About Blackboard Collaborate (Classic and Ultra), and Where to Get Help
This article describes how students and instructors can obtain support for Blackboard Collaborate Classic and Ultra.
What Is Blackboard Collaborate?
Blackboard Collaborate is the supported online collaboration solution for academic courses in the UW System. Collaborate is leveraged at all UW System campuses. Collaborate is designed to facilitate synchronous coursework online. While some instructors might use Collaborate to offer traditional courses online using Collaborate, a very common use is to enable online collaboration between groups of students.
Collaborate Classic is the original, Java-based version of the collaboration tool. Collaborate Classic is the most feature-rich of the two versions, but requires additional effort to setup and use.
Collaborate Ultra is a newer version of the tool that is based around new technologies. While it does not have as many features as Classic, Ultra works without the need for Java, and also works on mobile devices as well as personal computers.
Accessing Collaborate Classic and Ultra
Instructors may choose to add Collaborate Classic ("Online Rooms") or Ultra ("Collaborate Ultra") by editing their courses navigation bar. Once added, instructors configure the tool to make online collaboration rooms available for course use.
UWM employees may also access Collaborate Classic and Ultra through My UW System. Note that while Collaborate is supported, Skype for Business may be a more appropriate fit for your purposes. Contact the UWM Help Desk (414-229-4040) for more information on Skype for Business abilities.
Accessing Collaborate from Mobile Devices
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra may be used on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. By visiting the course room through D2L, Ultra will appear correctly on a phone or tablet without modification. Following guest links from My UW System will also allow Collaborate Ultra users to participate using their mobile device.
In addition, mobile apps are available to participate in Collaborate Ultra rooms.
How Do Instructors Add Collaborate Classic or Ultra to Their D2L Courses?
- Instructors may choose to add Collaborate Classic ("Online Rooms") or Ultra ("Collaborate Ultra") by editing their courses navigation bar. Once added, instructors configure the tool to make online collaboration rooms available for course use.
How to Get Help with Collaborate Classic and Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate is supported by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the UWM Help Desk. Instructors can leverage online documentation provided by Blackboard. Additional information is provided by CETL in the UWM Unified Knowledgebase, and the CETL Knowledgebase.
As Collaborate is a systemwide tool, support information is also provided by the UW System in the centrally maintained Blackboard Collaborate Knowledgebase.
Addressing Accessibility Concerns
If students or staff have accessibility concerns with Collaborate or Collaborate Ultra, please notify your instructor.