Blackboard Collaborate got a recent update. What does that mean? There are a lot of really cool new features and tweaks that can make Collaborate even better to use.

Easily Identify Connection Issues

Collaborate can now determine if moderators and attendees are experiencing connection issues that can identify with their ability to participate in the session. Look for the battery level indicators on the Attendees menu in the right panel.

Fortunately, there is no need to figure out from the numbers what an attendee might be experiencing. Collaborate does the math for you. The connection status indicator tells you what an attendee’s experience is most likely to be (excellent, good, fair or poor).

  •  Excellent: Attendee can share, see, and hear everything with no issues.
  •  Good: Attendee can share, see, and hear everything with little to no issues.
  •  Fair: Attendee may experience some changes in their experience.
  •  Poor: Attendee may have difficulty hearing, seeing, or sharing anything.

If you or your students are experiencing problems, review the Collaborate best practices guide for tips on minimizing bandwidth consumption.

Custom Polls

You can now add your own questions and answer choices to polls in Collaborate. Note that students cannot participate in polls when using the Blackboard App. Suggest instead that they use their up-to-date mobile device browser to participate fully in the session.

Learn more about Polling

Share Content to Breakout Groups

Increase student engagement in breakout groups by sending PowerPoint files, PDF’s, and images from the Main Room to one or more groups. You can even store files in your session and access them at any time.

Students can annotate and collaborate on the file before the moderator saves it to the Main Room.

Learn more about using Breakout Groups with students

Pop-up/Push Notifications in Your Browser

Previously, moderators or presenters that were sharing a file or an application were not able to see new chat messages. This is because the Collaborate Ultra application was minimized and so moderators and/or presenters missed new chat messages.

With the July release, this is no longer a problem. Moderators and/or presenters can now enable browser chat push notifications to alert them to new chat messages in the session, even while the application is minimized.