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If you require greater that 250 participants within a Blackboard session you must follow the instructions below.

A large session is a session where up to 500 participants (including presenters and moderators) can join a Collaborate room. It has limitations compared to a regular session of up to 250 users with respect to the interactions as following:

  • You cannot have a recurrent large session;
  • Each session can last for a maximum of four hours;
  • The guest link is available only for the participant role;
  • All participant permissions are turned off upon entry to the room;
  • The only permission you can enable is the permission for participants to type in the chat box;
  • If a participant wants to ask a question, she would have to raise her hand, be promoted to a presenter, ask the question and then downgraded again to the participant role;
  • No annotation can happen on any content that is shared by presenters and/or moderators;
  • Breakout rooms are not available in large Collaborate sessions;
  • Large sessions end exactly at the end time specified - please make sure that you add some time to the planned end time if you are not using the full four hours to allow for the case the session will need to run longer otherwise your session will be terminated at the end time that you specified.

As a result of these limitations, we strongly suggest that the session is run by two moderators so one can focus on the presentation of the content and the other on monitoring the chat and upgrading users who want to ask a question to presenters and downgrading them again to participants after they have asked the question. You should, also, consider the possibility of offering the content as pre-recorded material due to the limited interaction opportunities.

How to Request a Large Collaborate Session

You will need to provide the following information:

  • A contact person that we can be in touch if there are any issues with the scheduling of the session;
  • Start and end date time and date (this cannot exceed four hours and cannot span from one day to the next);
  • Names and e-mail addresses (UCL or external) of all moderators and presenters for the session;
  • Whether you want users to have the option of dialling-in to the session if they have problems connecting (the standard limit of 25 users dialling-in per session as well as the limit of 500 users overall apply).

You will need to provide the Digital Education Team with this information at least a week before you plan to run your session.

Additional Details

The workflow for organising and running the session is as follows:

  • Each user that you have specified as a moderator or a presenter will receive a personalised link to the specified e-mail for joining the link; this link is personal and cannot be used by anyone else to join the session. They will join the session by clicking on that link;
  • Entry to the session can start an hour before the start time – this will give enough time to moderators and presenters to upload their files to the session and check that everything is working (although participants can also join an hour before, it is advisable that you ask them to join fifteen minutes before the session starts for the moderators and presenters to have enough time to make sure that everything is working);
  • Participants will use the guest link that the Digital Education Team will send to you once the session is set up. You can add it to Moodle as a URL resource (if you have requested for participants to be able to dial-in to the session, you will also receive the phone number that they can dial and the PIN code that they would need to enter, this can be added as part of the description of the URL resource and you can check the box about displaying the description on the front page);
  • If you recorded the session, each of the moderators will receive an e-mail with a link to the recording(s) of the session. You can add this link to Moodle as a URL resource or download the file and then use the Media Resource activity to upload it to Moodle or upload it to Lecturecast.


If I have issues during my Collaborate session who do I contact?

If there are any issues when running the session, please call ServiceDesk on 020 7679 5000 and select the option for AV issues.

If I require support outside of a live Blackboard Collaborate session on configuration or pedagogy

Please contact the Digital Education team via email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk

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