Collaborate Ultra Faculty Support & Training

Blackboard’s Collaborate Ultra is a communication tool to meet with students and deliver synchronous, online sessions. Learn how to use Collaborate Ultra with the video lectures, a how-to section, and frequently asked questions below.

Getting Started

How to use Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate Ultra How-To

How to record a lecture

Step 1: Ensure that the recording has started

  • Open the session menu and select start recording. Remember, this is going to record everything that you or the participants say, screen interactions, and what is shared in the chatbox. 
  • Once you start recording a notification will pop up indicating that the session is being recording. Everybody in the class will get this notification. That means that the recording has started.

Recording a session includes the lecture, shared materials, screen interactions and chat.

Step 2: Stop recording

  • When the lecture has finished, return to the session menu and click “stop recording.” This means that nothing more is being recorded. When the recording is finalized it is stored in the Collaborate Ultra server until you delete it. If you decide to continue recording, then this will start a new recording. The first recording cannot be resumed.
  • To learn more about how to record a session using collaborate Ultra, visit Blackboard Help – Record Sessions

How do I find my recordings?

You can find the status of a recording in the “recordings” menu. You can share them when the status changes from “in progress” to “done”.

How do I share a recording?

Using Collaborate Ultra

  • There are no additional steps. The recording is automatically saved to the server. Students can access them in the recordings section.
  • To learn more about how to share a recorded session using Collaborate Ultra, visit Blackboard Help – Share your recordings.

Recommended practice Include instructions on how to access recordings for your students in your course. You may also want to create a web link on the course menu that connects directly to the recording, making it easier for students to access it. Clearly identify this recording by giving the link an appropriate name (such as a date, “Class for Nov. 18, 2020” or theme “Theories of Sociology.”

Using a video sharing platform

  • To do that, you need to download the video file on your personal computer and then upload to a video sharing platform such as Microsoft Stream or YouTube. You must assign public access to the video and share the corresponding link with your students. Once the video is online, if needed, it is possible to add captions.
  • To learn more about how to download recordings in Collaborate Ultra, visit Blackboard Help – Download recordings and transcripts.
  • To learn more about how to upload videos using other services, visit Youtube Help - Upload videos and MS Support - How to store videos.

Sharing recordings with external participants or other courses

To share the recordings outside of the class, you will need to provide public access and share the corresponding link.

How do I delete a recording?

How do I add captions to a recording?

Step 1

  • Create a VTT or SRT file including the captions. This can be done for you by contacting the captioned media coordinator in Accessible Learning Services. Please contact Anne Villahermosa (

Step 2 

  • In the Collaborate Scheduler, go to the recordings sections and find the desired recording.

Step 3 

  • In the recording options menu, select add caption source and upload the VTT or SRT file. (The VTT file format is used for adding captions to MS Stream services, and the SRT file format is used for videos uploaded to YouTube.)
  • To learn more about uploading captions to recordings, visit Blackboard Help – Add captions to your recordings.

Note: Live captions services are available at George Brown.
To learn more about the process to request live captioning, visit Requesting Live Captioning for Blackboard Collaborate Sessions.

If you have a student who has been given an accommodation that requires live captioning, you don’t have to do anything. The manager of Accessible Learning Services, who has a list of students with accommodations, will contact you directly to inform you that a live captioner will be present during your live session. You may have to confirm the timing of the live event.

Do you have questions about live captions? Please contact Anne Villahermosa, captioned media coordinator, (

Frequently Asked Questions

For most instructors at George Brown College, the shift to remote teaching is new. This new way of sharing course content and interacting with students has prompted questions about recording their lectures. The following are answers to some of our frequently asked questions.

If I choose to record my lectures, what should I record?

Recording your class may not be necessary for the entire duration of the synchronous engagement. Recording is most helpful for the part of the synchronous engagement that student evaluation cannot feasibly occur in the absence of the recording (i.e.: there is no other source of information imperative to being assessed). Keeping this in mind, it might be a good idea to consider different (asynchronous) methods of delivering course content, not just through remote lecturing.

What should I tell students about recording?

It is recommended that you inform students when you plan to start and stop recordings. You may want to remind students that the student code of conduct still applies in the remote setting.

How can lecture recordings support students' learning?

There are many barriers to remote learning for today’s adult learner. Consider the many obstacles of our diverse student population:

  • International students and students attending from different time zones
  • Adults continuing their education
  • Non-traditional students getting a second chance
  • Single parents and care-givers
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students looking to enrich themselves by furthering their exploration in particular areas
  • Students who work at jobs with unpredictable/changing schedules
  • English language learners

Recording your synchronous sessions will allow students who face barriers such as these to access and review the course content at a time when it’s convenient for them. It will also give them the opportunity to slow down or stop the lecture to ensure comprehension of important points or concepts.


Need Help?

To learn more about how to get started in Collaborate Ultra, you can visit the Blackboard Help Section.

Available Training

There's a workshop available on Cornerstone to help you learn more about Collaborate Ultra.

Blackboard 24/7 Faculty Support

Need help with Blackboard? Check out our contact information for 24/7 faculty support.