How to take part
Get the most out of our live sessions by setting up in advance and finding out what's involved.
Book your place
Most of our sessions don't have a limit on places. However we ask that you book a place to attend so that we know how many people to expect and advise you of any last-minute change.
Before the session - how to prepare
You should make sure you are set up correctly at least 24 hours before the session. Try not to leave these steps until the day of the event.
Computer requirements and technical support
Most of our online sessions are hosted through an online platform called Blackboard Collaborate.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a live, virtual meeting environment that allows text chat, video/audio chat, and presentations.
It will be accessed through your Internet browser, but it is important to check that your computer is compatible with the service well in advance of the event you plan to attend.
We recommend using the Google Chrome browser for the best experience:
Video and audio
If you want full access to the video and audio features that will be used in some sessions, ensure that you have a headset (headphones and microphone - newer computers may have this inbuilt).
Familiarise yourself with the system's interface and features (details below). Most sessions will be run in Collaborate Ultra, but if your session is run in another programme, check for any minor differences.
On the day - how to access the session
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be hosted in your browser. We recommend using the Google Chrome browser for the best experience.
- Click the link to the required session to access the virtual classroom. If you registered for the session via Eventbrite, this link will have been emailed to you.
- Enter your name to access the session. We ask for this simply so that we can see who is taking part in-session, and direct answers to questions to the right person. There is no password required.
- Once in the session, please check your audio and video setup to ensure you can hear the presentation (note that some sessions will use text chat only): Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - Audio and video setup help
Getting to know the interface
An in-depth Participant Guide with information on all the features of the system is available from the Blackboard website. We've also listed the basics of using the system here.
- To send text chat messages, type into the Main Room text input box then press the ENTER/RETURN key.
- To raise (and lower) your hand to make a comment or ask a question, click on the hand icon in the Toolbar which is at the bottom of the interface.
- To use the Polling menu to answer Yes or No, click on Yes/No in the Poll Menu; a green tick or a red cross is displayed beside your name in the Participants List.
What to do during your session
During your session, staff from the School or department will be on hand to answer any questions you might have. Some sessions will involve a PowerPoint presentation but this will not always happen.
Follow the etiquette set by the session moderators. For example:
- Raise your hand if you want to ask a question or make a comment;
- When it is your turn to ask your question, the moderator will call on you to do so;
- Type your question into the chat box and send this to the whole room;
- Once your question has been answered, please lower your hand; and
- If you are having problems, use the chat window to communicate with the moderator.
If you have any problems accessing or using Blackboard Collaborate, you should refer to the support site for help:
If your question is not answered on the support site, you can request additional support by contacting the University of Edinburgh's IS Helpline. Please quote "Collaborate Ultra" in the subject line.