Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - Dealing with Disruptive Participants
University of Wisconsin System users running Blackboard Collaborate Ultra have several in-meeting options for preventing participants from accidentally or intentionally disrupting the rest of the meeting.
Before a meeting begins, meeting owners can head-off many potential problems by using the tips in the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - Securing Meetings guide to prevent unwanted participants from entering the meeting.
After a Collaborate Ultra session has started, meeting moderators stop many disruptive behaviors by:
- monitoring the Attendees panel
- locking down participants' audio, video, chat, and whiteboard settings
- removing unruly participants
The Attendees Panel
In order to manage participants in a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session, it's a good idea to keep the meeting's Attendees panel open.
To access the Attendees panel, click the purple Collaborate Panel button at the bottom right of the Collaborate Ultra screen.
From there, click the Attendee tab (the one with the outline of a person).
The Attendee panel shows you everyone currently in this session of the meeting.
It also contains status indicators showing which participants have active microphones, raised their hands, or have marked themselves as "away from keyboard." In addition, the elipses (...) shaped drop-down menu next to each participant's name opens up useful participant management options. For more information on the Attendees panel, see Blackboard Help: Manage Attendees
Mute Individual Attendees
Sometimes a participant in a Collaborate Ultra session has left their microphone on and it's causing an echo or introducing background noise (rustling paper, barking dogs, side conversations, etc.). Other times, a participant is talking in a way that's disruptive to the rest of the meeting. In those cases, you want to be able to mute an individual participant in a Collaborate Ultra session.
To do this, the meeting Moderator should first use the Attendees
panel to determine who is introducing the noise into the meeting. Attendees with an active microphone will have a microphone icon
) next to their name in the Attendees panel.
To mute a single attendee, go to the Attendees panel, select the elipses-shaped (...) menu icon to the right of that user's name, and on the drop-down menu that appears, select Mute.
Mute All Attendees
Sometimes a meeting Moderator decides that it's best to mute all of the participants in a session. They can do so by going to the Attendees panel, selecting the elipses-shaped (...) menu icon at the top right of the panel, and selecting Mute all on the drop-down menu that appears.
Block Webcam Video
By default Blackboard Collaborate Ultra participants have the ability to share live video from a webcam. Sometimes this can become distracting or disruptive. Unlike audio settings, meeting Moderators can't turn off one individual's ability to share webcam video. They can turn it off for everyone in a session.
To block all participants from sharing webcam video, the meeting Moderator should open the Collaborate Panel and go to the gear-shaped Settings icon.
From there, go to Session Settings and un-check the Share audio box.
Blackboard Collaborate offers participants a robust Chat feature
so that they can communicate with other attendees without interrupting the audio flow of the meeting. For tips on keeping an eye on the meeting's Chat, see Monitoring Chat
Sometimes Chat itself can become distracting or disruptive. Unlike audio settings, meeting Moderators can't turn off one individual's ability to chat. To prevent all participants from chatting, the meeting Moderator should open the Collaborate Panel and go to the gear-shaped Settings icon.
From there, go to Session Settings and un-check the Post chat messages box.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra offers annotation tools
to allow participants to collaborate by drawing directly on whiteboards, slides, and shared files. Sometimes this can become disruptive for the presenters.
A meeting Moderator can get rid of all of the annotations the screen by clicking the eraser-shaped Clear button above the Whiteboard.
Advancing slides or moving from one shared file to another also gets rid of all annotations.
To block participants from adding new annotations, the meeting Moderator should open the Collaborate Panel and go to the gear-shaped Settings icon.
From there, go to Session Settings and un-check the Draw on whiteboard and files box.
Block Profile Pictures
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows users to upload a profile picture
to display next to their name in meetings. It is possible that a user might choose a profile picture which is disruptive or inappropriate.
To block attendees except for Moderators from displaying a profile picture, the meeting Moderator should open the Collaborate Panel and go to the gear-shaped Settings icon.
From there, go to Session Settings and check the Only show profile pictures for Moderators box.
Remove a Participant
Sometimes a participant in a Collaborate Ultra session is causing enough of a disruption that the moderator wants to remove them from the meeting entirely.
To remove a participant, the meeting moderator should go to the Attendees panel, select the menu icon to the right of that user's name, and on the drop-down menu that appears, select Remove from session.