This advice note relates:

  • TO the delivery of modules online where the total number of students taking the module exceeds 250

  • WHERE the intention is to deliver through a live online lecture to whole group followed by live seminar group sessions (typically 20-25 students per group).


1. Live Lecture

Use Blackboard Collaborate – set the session up from within the Blackboard site for the module concerned, making sure that you select the option to ‘allow 250+ attendees to join’. DO NOT issue a guest link. INSTRUCT students to access the session via the Blackboard site in which the session was set up in order that attendance can be monitored.

NOTE: In sessions with more than 250 attendees, participants will not be able to use video or audio nor interact with the whiteboard. CHAT can however be enabled for all participants in an audience over 250, once the session has started, by going to the session settings via My Settings in the Collaborate Panel (accessed bottom right of the Collaborate screen).


Use Panopto
. Here there is no limit on audience size and participants can post questions via a CHAT interface. To use Panopto to create a livestreaming link in advance of the start of a session please see this guide. 

2. Seminar groups

NOTE: You cannot use the in session ‘break out groups’ feature with an audience greater than 250. The maximum number of break-out groups possible within a single Collaborate session is 20.

Use Blackboard Collaborate. Set up a repeating session (assuming the ‘seminar groups’ run each week) for each seminar group named in a way that the student is able to associate with (e.g. give each group a number or a distinctive name (e.g. Red group, Blue group etc).

NOTE: Students will be able to enter any of the seminar group Collaborate sessions, but this is no different to physical spaces where they could potentially enter any physical room.


Use the ‘Meet Now’ option in Microsoft Teams
, setting up one link for each seminar group. These links can then be posted to the Blackboard site for the module (e.g. as an Announcement), one link for each group. The one link created for each group can be used each week.

Relevant Online Guides

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