Session Best Practices

Watch a short video on Session Settings in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Best practices for a good experience

  • Close other programs. Close all programs and streaming services on your computer except for the browser you are using for your Collaborate session.
  • Keep your browser current. Be sure to use only  up-to-date browsers supported by Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. We  recommend Chrome or Firefox for optimum performance.
  • Limit video use. Use video during the session only when necessary.
  • Use supported mobile browsers. If on a mobile device, use a supported mobile browser. For the best experience, use Safari on iOS devices and Chrome on Android devices.
  • Use headphones. Cut down on the background noise and use headphones.
  • Disable Adblockers. Browser Adblockers can turn off your audio and video and can cause buttons to not show up.
  • Record only when necessary. Limit recordings to only sessions that require it.
  • Limit application sharing. Share applications and screens only when necessary.
  • Turn your presentations into PDFs. PDFs put minimal demand on a network. Convert what you plan to share into a PDF and upload it into Collaborate.
  • Keep sessions short. Record your presentation and share  it with your attendees beforehand. Give them time to think on it and  use the session to discuss.
  • Mute yourself when not speaking. Nothing is more distracting than hearing outside sounds like typing or a side conversation.
  • Mute attendees in large sessions. Select More options at the top of the Attendees panel and select Mute All.
  • Remove unwanted or disruptive attendees. Point to an attendee in the Attendees panel and select Attendee controls. Select Remove from session.

Smart Scheduling

  • Allow early arrivers. Let your participants join the  session early. This gives new participants a chance to get familiar with  the room and what they can and can't do. Join the session early  yourself and practice using the tools. The default early arrival time  for sessions is 15 minutes; you can increase this in session settings.
  • Be selective with participant permissions, particularly  in large sessions. You can turn on or off participants ability to chat,  share video, share audio, and draw on shared files or the whiteboard in  the session settings. If you restrict permissions but want to let a participant talk or chat in session, you can promote them to presenters.
  • Let attendees know what to expect. Tell attendees how  to find the session. Let them know what the session is about. Share any  expectations you have from them during the session.
  • Invite guest speakers. If you are having a guest speaker, make them a presenter in your session.  Presenters are allowed to share their screens and upload images or  presentation files, but can't modify other users' permissions the way a  moderator can. Be thoughtful with sharing moderator permissions or join  links.
  • Share guest links mindfully. Guest links are public  links. Anybody with the link can join your session and take part. Don't  share links in public places like on social media. Use the Invite  attendee feature to create secure links that can't be shared. If your  session is in your course, everyone in the course has secure access to  the session that can't be shared.

Session Preparation

  • Turn your presentations into PDFs. PDFs put minimal demand on a network. Convert what you plan to share into a PDF and upload it into to Collaborate.
  • Make it a collaborative session. Record your  presentation and share it with your attendees beforehand. Give them time  to think on it. Then use the session to discuss.
  • Have poll text ready. If you plan to run a poll, have the text you want to use ready so you can just copy and paste.
  • Join early. Give yourself time to check your audio and video. Upload files you plan to share. Practice using the tools.
  • Give attendees a few minutes to join. Attendees may be  running from another session, may be having connection problems, or are  learning how to use Collaborate for the first time. Give them a few  minutes to join and get settled.