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Create a Session


While each module area has its own Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Course Room, these default rooms are open to anyone and unmonitored. It is recommended that staff create new, unique sessions, with fixed start and dates. 

Table of contents

How to create a new session

To create a new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session:

  1. Login to Blackboard Learn at
  2. Go to the module area you’ll be hosting the session from.
  3. Select the Collaborate Ultra link you added to the module menu, or, under Course Tools (module instructor only), select the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool link.
  4. On the Collaborate Scheduler page that opens, select the Create Session button. A new session dialogue box will open.

  5. Give the session a meaningful name e.g. ‘Online Seminar (02 November) 9am - 12 am’. This helps students find the correct session.

  6. Select the Guest access checkbox to generate a guest link for your session:

    The Guest access link will look like this:


    Please Note: The Guest link only becomes available after you select the Save button.

  7. There are two tabs used to set-up the session:

  8. The event needs a start and end date and time. This is done in the Event Details section. Select the Events Detail tab to open the Event Details:

  9. Enter a Start and End date for the session. You can choose to keep a session permanently open by selecting the No end (open session) checkbox. Doing so will disable the End date options.

  10. Selecting the Repeat Session option reveals the menu below:

    There are options to repeat sessions on a Daily, Weekly or Monthly basis.

     Note: Take care using the Repeat Session option so as to not end up with scheduled sessions that you do not need, as this can be confusing for participants.

  11. The Early Entry option allows you to choose when participants can enter the session - prior to the start time.

    Early Entry for participants can be set up to 60 minutes before the session begins, or to prevent participants from joining the session before the official start time.

    Tip: Consider enabling Early Entry to allow participants time to run their audio and video tests before a session begins and contact the Blackboard Helpdesk if required.

  12. Select the Provide a description link (highlighted in red below) to open the Description box. Use the description box to give participants some information about the session and provide any session specific instructions.

  13. Select the Session Settings tab to open the session settings.

  14.  The Session Settings are shown below.  Use these settings to decide the default role for all participants and who can do what in your sessions.

  15. By default, any attendee - who has not been assigned a Moderator role - will join a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session as Participant. The default Participant role can be changed via the Default Attendee Role drop-down menu. All Participants can instead be given the role of Presenter or Moderator.

    Note: Care must be taken when changing default attendee role. If participants are given Presenter or Moderator access to the session, they will have the ability to share documents, end recordings and stop a session. For this reason, we advise against changing this option and recommend that moderators use their ability to promote participants during the session.

  16. In the Recording section there are options to enable the download of session recordings and anonymise chat messages.

    For accessibility reasons, we recommend enabling the Allow recording download option. This feature allows participants to download a video copy of the session for later playback on their own devices. We also recommend that this option is enabled when setting up the session, rather than after the session has ended.

    The Anonymise chat messages option should be enabled if you are sharing the session publicly.

  17. Under Moderator permissions there is the option to Only show profile pictures for Moderators.

    Enable this option for large sessions or if you have concerns about what profile pictures Participants might choose to share during the session.

  18. Under Participants can the options below are enabled by default:

    Share Audio
    - Share Video
    - Post chat messages
    - Draw on whiteboard and files

    Note: If you’re hosting a session with a lot of participants, you may want to disable the Share Audio and Share Video options to prevent audio interference during the session. You should let participants know prior to the start of the session that these options have been disabled.

  19. Enable session Telephony allows you to disable and enable telephone access to the session. You may want to disable telephone access to prevent participants incurring significant telephone charges.

  20. The final options under Private Chat are Participants can only chat privately with moderators and Moderators supervise all private chats.

    We would recommend enabling the Moderators supervise all private chats option to prevent inappropriate use of the Private Chat feature. You should let participants know prior to the start of the session that this option has been enabled.

  21. The final step is to select the Save button to save your session and its settings.