Collaborate Ultra Student Guide

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Collaborate Ultra is a video/audio web-conferencing and collaboration tool in Canvas that lets you, your peers, and your instructor meet in real time. Through Collaborate Ultra, you can attend lectures and meetings, present using whiteboards, share screens and resources, interact by voice or text chats, have group discussions, and take polls.

Collaborate Ultra is FIPPA compliant (i.e., it follows provincial privacy policy) and its data is stored securely in Canada.

The lecture sessions may be recorded by your instructor and made available after the real-time event.

What will I use it for?

Your instructor may use Collaborate Ultra for many types of real-time interactions:

  • Lectures
  • Office hours
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Oral exams
  • Proctored exams

What do I need to use Collaborate Ultra?

A supported web browser

Collaborate Ultra runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. For which versions work, check the Collaborate Ultra supported browser page.

  • If on a mobile device, use Safari (iOS) and Chrome (Android).
  • For the best experience with a screen reader, use Firefox / JAWS (Windows) and Safari / VoiceOver (Mac).

Audio/visual equipment

Web-conferencing uses a microphone (for the best audio experience, use a headset with a microphone) and a webcam.

Tips

  • You can download the Canvas Student mobile application from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store to attend sessions on your mobile device.
  • If you are not in Canada or the U.S., try to avoid dialing in to sessions. Long-distance fees may apply when joining a session by calling in on a phone, as the international number (1 571 392 7651) is a U.S. one.

How do I use Collaborate Ultra?

Click any bar below to find instructions and tips for using Collaborate Ultra.

Join real-time sessions in Collaborate Ultra

The most common way to join a session is from your Canvas course.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Collaborate Ultra in the Course Navigation.
    • If you don't see the Collaborate Ultra option in your Course Navigation, contact your instructor. This needs to be enabled in the Canvas course for you to see it.
  2. Click the session name you want to join.
  3. Click Join session or Join Course Room, whichever is available.
  4. If this is your first time joining a session, you will be asked to give the browser permission to use your webcam and microphone. Follow the instructions in the next section, if you need help with this.

Tips

  • Your instructor may send you a link to the session, and you can use this to join instead.
  • You can use your mobile device to join a session either by clicking a link or navigating to the course in the Canvas Student app.
  • Close down all background programs before you join the session for a better connection.
  • Join the session a few minutes early to test your connection, microphone, and camera.
  • You may need to enable cookies in your web browser, if the Collaborate Ultra page won’t load and you see a spinning purple wheel.

Set up audio and video for Collaborate Ultra sessions

Some browsers need access to your microphone to play audio, even if you don’t plan to speak. To make sure you can hear everything, give the browser permission for the microphone and webcam.

To run the audio and video setup:

  1. If you are not automatically prompted, click the purple arrow tab in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel.
    • Along the bottom bar of the panel that expands, click the fourth icon for settings, then select Set Up your camera and microphone from the options presented.
  2. Choose the microphone you want to use. Collaborate tells you that you sound great when it is receiving your audio. Click Yes - It's working to proceed.
  3. Choose the camera you want to use. Collaborate tells you that you look great when it is receiving your video. Click Yes - It's working to proceed.

Participate during Collaborate Ultra sessions

You can engage in multiple ways during sessions:

  • Share your feedback by clicking the person profile icon on the bottom menu and selecting from the options presented in the pop-up menu.
  • Raise your hand by clicking the raised hand icon on the bottom menu. This action is one way to ask a question or get the instructor’s attention, though individual instructors may give you a different way to do so.
  • Use the text chat to post a public message to everyone or a private message to an individual (note that both message types can be seen by your instructor). Click the purple arrow tab in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel. Along the bottom bar of the panel that expands, click the first icon to access chat.
  • Annotate shared content, if your instructor allows this, using the annotation tools found on the top menu when shared content is being presented.
    • If your instructor asks you to annotate and you are on a mobile device, you will need to type into the chat function instead.

Tips

  • If your Internet connectivity, time zone, or other remote issues make it hard to attend at the scheduled time, talk to your instructor ahead of time. You can figure out together how to best address these issues.
  • Keep your microphone muted unless you're talking, to reduce echoes and background noise from interfering with the class.
  • If you share your video, make sure there is nothing behind you that will be distracting or revealing for others to see.
  • You may need to turn your video off, if you experience lag time when sharing your video.

Present your work during Collaborate Ultra sessions

Instructors can temporarily make you the presenter for part or all of a session. Note that you will need to use a desktop or laptop computer, as screen sharing will not work on mobile devices.

  1. To present your work, click the purple arrow tab in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel.
  2. Along the bottom bar of the panel that expands, click the third icon for sharing content.
  3. Click the Share Application/Screen option.
  4. In the pop-up prompt that appears, choose the way you want to share your screen.
  5. Click Share or Allow, whichever you see, depending on your browser.

Tips

  • Ask your instructor to set up a practice room ahead of time where students can join as presenters.
  • To play video or audio during your presentation, you must use the Chrome web browser. How you can share audio and video also depends on if you're using Windows or Mac.
  • Send a copy of your presentation to your instructor or a fellow student as a back-up plan.

Participate in Collaborate Ultra breakout groups

Instructors can create breakout groups during a session. In these groups, you can share video, audio, slides, whiteboards, and your screen with a smaller number of classmates.

  1. The instructor will send the class into breakout groups. You will see a notice that you are entering a breakout group.
  2. In the breakout group, you can interact and collaborate using all the regular session tools. Your instructor may remain in the main session (and be unable to hear you) or may join your group (or other groups).
  3. If your instructor has enabled it, you can also move between breakout groups.
    • Click the purple arrow tab in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel. Click the second icon for attendees, then click the join icon next to the group you wish to join.
  4. When the breakout groups are finished, the instructor will move you back to the main session.

Tips

  • Breakout groups may be used in other ways such as virtual office hours, private one-on-one meetings, or proctored exams.
  • When exams are proctored with a breakout group, it is similar to attending an in-person exam. You will be in a “room” with other students, and an invigilator (likely your instructor or a teaching assistant) will be available to answer questions and make sure everyone is playing fair.
  • You may be asked to share your screen during an exam proctored in a breakout group. You can follow the steps for presenting your work in the section above.

Access recorded Collaborate Ultra sessions

If your instructor records a session, it should automatically upload to the Collaborate Ultra area of your Canvas course.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Collaborate Ultra from the Course Navigation.
  2. Click the menu icon (3 horizontal lines) on the left side of the “Sessions” black bar.
  3. Click Recordings.
  4. Click the recording you want to play.

Tips

  • Session recordings include the main activities happening in the main session, which includes the audio, any visual content shared or the active speaker video in the main screen, and chat messages in the “Everyone” channel.
  • Contact your instructor, if you don’t see the session's recording. There may be an issue or another way to access it.

Collaborate Ultra FAQ

Find UBC-specific answers to frequently asked questions by clicking any bar below.

There is not much difference between the two. Collaborate Ultra and Zoom are both video/audio web-conferencing and collaboration tools​ that let you, your peers, and your instructor meet in real time. Zoom is an alternative to Collaborate Ultra at UBC because some instructors need a tool that can be used outside of Canvas and/or can accommodate higher numbers of participants and the ability to see more video feeds at once.

Yes. Collaborate Ultra is FIPPA compliant (it follows provincial privacy policy) and any recordings done with it are stored in Canada by Amazon Web Services.

You can participate in Collaborate Ultra sessions from your desktop or laptop computer or from a mobile device.

  • Using your Canvas course: Click Collaborate Ultra in the Course Navigation and join any active session from there.
  • Using a link: If your instructor has provided a link directly to the session, you can click the link instead.

Note that, if you are not in Canada or the U.S., fees may apply when calling in on a phone, because the international number is a U.S. one (1 571 392 7651).

If you don't see the Collaborate Ultra page in your Canvas course navigation, contact your instructor. This needs to be enabled in the Canvas course in order for you to see it.

If the Collaborate Ultra page won’t load and you see a spinning purple wheel, you may need to enable cookies in your web browser.

Where can I get more support with Collaborate Ultra?

Technical support

If you have trouble accessing Canvas or Collaborate Ultra:

For 24/7 technical support:

  • Contact Collaborate Ultra directly:
    1 877 382 2293 or use live chat

For support with online learning:

Learn more


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