Introduction to Breakout Groups in Collaborate Ultra


Hi this is Rhonda! In this demonstration, I’m going to introduce you to breakout groups and show you how to manage your students while using the tool. Let’s go!

After logging into Blackboard, you will come here to the Institution page. Let’s click on the Courses tab. Locate your course and open Collaborate Ultra. For this example, I’m going to use my course room. Click on Session options and I’m going to join my course room.

My students are already here waiting for me to begin. I’m going to open the Collaborate Panel to access my interactive tools. Click on the Share Content icon you see here. Now, select Breakout Groups. The Breakout groups panel will open displaying the breakout groups settings.

I’m going to now assign my students to groups by clicking here on the drop-down located under Assign Groups. Here you can choose to assign students randomly, create a custom assignment, or Course Group set. For the purpose of this demonstration, I’m going to randomly assign students to their groups. Notice that you can also choose to include moderators in group assignments by checking the box next to Include Moderators in Group assignments. However, for now, I’m going to select the number of groups I will have for this session.

I want to keep the groups small, so I’m going to have 3 groups with 2 students between groups. I’m also going to allow students to switch groups if they choose to do so. By clicking here, you can shuffle the attendees in the groups.

Now, I’m going to Start the breakout groups. I’m currently in the main room while my students are busy working in their groups. I’m going to click here on Attendee Controls to display my options. By clicking on Attendee Controls, I can move to another group or make myself the captioner.I can also hover over the icon you see here to check on my student’s bandwidth for the session.

And again, I can also click on attendee controls and manage my student in the breakout room. Please take a look at the options we have here. I can pin their video so I can highlight the student and watch their participation, I can send them a direct chat message, I can move them to another group, I can change their role within the breakout group, make them a captioner, or remove them from the session completely.

Once the session has started, I can click on the icon displaying the forward-facing arrow this will move me directly into the group. As you can see I am now in group 1 and I think I’m going to move student 3 to group 2. So, I will select Move to another group. Please notice carefully that the student was not immediately moved to the new group. Click again on the ellipses next to the student’s name. Now, I’m going to move the student to group 2. Because I want to keep the groups small and keep the interactivity going, I’m now going to swap student 1 placing them in group 1. So, I will select group 1.

When your breakout group activities are finished, click the End Breakout Groups button located in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. This will move everyone back to the main room thus ending your breakout groups. When you’re ready to end the session for all participants, click the Session Menu, and leave the session. I hope this demonstration has inspired you to utilize the breakout groups tool in Collaborate Ultra and answered some of the questions you might have had. This now concludes our demonstration.

Thank you for viewing! If you have any questions about breakout groups in Collaborate Ultra or any other questions concering Collaborate Ultra, please feel free to contact us at Until next time!