SETTING UP COLLABORATE ULTRA OFFICE HOURS

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra can be used to host virtual office hours.  Generally, faculty opt to open one session or room and use it for office hours across all of their courses/sections.  This can be done by scheduling a recurring Collaborate Ultra session in one Blackboard course and then sharing the guest link across all current courses.


CREATE A RECURRING COLLABORATE ULTRA SESSION

 
1. LOG INTO BLACKBOARD

Log into Blackboard Learn through learn.kent.edu or through FlashLine.
 

2. ENTER YOUR COURSE

Click on the name of your course to access it.  You can use any course from the current semester.
 

3. ACCESS COLLABORATE ULTRA

Navigate to the Collaborate Ultra tool in your course.  You can access it via a course menu/content link you've created, or through the Control Panel > Course Tools > Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (the latter is instructor access only).
 

4. CREATE NEW SESSION

On the Collaborate Ultra page in your course, click on the Create New Session button.  A sidebar will pop out on the right where you can set the parameters for the session.

Collaborate Ultra create session

5. SET SESSION OPTIONS

5.1. Name the session: Type in "Office Hours" or similar in the session name field.

5.2. Enable guest access: Select the checkbox labeled "Guest Access" for the session.  This will generate a URL that will allow students from any course to enter your office hours session.  You can leave the guest role as "participant."

5.3. Set start date: Input the date and time for the first office hours occurrence. 

5.4. Set recurring session options: Select the checkbox labeled "Repeat session."  This will allow you to create all occurrences of your office hours at once.  You can set the options in this section as needed to cover the semester.

5.5. Save: Click the Create button to save.

Collaborate session settings

JOIN THE SESSION

1. Your session will appear in the Collaborate Ultra tool as a recurring session.  Click on the name of the recurring session to expand the menu and view each individually-scheduled occurrence.

Collaborate Ultra recurring session

2. On the scheduled date/time, click on the specific occurrence from the expanded session menu.  Click the Join Session button in the sidebar on the right.

Collaborate Ultra Join Session link

SHARE THE GUEST URL WITH STUDENTS

Once you have created a recurring session, you can access the guest URL and share it with students from any course or section.  Click on the ellipsis menu button to the right of the recurring session title, then click Copy guest link from the drop-down menu.

Collaborate Ultra copy guest link

You can share this guest link in each of your Blackboard courses by creating a web link on your home page or in your course menu.


EDIT OR DELETE A SPECIFIC OCCURRENCE

Click on the ellipsis menu button for any scheduled occurrence to view the session options.  From this menu, you can edit or delete a single session without affecting the rest of the occurrences.

Collaborate Ultra session options menu

USE BREAKOUT GROUPS DURING COLLABORATE ULTRA OFFICE HOURS

This guide from Kent contains some overlap with info on this page, but if you scroll to page 3, you will see instructions for using breakout groups to facilitate private conversations with students during open office hours.

 

Updated June 2020 by Katie Baer, M.Ed., Instructional Designer