Hi Jill!
This is a great question as I am also a huge advocate for Ultra. As a part of a community college system, we were told not to use Zoom due to the security features, the paid vs. free options, and that we have video conferencing with Teams and Blackboard already.
I don't use Zoom for much outside of some personal calls, but my tutoring team has been using Blackboard Collaborate for over 2 years pretty regularly.

With Ultra, the biggest pro is that there is no download and anyone can get in with the click of a link. There is not even an option to download. We have never had any security issues since the links are unique and they only go out to those pertinent to the meetings. Also, we find that it is much more user friendly. When it's not or they have questions or need support, the Blackboard help button is built right in to every session and we have only had great interactions with the tech support. It does take some getting used to on the staff side, but students seem to prefer it since it is so accessible.

We are able to do break out rooms for meetings or "fairs" of any sort and delegate people into certain rooms. The recordings are also super easy and allow for a link to be generated and sent out, even if they didn't have the original link access. This works great, even on the student support side of things.

We do find issues with the Whiteboard and it's limited capability, but many tutors have just downloaded Microsoft's white board and then share their screen. This can make it easier toggling from the assignments to the workspace anyways.

I have been one of the people pioneering things for Ultra on our campus, so I'd love to talk more or connect you with our e-learning team if you have more questions! Hope this helps!

Holly Allen
Coordinator of Retention: Academic Success
Gateway Community & Technical College

Never Underestimate You.
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Please note: Gateway Community & Technical College will be closed on Fridays during the summer, effective May 18, 2020 through July 31, 2020 (*with the exception of the Independence Day holiday week, the college will be closed 7/3).

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Jill Gosseen <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 11:29 AM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Zoom versus Blackboard Ultra


Our institution currently uses both Zoom and Blackboard Ultra.  Our tutoring center has always used Ultra.  We are now being tasked with selecting one platform to use and I am a big supporter of Ultra.  If you have used both, would you be willing to share any selling points for keeping Ultra and moving away from Zoom for online classes and tutoring?  When I express my preference for Ultra, the response has been “what can Ultra do that Zoom cannot.”  Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Jill Gosseen

LARC Coordinator

Moberly Area Community College

101 College Avenue

Moberly, MO

[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

660-263-4100 ext 11310

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