during a session.
Report an issue

Report an issue with the session.

Go to Class Collaborate help on
Learn how to use Collaborate

Open tutorials on how to use Collaborate.
Leave session

Exit the session and complete a quick survey to tell us about your experience.

Close the Session menu.

Collaborate panel

The Collaborate panel takes your session experience to the next level. You now have a single space to go to engage other attendees with all the great collaborate tools

Collaborate panel tools

Tool Description

Chat with everyone in the session. Open the Collaborate panel and select Open Chat.

Note: The moderator can turn chat off.

The emoji pack for Collaborate supports diversified emojis and Unicode 8 characters.

Use one of five supported skin tones on any human emoji. Add underscore, tone, and the supported tone number (1 through 5) to your emoji when typing. Don’t forget the colons on either end of your emoji text.

Example: :wave_tone5:

Note: Collaborate’s chat history only has 50 messages displayed at any given time.

Attendees panel

View the list of attendees. Open the Collaborate panel and Select Open Attendees List.
Share Content

Moderators and presenters can share a blank whiteboard, an application, PDFs, PowerPoint® presentations, and images in GIF, JPEG and PNG formats.
My Settings

Add a profile image, set up your audio and video and your notifications. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. You can’t change your name or email address used.

Close the Collaborate panel.
Share Whiteboard

Moderators and presenters can share a blank whiteboard from the Share Content panel.
Share application

Moderators and presenters can share their entire desktop or a single open application from the Share Content panel.
Share files

Moderators and presenters can share PDFs, PowerPoint® presentations, and images in GIF, JPEG and PNG formats.

Moderators can start and run polls during a session.
Breakout groups

Moderators can start and run breakout groups.

Open the attendee options menu.

Navigate Collaborate with assistive technology

More on how to navigate Collaborate with assistive technology


When you first access Class Collaborate you’ll encounter an intuitive design for scheduling sessions in the Ultra experience and viewing recordings. We call this the Collaborate Scheduler.

Note: The Collaborate scheduler is available in Blackboard Learn and LTI compliant LMS courses or directly from a web link. The Collaborate scheduler is not available in the Open LMS Collaborate activity module.

Set the date for your session, the designated start and stop times, and then tell your student how to find it.

In the Scheduler, or sessions list, you’ll find these things.

  • Course room: At the start of the page is a course room. The course room is an open session dedicated to your course.
    • Note: This is only available when you go to Collaborate from inside a course.
  • Create Session: Create new sessions. Sessions you create appear after the course room and Create Session button. 
  • Session options: Open the Session options menu to join, edit or delete the session. You can also copy a guest link and view reports for this session.
  • Menu: Open the menu to switch between a list of sessions and a list of session recordings