Virtual classroom systems
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are platforms for the virtual delivery of teaching sessions.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Collaborate is accessed via Minerva and allows for your tutors to lead discussion via audio and video conferencing and live text chat. Collaborate is a web-based application accessed via Minerva and does not require the installation of any software.
Collaborate allows for your tutor to present and lead a discussion, with your and your fellow students joining in using text chat and audio and video conferencing if appropriate. Your tutor may use the breakout rooms feature to allow you to take part in small group discussions during the session.
Guidance on the use of Collaborate is available from the Minerva support website
There are also answers available to frequently asked questions and extra guidance on the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Help for Participants website and on the troubleshooting Collaborate Ultra news article.
Microsoft Teams is an online hub where students and teachers can find course files, communicate with one another, and collaborate together in an online classroom. You can access Microsoft Teams via the Office 365 portal or via the Microsoft Teams mobile apps. Teams online is compatible with most modern web browsers. However, to ensure the most stable and consistent experience, we strongly recommend installing the Microsoft Teams app. There are Microsoft Teams apps available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams
You can access a collection of Office 365 training including Microsoft Teams on LinkedIn Learning.
For some courses you may also need to use Zoom, a video conferencing and collaboration system which provides similar features to Microsoft Teams. You will access Zoom via an invitation that includes a dedicated weblink for your individual session and sometimes, the meeting password. You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting but if you are using a mobile or tablet, you will need to download the Zoom App. Find out more about Zoom on the IT website.