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Blackboard Collaborate is the “Ultra Experience”

If you've seen one tool, you've seen them all, right? We were surprised to learn that Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a little different. If you're using it, we'd love to hear your experience.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra cover

We know that many trainers have to work with the tools that they are given, which often includes the platforms you are allowed to use to deliver virtual training. If you are a trainer who gets to train using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience do a big happy dance!

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience blew us away with its usability and features. So much so, that we’re adding it as a Soapbox compatible platform! Take a look at a few of the factors that make Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience live up to its name:

Superior File Sharing

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Do you run recurring trainings? Do multiple trainers teach the same class? With Blackboard Collaborate you can upload your handouts and even your PowerPoint to your session and it will stay until it is deleted. With this functionailty, you don’t need to spend time prepping your platform prior to sessions you run often. Additionally, if a trainer has internet issues and drops off a call, a Producer can easily pick up and continue the session. With the PowerPoint and all handouts pre-loaded, there is no disruption in the learning process and Participants might not even notice that something has gone wrong behind the scenes!

Share Files to and From Breakout Groups

This is the feature we didn’t know we were missing. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience allows you to not only share files into one or more breakout groups, but also to save and share collaborative files created within breakout groups back to the main room for future use! The possibilities here for engaging training are endless. No more asking people to work in breakout groups as scribes or save documents for use in breakout groups to their own devices. All documents going in and out of breakout groups can be done within the platform. Now that I’ve seen this feature, I feel like I can’t live without it!

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Lock Everything Down or Open Everything Up

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Blackboard Collaborate Ultra gives you complete control over Participant access to features. It seems so logical, and yet we don’t see it often. When we do have access to these controls, they are often hard to find (or only accessable to an Administrator). Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows a session Moderator to decide on an easily accessible panel if they would like Participants to be able to share video, audio, access annotations, chat, or file share. If you were running a session with hundreds of Participants, you would probably want to lock down many of these features. Likewise, if you are leading a highly engaging, interactive session, you would likely want to open up these features to all. As a trainer who is often spending WAY too much time trying to figure out how to enable or disable virtual tools for training, this feature made me do my own happy dance.

Captioner Role

One thing we don’t talk about enough in the virtual training world is how to support learners who are visually impared or have hearing loss. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience has built in easily accessible features to support these learners. A Moderator can assign one or even multiple people (they can even assign multiple people to transcribe in different languages) to a Captioner role. A Captioner can easily transcribe right through their main learner interface without distracting or taking away from their own learning. Additionally, Participants who find captions unnecessary can easily turn them off. I love this feature!

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Blackboard Collaborate Trainer's Guide

Want to learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience? Download our free Trainer’s Guide to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

If you’re looking to expand your skills with a different training platform, check out one of our other Trainer’s Guides.

Instructor-Led Training Resources

These are some of our favorite resources to support everyone involved with instructor-led training.

Training Delivery and Facilitation Competency Rubric

A rubric is a way to assess performance with a standard set of evaluation criteria. The next time you need to assess the performance of someone delivering training (even if that someone is you), you may find this rubric helpful.

The Role of Co-facilitators

Co-facilitators play an important role in a training workshop. The most obvious benefit is that when you co-facilitate, you get a break from leading the

18 Instructor-led Training Activities

Engaging, intentional, face-to-face and virtual instructor-led training activities can make the difference between a session that helps learners to apply new skills or knowledge and one that falls flat.

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