Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides Global Collaboration at GVSU

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides live web conferencing, virtual office hours, guest speakers and more at GVSU. This post highlights a few of the unique ways that the university is leveraging the use of live videoconferencing applications that are integrated into Blackboard.

Physical Therapy LIVE from Iraq

In a recent Physical Therapy class at Grand Valley State University, Collaborate Ultra was used to connect current students with a graduate of GVSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program who now lives and works in Kurdistan, Iraq as a trainer and clinical instructor for physiotherapists and other rehab professionals in developing countries. Over the course of two class sessions students were able to speak and interact with a D.P.T specialist on a variety of topics including global health, modern pain science and trauma-focused physical therapy. This was an extraordinary opportunity that would not have been possible without the use of Collaborate Ultra.

PT Screen Shot

Physical Therapy LIVE from Kurdistan, Iraq

Lunch and Learn Brown Bag Series LIVE from Palestine

In another Collaborate Ultra event, GVSU’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration used Collaborate Ultra to showcase the research of alumni in their Nonprofit Management and Leadership master’s degree program during their Lunch & Learn Brown Bag series. One presenter from Palestine presented on the topic, “Does the Work of Disability NGOs Seeking Decent Work for Persons With Disability Impact Public Employment Policies in Palestine?” Local participants were given the ability to ask questions and fully interact with the presenter during the live Collaborate Ultra session.

United Nation’s Youth Virtual Conference LIVE from Africa and Europe

YVC Screen Shot

Youth Virtual Conference

One other event of interest is the annual Youth Virtual Conference that is held in conjunction with GVSU and the United Nation’s global network of Regional Centre’s of Expertise. Using Collaborate Ultra, RCEs from three different continents join together to present on, discuss and challenge one another on a variety of Sustainability issues. Since the first conference in in 2013, the event has extended to other regions including Africa and Europe.


Contact eLearning to learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra at GVSU!


Bb Collaborate Ultra supports live events beyond the Classroom

You may already be aware of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra as a solution for live virtual class sessions, student group meetings, or online office hours – in addition to these uses, there are even more opportunities to take advantage of this easy to use and live collaborative tool!

Classroom Guest Speakers

To help save time and department travel costs, Collaborate Ultra is a good solution for guest speakers. In fact, sessions can be recorded and played back in subsequent semesters or for those students that missed class.  Courses in Occupational Therapy, Geology, and Technology in Public Relations and Advertising here at the university have used Collaborate Ultra to bring in guest speakers for their students.

Another example is the use of Collaborate Ultra for Online Library Research Instruction. Presented by Rita Kohrman, GVSU Education Librarian, the sessions are conducted in the Steelcase Library and provide assistance to education graduate students in understanding how to access, retrieve, and evaluate materials for their Projects/Theses. Students learn various library and/or research applications to better assist in obtaining materials for the completion of projects or theses.

The classes are simultaneously taught face-to-face and online via Collaborate Ultra for those students who are unable to attend in person.

Online Interviews

Collaborate Ultra was used for live streaming the Dean of University Libraries interviews from the Allendale to the Pew Campus downtown. This provided an opportunity for those staff whose offices are downtown, but still wanted to be able to see the candidate presentations.

Live Campus Events

The West Michigan Health Information Management Association recently used Collaborate Ultra to connect 2 remote locations in the upper peninsula in Iron Mountain and Newberry, Michigan for a continuing education coding workshop.

Virtual Conferences

Bb Collaborate Ultra supported the 2016 Youth Virtual Conference of the UNU RCEs Conference.  This project provides students with the perspective and practice of a global dialogue, in hopes that they will better understand the unique energy systems dilemmas facing the regions of the world and in turn reveal and embrace the universal themes of sustainable evolution through dialogue, empathy, and collaboration.

 Sites that participated during the event that was held on March 2, 2016 included:

  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Portland, Oregon
  • La Paz School, Costa Rica
  • Minna, Nigeria
  • Medellin/Bogota, Colombia
  • Curitiba, Brazil

Here is a link to the YouTube Livestream Recording from the Youth Virtual Conference.

Another example of a conference was that GVSU Scribe Academy event. The Academy is designed to train individuals to assist healthcare providers in local Emergency Departments by documenting patient care in the electronic medical record. The Program consists of two training sections: Pre-clinical and Clinical Training.

Class sessions are simultaneously taught face-to-face and online via Collaborate Ultra for students who are unable to attend in person. Jeffery Trytko, Director of the GVSU Scribe Academy, acts as the online moderator/facilitator.

Remote Troubleshooting

The eLearning staff has been using Collaborate Ultra to help troubleshoot and support faculty in their use of educational technologies.  But having the remote user share their screen, it is often more efficient and effective to provide tips, guidance, and solutions to faculty requesting assistance.

Online Training

For those situations where it is challenging or difficult to come to a training session on campus, Collaborate Ultra is providing a solution to learn about a variety of topics and subjects whether the participants are on the main Allendale campus, or at one of GVSU’s other regional campuses.

Please let us know how we can help you best leverage technology to save costs, reduce travel, increase convenience, or enhance collaboration!