User guide for Students

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is the university’s primary tool for live online teaching sessions.  

MOST IMPORTANT – Please make sure you are using the Chrome browser to join a Collaborate session.


Login to Blackboard and click on the relevant module/course for which the live session is due to take place. 

Once you are in the module site, you will see a Details & Actions menu on the left-hand side (see below).

Under Blackboard Collaborate, select the [1] down-arrow and then [2] select either the course room or the particular session that you are seeking to join.

Blackboard collaborate session

You may see a list of sessions. If they have not yet started, they will be greyed out and you will be unable to join them. If the session for the webinar is ‘open’ click on the title to begin joining the session.

If this is your first time entering a “collaborate session” the system will prompt you to set up your microphone and camera. You will see the following screens:

Blackboard session permission

Please Allow use of both microphone and camera to allow you into interact during the session. You will be able to turn ON/OFF manually.

You will then enter the “Collaborate Room” and be able to hear the tutor and participate in the live session.  

Once you are in the Collaborate room, you will see the some icons (at the bottom centre of the screen) to turn your microphone and camera ON or OFF and ‘Raise your hand’ so that the lecturer will know you want to ask a question.

collaboration room
  1. Turn your mic on and off

  2. Turn your web camera on and off

  3. Allows you to raise your hand to notify the lecturer you have a question.

To use the inbuilt chat function please follow the steps below:

chat icons
  1. Click on the purple tab in the bottom right corner of the screen.


  2. Chat icon. Now type in your question and press Enter on the keyboard to send it.

  3. You can click on the Attendees button to see who else is in the session 


You can also join a Collaborate session from a mobile phone or tablet by downloading the Blackboard student app  directly from the appropriate app store for your phone. 

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Before the session 

  • Join the session 10 minutes before the start time to allow time for connection.

  • Use Chrome as your browser rather than Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

  • Use a headset with microphone for the best experience, rather than built-in speakers and microphone.

  • If you are using wi-fi, try to be as close to the router as possible, but ideally use a wired connection.

  • Close any streaming services (such as YouTube) on your computer before joining a session.

If you have any problems hearing the audio during the session, try the following:

  1. Check your settings in the Collaborate session. To do this click on the purple arrow button in the bottom right of the screen and click the settings ‘cog’ button. In Audio and Video Settings check that the speaker volume is up to 100%.

  2. Check your computer audio settings at the bottom right of the screen. Make sure your speakers are not muted. Check your system sound settings. On a PC go to the Control Panel and click on Sounds. In the playback tab check that your playback device
    (eg speakers or headset) is enabled.   

Audio video setting

PLEASE NOTE: You may AT TIMES be invited to attend a Collaborate session via a guest link.

Click on the link provided and you will see the screen shown below. Please enter your full name and select join session.

Blackboard Invitation

University of Westminster
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General enquiries: +44 (0)20 7911 5000
Course enquiries: +44 (0)20 7915 5511

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