Using Blackboard Collaborate across modules and programmes

Did you know you can get students from different modules together in the same Collaborate space?

While your Blackboard Collaborate session still needs to be set up within a single Blackboard course, that does not mean it is restricted only to students on that course. It is possible to run a live session for participants from different modules or programmes by using a guest link.  You can then also provide the recording of the session using another link.

Guest links

You can enable guest access for your session and get a link that you can email to other students, or post on another Blackboard site. For details of how to set up a Collaborate session, see our article Delivering webinars: Guides for using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Once you have set up a session:

  1. Click on the session in Blackboard to bring up the settings.

Screenshot of Event Details tab

  1. Select Guest Access (A)
  2. Choose what role you would like your guests to have (B). This can be useful if you are inviting a guest speaker and need them to enter as a Presenter, for example. For inviting students from another module, however, you will probably want to leave it on the default ‘Participant’ setting.
  3. Click ‘Copy’ to select the link (C). Depending on your browser, this may add the link to your clipboard automatically, or it may just select the link text and you will need to press Ctrl+C to copy it.

You can now send this link in an email or put it on other Blackboard sites.

Recording links

Normally, students would view recordings of Collaborate sessions from the Blackboard site where the session is held, in the Collaborate Recording Player. This gives them a very similar experience to a live webinar, including a chat pane synched with the recording.

Students from other modules can still view recordings in the same way, as long as you send them the link. This is preferable to downloading the recording, because the download will not include the chat pane (you can download the chat as a separate text file, but it will not be synched with the video).

To get the recording link, go to Recordings from the Collaborate menu in Blackboard.

Screenshot of recording menu

Click on the three dots next to your recording and select ‘Copy link’.

Screenshot of Copy Link menu item

You will then need to send this link to your other students by email, or put it on their relevant Blackboard sites.


Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash