Large Collaborate Ultra Sessions with 250+ Students

Course coordinators with large number of students in Collaborate Ultra sessions are experiencing some connectivity, stability and presentation issues.  The issues include:

  • Large CU sessions crashing
  • Presenters locked out (before or after a crash) due to session numbers
  • Dropping out of Webinar mode when Chat is turned on.

Please report these to ITS if you experience any of these or other issues.

Planning your session

What sort of session do you need?

  1. Standard session (max 250): participants have  full access to participation tools
  2. Webinar session (max 500):  No breakout rooms, voice or webcams. Text chat can be enabled after the start of the session. (This is currently not working as expected 7th August 2020). 

Collaborate Webinar / Large Session main features:

Included Excluded
  • Reading chat
  • Viewing shared resources
  • Viewing Presenter’s video/screen-share/whiteboard
  • Speaker volume
  • Responding to Polls
  • Hands up
  • Reporting issues
  • Sending Chat
  • Sharing Video, Screen and/or Microphone
  • Presenting
  • Whiteboard collaboration
  • Breakout rooms
  • All features except breakout rooms
  • Breakout rooms

Once the large session has started, it is possible to turn on the chat to allow students to chat to one another – this it done after the session has launched.

Known issue: When enabling chat on a large session the 250 person limit returns – if you experience this please log it with ITS.

Configuring Session for Large numbers (250+)Collaborate Ultra Session session panel after 'Created' was clicked.

When creating the Collaborate Session, the Large scale session (250+) option is not displayed[!] – until after the session’s Create button is pressed.

First create the session – then edit the session to indicate there will be a large number of participants.

Collaborate's Large Scale Session (250+) setting.

Go to Create Session
Add a name.
Have a look at the Session Settings. Note that there isn’t an option for 250+ attendees.
So select Create, and now the Large Scale Session (250+) has been inserted. Select it and select Save.
You are ready to start your session.


Running your Large Scale Collaborate Session

Collaborate Ultra Webinar / Large Session main features:

Large session presenter-facing features:

  • All standard Collaborate Ultra features except breakout rooms
  • Session will end at the pre-set time – a banner will appear at the top of Collaborate Ultra letting you know there are 5 minutes remaining.

Avoiding issues

  • Plan ahead – Collaborate might not be the right tool (see also Help! I’ve got a large class and want do a live session and New Canvas feature: Teams Meeting integration)
  • Turning on Chat for student unexpectedly changes the session mode from Webinar to Standard.  Consequently it boots participants until there are only 250.
  • Session inactivity timeout will close the session for all.  This is estimated to be 30 minutes.  See tips to maintain activity.
  • Chrome browser is the most stable for large sessions.
  • Your session will end at the time it is scheduled to end, you will have ~5 mins warning before all presenters and participants are removed from the session.