Session Best Practices

Best practices for best experience

  • Use a hard-wired (Ethernet) connection, if available. If not available, use a Wifi connection. If using Wifi, try to be as close to the router as possible.
  • 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 Prep

  • 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. Set a timer to let attendees know when the session is going to start.