Potential Problem in the June Update

Please see this communication from the Blackboard Collaborate user group. Written by Amy Eyre.

The June Collaborate Ultra update was applied last night (in Europe at least) and it’s introduced an issue. A new “Session Inactivity” feature has been turned on which automatically ends Collab Ultra sessions (and kicks everyone out) after 7-8 minutes of “inactivity” by attendees. Moderators within the session will see a banner pop up one minute before the session is due to end, where they can click a button to cancel the auto-session-end and keep the session going.

This banner makes an audible “ping” when it appears.

More information – June release notes: https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Administrator/Release_Notes

The problem is that Collaborate is not currently identifying/classifying “activity” correctly. Sharing screens/applications and/or having microphones or webcams enabled do not seem to count. Only typing in text chat (in any channel, including private) or using the timer tool seems to currently be counted as activity.

This means that if an Ultra session is running and no-one’s using the text chat or a timer, the session will quickly be deemed inactive and a moderator will need to click the banner button every 7-8 minutes to keep the session going. This is not working as intended, and is being investigated.

The best workaround we have found is to enable a timer in the room (set it to count “up” rather than “down” and make it only visible to moderators to avoid participant confusion). As long as the timer is running, the session will be deemed active and so should avoid this auto-session-ending feature.

We will update as more information becomes available.



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