Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - What to expect with large attendance events (250+ participants)

After June 30, 2021, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will no longer be available. UW-Madison recommends using Zoom as a replacement for instructional and non-instructional web conferencing purposes. For more information, please see Blackboard Collaborate - Service Ending June 30, 2021

Session attendance limits are enforced to ensure a positive user experience. A total of 250 concurrent participants can attend a basic Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session at the same time. However, you are able to configure a Large Scale Session with up to 500 participants if needed. This document will provide information on doing so as well as some tips on best practices.

    What happens if a user tries to join a session with over 250 participants if it hasn't been configured as a Large Scale Session?

    If users attempt to join a session that is full, they will see a message that reads, "Uh oh! This session is full." and will have to try again later. The individual will not be able to join unless another exits the session.

    Uh Oh! This session is full. Error Message

    Can the limit be increased?

    This 250 participant limit can be increased to 500 concurrent attendees by creating a large event. If you need a session that is open to more than 500 participants, please review the following document to decide which web conferencing option may best suit your needs: Which should I use?.

    What should I know about large events before I configure a Large Scale Session?

    Important considerations regarding Collaborate Ultra large events:

    What to expect during a large event:

    How can I configure a Large Scale Session?

    To create a Large Scale Session from within your Canvas course:

    1. After navigating to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, click Create Session
    2. Name your session and change the Guest role (if needed)
    3. Set the Event Details:
      • A large event cannot be a repeating session.
      • A large event cannot be an open ended session with no end time.
      • A large event must have a specified Start and End time no more than 4-6 hours apart.
      • You may set an Early Entry time for the large event if desired.


    4. Under Session Settings, check the box for Large scale session (250+)
      • You may select any settings that you desire in Session Settings section.
      • You must select Allow 250+ attendees to join in order for your session to be treated as a large event.
      • Please note that "Share audio," "Share video," "Post chat messages," and "Draw on whiteboard and files" will be deselected by the system upon saving the Large Scale Session.


    5. Click Save

    Anything else I should know?

    Here are some best practices for Moderators in large events when using Collaborate Ultra to help ensure the process runs smoothly: