How to use Collaborate Ultra

Get set up

Before your first class you’ll need to do a couple of things to make sure you’re set up to use Collaborate Ultra.

1. Buy a headset

Depending on the type of class, you may need to use a microphone to speak with your peers. Your lecturer or tutor will brief you on expectations regarding use of microphones at the beginning of semester.

In online-only tutorials, we strongly recommend students use a microphone to speak to each other. In these instances, you must at least have headphones, and we recommend buying a headset with a built-in microphone.

An iPhone headset or similar is adequate. Alternatively, you can buy a headset for about $15 at electrical stores or places like Officeworks.

It is possible to use a laptop’s built-in microphone, but you must must use headphones to prevent audio looping.

If you do not have headphones or a headset, you will not be able to use your microphone in the Collaborate Ultra sessions and will only be able to communicate via text chat.

In classes where only the lecturer or tutor will be speaking using a microphone, you may still prefer to use headphones to avoid disturbing people around you.

2. Check system requirements and/or install applications

You can access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions using a computer or a mobile device.


Collaborate Ultra runs in your web browser and works best with Google Chrome. We strongly recommend you install Chrome if you do not have it, as the experience is significantly better in Chrome than other browsers.

Mobile device

To use Collaborate Ultra on your mobile device, you need to install the app Bb Student. Find the app in your app store:

We’ve provided detailed instructions for logging in on a mobile device below.

3. Log in early

For your first session, log in early so that you have time to resolve any issues with access.

On a computer, you’ll be prompted to set up your audio the first time you log in. Make sure you follow the prompts to check your audio is working.

Using the mobile app

Download the guide to using Collaborate Ultra on mobile devices [Word, opens in new window].

Having problems?

Internet connections and connection speed

If you have the option of a cabled internet connection (for example, a LAN connection), we recommend you use it as it tends to provide a more stable connection than wireless.

Check you have the latest version of Chrome

It’s always advisable to have the latest version of Chrome running but we know that audio issues in particular can be resolved by updating.

Audio issues

The following tips might seem really obvious, but in a majority of cases, audio issues can be resolved with some quick checks.

Restart Chrome as a first step

A majority of audio issues can be resolved by closing Chrome and relaunching it. We recommend you try this before working through the tips below.

Can’t hear anything?

  • Check whether your system sound is muted.
  • If you’re using a headset:
    • if there is a volume control on your headset cable, make sure it is turned up.
    • check your system sound settings to make sure your headset is selected as the output.
    • unplug it and see if your audio works without it. If your sound output works through your internal speakers, you can just use those for the session instead of your headset. You’ll just need to type in the chat instead of using your microphone to talk.
  • If you’re using external speakers:
    • check the volume control on the speakers to make sure it is turned up .
    • check your system sound settings to make sure your speakers are selected as the output.
    • unplug them and try your internal speakers.

Speakers working but not your microphone?

Don’t worry. As long as you can hear and you can type in the chat, you can still participate in the class. We recommend you just listen and type then follow up with the IT help desk after class.

Problems accessing the session

Don’t forget, Collaborate Ultra runs best in Google Chrome. If you’re not using Chrome, we recommend you give it a try.

You might also like to try the mobile app if you can’t resolve issues with accessing the session from your computer.

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