Blackboard Collaborate

NOTE: The University of Wisconsin System will not be renewing their contract with Blackboard Collaborate, which ends on June 30, 2021. This means that the web conferencing tool will no longer be available for use at UW-Madison. UW-Madison has an enterprise contract with Zoom and it is integrated with Canvas. It is recommended that all UW-Madison courses being delivered for summer and beyond use Zoom for online and hybrid instruction. You can read the announcement of the recommendation here.

Blackboard Collaborate is an easy-to-use web conferencing tool that enables users to create virtual classrooms and meeting spaces. People at various sites can participate as if they are attending in person.

Key Features

  • Share live and recorded audio/video meetings, lectures, training sessions, and any other events easily via the web
  • Highly customizable, browser-based product
  • Screen, application and presentation sharing
  • Whiteboard and interactive polling
  • Public/private text chat
  • Mobile apps for access from iOS and Android devices
  • Integrated Telephony allowing participants to call in for audio


Blackboard Collaborate is integrated with the Canvas learning management system (LMS) as well as available as the “Web Conferencing (Collaborate)” app in the MyUW portal.

Instructional Uses

Web conferencing enables instructors to optimize their time and engage students in new and stimulating ways. It can be used to support traditional, blended or online courses. Current UW-Madison instructors are using it to deliver:

  • Online lectures
  • Guest speakers
  • Virtual office hours
  • Student group projects
  • Student presentations
  • Paper and project conferences
  • Virtual and outside class review sessions and more

For more information about how to use Blackboard Collaborate for instruction, read our “What are the pedagogical uses for web conferencing” guide.

Getting Started

If you’re new to Blackboard Collaborate, it may be helpful to check out this feature comparison of web conferencing tools. If you’re an instructor using Collaborate from within your Canvas course, you will find “BBCollaborate Ultra” on the side navigation bar. For information on using Blackboard Collaborate in Canvas, refer to the Learn@UW-Madison Knowledgebase for helpful information on how to get started.

To get started with using Blackboard Collaborate in the MyUW portal, see this getting started KnowledgeBase document.

Helpful Resources


The DoIT Help Desk provides instructors, staff and students with free tech support and troubleshooting help by phone at 608.264.4357, email at and chat at In-person support is also available at the DoIT Help Desk service desk in the Computer Sciences building. Visit for hours and more information.

Instructors and instructional staff can also request a consultation through the DoIT Help Desk. A DoIT AT consultant will help you select and use the right learning technology to improve student success. In addition, the Learn@UW KnowledgeBase offers helpful documents for instructors, course owners and students.