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Collaborate Ultra-How to use as an instructor.

Collaborate Ultra is a browser-based web conferencing tool integrated with Canvas. Participants have the ability to easily share content and engage with others using a variety of tools.

Collaborate Ultra is available in the side navigation of all UWL Canvas courses by default. 

After you have created a CU session, students can enter the session by going to Collaborate Ultra in the left-hand navigation and selecting the session. You may also wish to add a link to the CU session within your course modules. You will first need to get the guest link from the CU session. Once in CU locate the session you wish to link to and click on the … (three dots) at the right. Select “Copy guest link”. Go to the module you want to add the link to, click the + to add an item, and select External URL from the dropdown menu. Paste the copied link, name the page, and check Load in a new tab. The guest link will now appear in the module for students to click on and enter the room as a guest.

Collaborate Ultra Features

Please know that Collaborate Ultra (CU) has great help resources, both for you (you are the “moderator”) and for your students (who are “participants”). While articles and videos are posted below, additional information can be searched on their site.

Here is help to get started using CU once you have added the tool to your course navigation. Try creating a test session first – set the time to now, and then join your test session. The first time someone joins a CU session, CU will test microphone (with the option to use phone for audio instead) and video access. If you have a camera blocker on your machine, don’t forget to open it.

Once you have created a session, click on the ... on the far right to see the settings you can change. You may wish to change some of the settings there, and some of those affecting student participation need to be set before the session begins. Students can also use a cell phone or land line to get the audio by dialing the phone number and pin that you will find and copy from the settings menu.

On the bottom of your screen you, and your students, will see four circles with icons:

  • My Status and Settings: You can let students know that you have left your computer, leave the session altogether, or express how you feel about something happening in the session. (Person icon or your picture)
  • Microphone: This allows users to turn on and off their microphone. That includes you. (microphone)
  • Video: This allows users to turn on and off their video. Here is an article to troubleshoot when video isn’t working. (video icon)
  • Raise Hand: If you or a student wants to ask a question, what do you do? Raise your hand, of course. (person with hand up)

On the top left is a quick access toolbar (three horizontal lines, aka hamburger menu) that allows you to start recording, among other things. Additional options are the dial in numbers, report an issue and get additional help with Collaborate Ultrs.  

Facilitating Participation

At the lower right, click on the Collaborate icon (purple arrow).

Note the tabs at the bottom of the Collaborate menu:

  • Chat: Allows participants to converse. Note that if your course has multiple moderators, moderators can discuss separately from the rest of the class. You can set up private group chats, and participants can chat with individuals or groups. Moderators can monitor private chats, but you must select that in the settings for the session before it begins. During a session, you can change what participants can share.
  • Attendees: This feature allows moderators and participants to see who is in the meeting. Click on the … to see what you can set. From the Attendee settings, note that you can search for participants, detach the Attendee panel, and mute all participants. Click on the … for an individual participant to make them the “captioner” who can then type what is said real-time. See more about live captioning Remember that asking a student who is currently taking your class to live caption means that they will not be able to focus on the content and meaning of the class session AND caption at the same time.
  • Share Content: From this tab, you can choose to share a whiteboard, your own screen (you can choose from among several windows, tabs, and applications that are open on your computer), and files. You can also set up polls that you can share with your class and set a timer for responses. Finally, you can also create breakout groups for smaller groups of students to work in a private space.

Lock a room for individual meetings

If you are planning on using Collaborate Ultra for office hours and may need to have a closed door session due to FERPA, you can use the course room for this purpose. The course room is the top option always available. 

course room

After you and the student have joined the room, navigate back to the Canvas tab, locate the course room and select the options circle to the right and "lock room". If other students would have the link or try to enter through Canvas, they will get an error page. 

lock course room


    UW-Madison Accessing Ultra in Canvas KB
    University of Wisconsin System Blackboard Collaborate KnowledgeBase
    Collaborate Ultra Experience Help

    Tips and Tricks

    • You can have students join the default course room at any time or can create separate sessions with specific times for log on.
    • As the moderator of the session you can share your screen or share a whiteboard to write on.
    • This can be used for one-on-one student meetings, office hours, small group meetings, or all-class live meetings.
    • Sessions can be recorded for later viewing. 
    • How to control the video echo.
    • Note: Instructors who wish to hide Collaborate Ultra can do so by following the steps below.
      1. In Course Navigation, click the Settings link.
      2. Click the Navigation tab. 
      3. Click the Collaborate Ultra link and drag to the bottom section of hidden course links. 
      4. Click the save button at the bottom.

    See Also:

    Keywords:Blackboard Collaborate, web conference, teaching online, synchronous, asynchronous, record, office hours, Canvas   Doc ID:98560
    Owner:Melissa B.Group:UW-La Crosse
    Created:2020-03-09 12:54 CDTUpdated:2021-05-11 12:00 CDT
    Sites:UW-La Crosse
    Feedback:  0   2