Project Description

Collaborate Ultra

Synchronous Webinars 

Introduction

Purpose

Collaborate Ultra is an easy to use platform for synchronous online discussion and activities.  It is a real time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact.

Learning Context

Synchronous learning allows teaching staff to actively engage with their students and peers in real time, regardless of their location or device.

Benefits

  • Blended learning delivery platform providing a virtual classroom from anywhere at anytime.
  • It is already integrated into Canvas, so it is ready to use with very little setup.
  • Schedule presentations with flexibility.
  • Easy to record so you can save the session for future use and sharing.

When to Use 

Collaborate Ultra is a flexible platform that’s can be used for:

  • Online Tutorials
  • Practical Demonstrations particularly of software
  • Staff to student drop in sessions
  • Student to student collaboration and group work
  • Invite guests or offsite speakers into your class

How to

The following video, put together by the College of Design and Social Context (DSC) at RMIT on Canvas Collaborate Ultra (Blackall 2017) explains the process of setting up and running a Collaborate Ultra session. 

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Well folks continuing on with the collaboration in

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canvas series. This time we’re looking at one of

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the video conferencing systems inside RMIT’s

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instance of canvas. And it’s called

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Collaborate Ultra. When you go into your course or

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any one of your courses you should see in the

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course navigation on the left a link to

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Collaborate Ultra. If you don’t see it in this

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list try going to settings and then clicking the

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navigation tab. Finding it in there and enabling

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it and then coming back to you From there click

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Collaborate Ultra. So this is a system for people

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to meet online live but you could also use it for

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what I’m doing right now on screen recording and

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recording presentations without people in the

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meeting necessarily. I’ll show you how to do that.

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When you open up Collaborate Ultra. By default

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there is a session called course room and by

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default it’s unlocked meaning it’s available to

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enter and you can get the launch link there or

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over here you can get a copy of the guest link if

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you want people to write email people the link to

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join the session edit the sessions for details

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they add to the settings for the session reports

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and then you can lock the course room copying the

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course link guest link is a handy little thing to

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know about there. Now this is just a permanently

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available room just like any physical room so

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you’d make a booking outside between people. So

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let’s meet in the course room at 6:00 p.m. tonight.

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People know either to go back to the link that

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they’ve been e-mailed before or click Collaborate

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Ultra and join the room here.

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If you want to create separate sessions for say

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small groups their own little meeting room or the

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studios for any other reason you can create

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separate sessions here. When you click that it

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comes up with asking you the name for the session

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the date. But like the course room you can click

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no end to this session and then it’s just a

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continuously available room to use

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like session settings. You can default everybody a

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participant or a presenter and other things in

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there. Well let’s join the course room to have a

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look at its features so collaborate ultra from

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that dashboard opens in a new tab.

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It takes a little while to load hide this away and

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conveniently conveniently. If you’re experienced

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with video conferencing systems by default you

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come into a room with your microphone muted and

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your video camera muted. So if you’ve experienced

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videoconferencing before online video conferencing

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people. When people come in sometimes a lot of

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background noise on their mind can be can be quite

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chaotic as the meeting gets started. So it’s good

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that the audio is muted by default but it also

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means that people need to know if they want to

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speak or want to be seen. They have to turn these

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on

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you a little button there is right hand to draw

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attention to yourself if there’s a presentation

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going on you can click that and it’ll send a being

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to the moderator and they know that you’ve got a

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question so outside of those main buttons they’re

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over on the right. We have a number of features by

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default is the brooms chat so you can send a chat

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message everybody gets that or you can send a

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message to individual attendees

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share content. Button has exposed a few other

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features we can load up a whiteboard to draw into

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or we can share an application and that’s where

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you would share a screen. So click share

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application you could share the entire screen or

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just a particular application window. And that’s

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that’s handy for a few recording lectures and

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presentations you might want to do that. Speaking

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of recording or the other things you share files

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pulling breakout groups but speaking recordings

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over left its main course room navigation. You can

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start the recording so theoretically you start the

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recording maybe a meeting or maybe it’s a

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presentation share application share and tie

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screen or just an application. And then when

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you’re finished you can stop recording

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and that will appear in the dashboard. The

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previous window we’re looking at I find after

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about an hour although I haven’t done a large

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recording. So generally speaking half an hour to

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an hour the recordings are available.

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Interestingly they have the feature of use of

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phones that people can join the meeting by phone

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number and enter this pin. I haven’t tried that

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app that’s handy looking feature and the rest are

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just blackboard collaborate help

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I think we didn’t finish looking at the other

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features here settings so these are just your

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personal settings and that’s where you can change

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your profile image which by default does come into

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the session turned on whereas the microphone and

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video are off. So that’s a little look at

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collaborate ultra a very simple elegant easy to

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use tool. We’re gonna have a look at those

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recordings. You need to access those you’ve got to

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leave the session. Prompts you for a little survey

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or skip that

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and in fact you don’t have to leave the session.

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You could just return back to the previous tab.

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And this is the dashboard for collaborate Ultra.

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You click the menu here and then you’ve got your

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recordings and the one I’ve just created isn’t yet

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available but the others that I have been creating

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are. And when you want to download that where

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you’ve got other options you can watch it now

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delete copy the link. Oh interesting that one is

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not available for download nor is that one okay.

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That’s something I didn’t realize. So it looks

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like the either the course room doesn’t make

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itself available to download

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because these sessions are sessions that are

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created Okay so that might make me want to come

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full circle around to checking out the. You can

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download the app before there and that’s useful

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for uploading to YouTube and things like that so

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let’s just go back and have a look at those

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session settings have a session settings for the

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course room.

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Allow recording downloads save that see if that’s

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changed the availability of the recordings already

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made

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it has. Okay so that’s quite simple. You go back

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to the sessions and just make sure by default the

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courtroom doesn’t allow for downloads. Even for me

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the teacher in this course. So you’re going to go

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into the settings to make them available download

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recordings and create a new session. Then just

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remember to take that as well.

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Okay let’s collaborate ultra online conferencing

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is very useful for meetings but as well for using

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it to record presentations and downloading the

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video and putting it up onto YouTube.

Further Tips for using Collaborate Ultra 

  • When possible, you should practice using and setting your session and equipment before the first session.  
  • Chrome or Firefox are the top recommended browsers so if troubleshooting, check you are in those where possible
  • Provide the session link  and Collaborate Ultra guide for students to your students a few days early and encourage them to check that they can join successfully. This will provide them time to sort out any technical problems.   
  • Make sure that your sessions are recorded sessions and shared.
  • At the start of the session:  check that everyone can hear you clearly. Ask them to type in the chat to let you know or use a simple poll.  
  • When possible, have an extra person to help you with any technical issues and to keep an eye on the Chat.  

Useful Links