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December 3, 2019 - 11:45 am
Camosun Staff

Talk to eLearning before starting!

Because Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) and Kaltura are complex tools, we recommend you either attend an eLearning workshop or make an appointment with an instructional designer prior to setting up and using them in or outside of your D2L course site.  Tutorials are available in the On-Demand Training D2L site, but these have been designed as reminders rather than as first-step learning tools.

What is Blackboard Collaborate Ultra?

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) is a synchronous classroom tool, much like Skype on steroids, which means that faculty now have an online tool with audio, video, chat, and whiteboard/desktop sharing capabilities to support their teaching in real-time.  BBCU integrates with D2L, which means you can link students to your BBCU room and sessions from inside your D2L course.  You can, however, also use BBCU without D2L by creating sessions and emailing session links to participants.  To use BBCU outside of D2L, you will need to arrange to have an account created by contacting Bob Preston at

Top 10 questions about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Where do I find BBCU in D2L?

BBCU is an External Learning Tool in D2L, meaning that you can add a link to it in the Content tool (using Add Existing Activity) or in any tool which has access to the HTML editor (using the Quicklink option).

Can my students use BBCU in D2L?

If you create a BBCU room with active sessions, your students can enter those sessions while they are open.  You do not need to be in the session with your students, but you will need to consider if your students need Moderator, Presenter, or Participant access to the sessions by selecting the appropriate Guest Access for them.  We have developed tutorials to support you with this.

Can I use BBCU without having to use D2L?

Yes.  You need to contact Bob Preston (see above) to arrange for an account.

What do my students and I need to use BBCU?

You will need a computer with an internet connection and a browser, or a mobile device with an internet connection and either a browser or the Blackboard Collaborate app.  In addition, you will need speakers and a microphone (preferably a headset if you are using your own personal device), as well as a camera/webcam, although a camera is not mandatory.  BBCU has an audio/video setup wizard you can run when you enter a session, and you should advise your students to come into the session early to check their audio (and video if they are using it) to ensure they are ready when the session begins.

The more participants in the session, the more we recommend considering either disabling the ability for participants to use their cameras, or advising them to turn them off when they enter the session.

What if someone doesn’t have a camera or a microphone?

Participants can also utilize the text chat in the BBCU session, which means you or a co-facilitator should be moderating the chat to ensure you don’t miss any questions.

How many people can be in a BBCU session at once?

In theory, up to 500, but we would advise considering how much engagement you will be requiring of the students, and if you have a co-facilitator on hand to support you with a large group of virtual students, and less if you want a lot of engagement (although you can use breakout rooms to accommodate small group work).  If you do not need your students to be visible, we recommend you consider either asking them to disable their cameras (and to mute their microphones when not speaking) or disabling their cameras (and microphones if necessary) when setting up the session.

If your students access a session set up in D2L, you will be able to see their names within the session.  If you are creating a session outside of D2L, students will have to add their names as they enter, so you may want to remind them to do this so you know who all is there!

Can I have multiple sessions in BBCU?

Yes.  You have one BBCU Room in a D2L course, but you can create multiple Sessions within that room.

Can students show presentations in BBCU?

Yes.  You can change the role of a Participant to a Presenter (or even to a Moderator) at any point during a session.  As a Presenter, a student can share files in the main BBCU area.

Can I create a recording of my BBCU sessions?

Yes.  You can create a video recording of your BBCU sessions which you can watch from a link, or download (if you have enabled recording download when creating the session) and edit, and then upload to Kaltura for embedding in your D2L course site.

Where can my students and I get help with BBCU?

You and your students can get help with BBCU from eLearning.  Contact to arrange for a consult with an instructional designer to get you started, or for technical support when you are in a BBCU session

What is Kaltura?

Kaltura is a streaming media tool recently adopted by Camosun that will help instructors create and embed more interactive and engaging online content.  Integrated into D2L, and supported by eLearning, Kaltura gives faculty and students a place to upload, create, and edit their course-related videos, audio files, and images.  These media files can then be embedded into the HTML editor, wherever it appears in D2L (for example, in the Content tool), or viewed in your course’s Media Gallery.  Because Kaltura is hosted in BC (at UBC), and not on U.S. or foreign servers, it is compliant with BC-FIPPA legislation.

Top 10 questions about Kaltura:

Where do I find Kaltura in D2L?

Kaltura is an External Learning Tool in D2L, and has two sides: a personal My Media space (which links a user to a personal media upload space) and a Course Media gallery (which you can set up to contain all the media for that specific D2L course site).  You can either set up a link to your My Media area in a draft Content topic (preventing students from using it) or add links to My Media and/or Course Media on the NavBar or My Tools menu in your D2L course.

Can my students use Kaltura in D2L?

If you have the My Media link on your NavBar or My Tools menu, your students will also be able to upload video to their own personal My Media space.  You will need to make sure they have access if you are requiring them to upload videos to Discussions or Dropbox for assessment.

Can I share videos with other instructors?

If other instructors have access to copy components from your D2L site (we recommend using a DEV or Master Course site for this purpose), they can copy videos embedded in Content, and from other tools with video embedded in the HTML editor.  They would either copy the whole course, or select the appropriate components (for example, Content and External Learning Tools) to copy into their own course site.

Can I create a video in Kaltura?

You can use the Kaltura Capture tool to create audio files and/or video containing video captured from your webcam and/or your computer screen(s).  In addition, you can use Kaltura Capture to create a PowerPoint presentation with voiceover.  And yes, students can also use this function.

Can I add YouTube videos into my Kaltura?

You can add YouTube videos to your My Media space, and also include them in playlists you create in Course Media. This means when you embed these videos into a Content page, for example, they will play without advertising or providing “helpful” suggestions for additional videos to watch.

Do Kaltura videos have closed captions?

Every video you upload to Kaltura will have captions automatically created for it.  You can then edit the captions if they are not accurate, or replace the auto captions with paid captions if you have arranged for those to be created.  Be aware: the automated captioning is about 70% accurate and is it your responsibility to ensure captions are accurate.

Can I edit videos in Kaltura?

You can make minor edits to videos through Kaltura (for example, you can trim beginnings and endings of a video, or chop pieces out of it).  If numerous edits are needed, especially if they are complex, we recommend you make them in a video editing program on your own computer before uploading your video to Kaltura.

Can my students download my videos or audio files?

Yes, if you allow them to.  The default setting for Downloads is off, but you can enable downloading for individual media items.

Where can I get help with Kaltura?

You can get help with Kaltura from eLearning.  Contact to arrange for a consult with an instructional designer to get you started!

What else do I need to know?

  • You can create Interactive Video Quizzes out of your uploaded videos, adding multiple choice, true/false questions, or reflection points.These can be connected to the gradebook in your D2L course.

  • You can also create Playlists from videos you add to the Course Media gallery, so you could, for example, create a playlist of videos for each of the Modules or Units or Topics in your course. You can then embed these playlists in the Content area.

  • When creating a video for a course, consider its purpose and length.First, take some time to consider if video is the best presentation option for the content in question.Remember, you can present content in multiple ways – use video when it makes the most sense.Second, the longer the video, the longer it takes to plan and create, edit, and upload it into Kaltura.In addition, research shows that students stop absorbing video content after about 6 minutes, so keep your videos short and sweet, and make sure to chunk longer videos into shorted pieces.

Last updated: January 6, 2016 6:16 pm

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