Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra with Accessibility in Mind

In order to serve any COD students who may need accommodations (and to help our those who may just have different learning preferences), all Collaborate Ultra sessions, especially those you’re doing synchronously, need to have captions. In order to make it possible to add captions, you have to: 1) Record the sessions 2) Make it so students can download the recordings as an MP4 and 3) Share where the recordings live in Collaborate with students.

We’ll take you through each of these steps! It sounds like a lot, but really, it’s pretty simple.

Recording a Collaborate Ultra Session

The first step in all of this is knowing how to record your Collaborate sessions and ensuring that you’ll be able to hear the audio no matter what you’re sharing with students. Here are a few articles that will help you to do that.

Another important note, if you are sharing a file you need to stay in the session for 8 seconds after you stop recording to ensure the file displays in the recording.

And just in case this is your first time doing live sessions in Collaborate, a few tips on how to keep student attention and make it engaging:

Enabling Downloads of Collaborate Ultra Recordings

Ideally, you’ll want to enable downloads BEFORE recording your Collaborate session, but let’s say you didn’t (oops) and now you need to. You can still do it! Whether you want to set things up beforehand or need to retroactively make changes, this article explains the process.

Accessing Collaborate Ultra Recordings

So, you’ve recorded a Collaborate session and you’ve enabled downloads. Now what? Well, now students have to be able to find where these recordings live inside Collaborate and to use the button that allows them to download them.

The reason we explain this part is that the recordings can feel a bit hidden unless you know where to look for them. You’ll want to make sure to share this information with students, as the Collaborate tool may be new to them as well.

Adding Captions

You can actually help students out by captioning and sharing the videos within Blackboard yourself.

The easiest way to do this is by creating an YouTube account and uploading the videos there. Once in YouTube, you can have the AI auto-caption the video. This process IS NOT perfect and the AI will make some mistakes, so you will likely need to go through and make a few tweaks along the way. Here are some instructions that can help you:

If you want to use our integrated video system, Yuja, you can find instructions here: Captioning Made Easy with Yuja.

Have questions about any of the steps in this process? Send us an email (learningtech@cod.edu)!