Collaborate Ultra – Changes and Updates

There have been a few changes and updates to Collaborate Ultra, including an announcement on the much anticipated upgrade to the whiteboard.  There is also a change to Blackboard so read all the way to the bottom!!!! 

Here they are:
(Note: future change dates are shown in Red, and dates that have passed in Purple)

Beta release of the new whiteboard to select clients

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra 20.13 | Release to Production 6 August 2020 (planned)
New features

The new whiteboard is being released as a beta to select clients for testing purposes from 16 July 2020. General availability of the whiteboard is scheduled for 6 August 2020.

Now attendees can enjoy better formatting, usability, and annotation persistence with the release of the new whiteboard annotation tools.  With the improvements to the annotation tools, attendees can enjoy these features on a session whiteboard or shared file.

  • Better formatting: Pencil thickness, fonts and font size, shapes with color fill, arrows, and more are added to the annotation tools.
  • Usability: It’s easier to copy and reuse elements and paste text. You can now erase part of the annotations or clear all. There are multi line text blocks, text wrapping, and safeguards before clearing all annotations.
  • Interaction with breakout groups: You can annotate a file in the main room and then share it with the breakout groups including annotations. More on sharing files with breakout groups.
  • Annotation persistence: Annotations made to the whiteboard, or on a file, are saved in the session. You can share something new, go to a new slide, or stop sharing. The annotations remain. Select Clear Annotations to remove them all.Create a blank file of several pages to have a multi-page whiteboard.
Picture showing a few new features - page size, drawing tool, and shapes

Secure recording links

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra 20.13 | Release to Production 16 July 2020
New features

As part of our commitment to security and privacy, we want to give instructors more control over their recordings. Public access to recordings is now off by default for new sessions. Only session owners and students enrolled in the course can see the recording. Any links shared to the recording will no longer work when the recording is secure. When public access is off, the recording is secure.

Instructors can choose to allow public access in the Recording Settings.  When the Public access check box is selected, a shareable link to the recording is available. Anybody with the link can view the recording while public access is allowed. If the instructor clears the Public access check box later, the shareable link stops working.

If you want the default changed to public access always on, submit a request on Behind the Blackboard. Instructors can choose to turn public access off in the recording settings.

Only recordings made after the 20.13 release have public access turned off by default. All previous recordings have public access on by default. You can change the access for earlier recordings in the recording settings.

Image of recording settings

Browser support updates

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra | Release to Production 1 July 2020
Updated features

As of July 1, 2020 Collaborate will no longer support these browser versions:

  • Native Microsoft Edge ® 
  • Google ChromeTM 78 and earlier

Update your browser to the latest version.

More on browser support

Session owners and admins can always download recordings

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra 20.09 | Release to Production 13 June 2020
New features

Session owners, course instructors, and administrators can now always download recordings even if the option to download recordings is clear in the session settings. Use the Allow recording downloads check box to let everyone else download the recording.

More on session recording settings

Share camera

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra 20.09 | Release to Production 13 June 2020
New features

Collaborate 20.02, 20.04, 20.06, and 20.08 releases included in this 20.09 release.

The Share camera option gives you the ability to share more than one camera. Share your video and share another camera connected to your computer. Students can see you and anything else you want to show. You’re only limited by the number of cameras and USB ports in your computer.

The video will appear backwards to you in the preview. This is normal. Your video will appear correctly to others in the session and in recordings. The video won’t appear backwards to other attendees or in recordings. Video is only mirrored in the preview window.

Picture of pouring liquid into a beaker, shown in Collaborate Ultra

Improved the create and edit session functionality

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra 20.09 | Release to Production 13 June 2020
New features

We have improved the user experience for creating and editing sessions in the Collaborate Ultra Scheduler. This improvement also prevents unintended changes to a session from being accidentally saved. Administrators and session owners now need to save changes with the Save button.

Picture of the Event Scheduler

Download poll results report

Continuous Delivery Collaborate Ultra 20.09 | Release to Production 13 June 2020
New features

Collaborate 20.02, 20.04, 20.06, and 20.08 releases included in this 20.09 release.

Now moderators, instructors, and administrators can download a session’s Poll report. This report includes the poll question and how each attendee responded.

Picture of where to download a poll report
Picture of where to download poll report out of Session Reports

There is also one Blackboard update to let you know about.

New Box View will transition to Bb Annotate next week. Some features may change, but the migration will be “seamless” and not require anything of the Faculty.  There will be no Blackboard outage associated with this change. Right now (7/10/20) we do not have an actual time/date of when this will happen; only that it will occur next week.

As far as resources: 

That’s it!!! Thank you for reading the Faculty Learning Corner! Have a great weekend!!