Introducing Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Posted: 8/8/16

Beginning fall 2016, all NIU courses will have access to the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. This updated version of the existing Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing tool has a modern and streamlined interface, improved audio and video quality, and (best of all) runs directly in a web browser. Now there is nothing to install or download to join a session – no Java or launcher needed! See the full list of new features in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

Bb Collaborate Ultra

NIU faculty piloted Collaborate Ultra during fall 2015 and spring 2016. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The pilot faculty found Collaborate Ultra to be easy to use, intuitively designed, and convenient for students. Faculty found that students learned how to use Collaborate Ultra very quickly, as well, so that they could focus on learning and collaboration as opposed to the technology.

Beginning this fall, every Blackboard course will have access to two Blackboard Collaborate tools: Bb Collaborate Ultra, and Bb Collaborate Classic. The latter, which requires a Java launcher to be installed in order to run, will remain available through the end of the year to allow for a more seamless transition.

The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center will be offering workshops and hands-on sessions covering the new features of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. To sign up for a workshop please visit This video also provides a brief overview of everything you can look forward to in Collaborate Ultra.