Q. What is a Virtual Classroom and what is Collaborate Ultra? (student guide)


A virtual classroom is an online meeting space which provides interactive tools for tutors and students to teach and learn. At UoN, our Virtual Classrooms work through a system called 'Blackboard Collaborate Ultra'. It works directly in your web browser without the need to install software onto your computer. If your tutor uses Virtual Classrooms on your NILE site, the following basic guidance may improve your experience when using the system.


The specific names and location of links used in each NILE site may differ, but many NILE sites will look similar to the below image.

To access your session, choose 'Virtual Classroom' from the left hand menu (1), select the session name that applies to you from the list (2) and click on Join session (3). Sessions are only available to click on during the start and end times shown.

Important Notes:

  • To access the virtual workshop you should use a laptop or desktop computer that has a Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge browser installed. You should use Chrome or Firefox if at all possible.
  • You will need a good, reliable Internet connection.
  • You will need speakers or preferably headphones to hear others and you will need a microphone to be heard yourself. It is also possible to use a webcam if you have one connected.
  • Your instructor controls whether you can use your microphone and camera, but you should usually be able to raise your hand (hand icon) or post a chat message (speech bubble icon).
  • If you have a problem with sound or video, leaving and re-joining the session usually fixes a lot of issues. If you still have a problem please try these links:  Windows | Mac | Chromebook

User Interface

Please watch this introductory video to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. The options available to you will depend on your instructor; for example, you may not be able to use the presentation tools, but you may be able to use your microphone.


At times, your instructor may provide you with the ability to present your screen or an application over Collaborate. Please refer to the linked guidance at the bottom of this page which covers presentation features in more detail.

Further information

The full online guidance for Collaborate Ultra can be viewed here: https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Participant


  • Last Updated Sep 16, 2019
  • Views 151
  • Answered By Tim Guyett

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