Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has a few new tricks up its sleeve this fall. Both students and faculty should notice some new features and updates that will hopefully improve the overall usability and functionality of Collaborate Ultra.

Here’s what’s new: 

New Whiteboard 

One of the biggest updates to Collaborate Ultra this fall is the new and improved whiteboard.

Changes have been made to:  

  • Formatting: You can more easily adjust pencil thickness, change fonts and font size,  and add shapes with color fill and arrows
  • Usability: Several changes have been made to improve usability, including making it easier to reuse and paste text, erase or clear annotations, and the addition of multi line text blocks, text wrapping and more. 
  • Breakout Room Integration: Now any files you annotate in the main Collaborate room can be shared with the breakout room–annotations included. Or, you can bring in files from a breakout room, annotations included, into the main room. 
  • Annotation Persistence: Any annotations made to the whiteboard or a shared file are now saved in the session. Even if you share something new, go to a new slide or stop sharing, your annotations will remain until you decide to remove them. 

If you are having any issues with the new Whiteboard, please let us know!

Breakout Group Integration with Blackboard Learn groups

Have groups already created in your Blackboard course? You can now access those course-based groups through Collaborate Ultra and use them to set up breakout sessions. This allows you to save time when bringing students in to do group work on Collaborate. 

But what if the groups need to mix or some people aren’t there and a student is alone? Not to worry! You can adjust the groups in Collaborate Ultra without it impacting your groups in Blackboard. 

This feature will go live in Collaborate between September 9th and September 13th. 

Gallery View for Students 

Gallery View isn’t new per se –instructors got access to this view last Spring–but student access rolled out slowly over this summer and should now be available for all students at College of DuPage. 

Questions or concerns about these updates? Email us at