What are the differences between Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra) and Blackboard Collaborate (Classic)?

Under our licence for Blackboard Collaborate we currently have access to two different versions of the software - Ultra and Classic.

Blackboard Collaborate (Classic) is the version that we have been using for the past few years. This version requires Java to run and can be slow to load up. However, in terms of managing activities during the session, this version has the most features. It also does not have a limit on the number of users which can use it. While recording a session, the entire session can be captured including the chat window content, but it does not load as a video. Instead, it requires Java like the main session. For Blackboard Collaborate (Classic), there is also a dedicated app that can be used on mobile devices.

Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra) is a new version of the software, released in August 2016. Unlike the Classic version, this does not require Java to run and therefore also loads quicker. It provides higher quality video content and has a more modern look and feel. However, it does have a limit of 100 users in a session at a time. Recordings capture the audio and only what is on the primary display screen, but if you wish to capture the chat window we recommend copying and pasting it into a document. We also recommend using Google Chrome as your browser to get the best experience. Students can use the Bb Student app to access Ultra sessions on their mobile devices, though it may work from the browser on Android and Windows devices.

In January we hope to install a new version of the Blackboard integration which will mean you can choose if you want a Classic or Ultra session on your Blackboard site. Currently in the Blackboard integration, you can only start an Ultra session. If you wish to use the Classic version then please submit a request to IT Help so someone can set up a session for you.


For more information, click on the following links:

Quick guides to Blackboard Collaborate (Classic) 

Quick guides to Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra):

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