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Collaborate Tools

This page provides brief descriptions and video "how to" tutorials outlining many of the features and tools available in Blackboard Collaborate. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor does it outline the many functions Collaborate serves here on our campus. It does provide foundational knowledge of the platform and allows the user to review the most popular and commonly used tools.

Trouble viewing the tutorial videos? Check the Video Playback Guidelines.

Content Area Tools

There are three tools that are used to control what appears in the content area of Collaborate for participants. The moderator of the session has complete control over what appears in this area. Each tool will serve a different purpose and provides unique functionality when presenting your content to participants.

Application Sharing

Application Sharing allows a Moderator or Participant to share any application or the entire desktop with other attendees. The host of the application share can grant remote control of his or her application(s) to others. This allows for true hands-on training, demonstrations, and support applications.

Video Tutorial: Application Sharing (2:09)

Web Tour

Web Tour allows Moderators to take Participants to a series of websites via an embedded browser window within the Blackboard Collaborate content window. Web Tour allows Participants to interact independently with content in the window and allows Moderators to redirect participants to any link. Web Tour is a great way of taking users through a website and then allowing them to interact on their own. For example, you can use Web Tour to take attendees to a website and then have them individually research a topic or complete a survey

Video Tutorial: Web Tour (1:06)


The Whiteboard is the primary area for displaying content in a session. PowerPoint content can be loaded to the Whiteboard. Tools are available that allow all users to draw or write on the page. Multiple users can interact on a page simultaneously. Moreover, the pages are object oriented meaning that all objects placed on the Whiteboard can be edited.

Video Tutorial: Whiteboard (2:28)

Additional Tools/Features

Audio Setup Wizard

Prior to participating in a session, you should ensure that your audio is configured correctly. Audio settings can be configured using the Audio Setup Wizard. The Audio Setup Wizard is accessible Audio & Video panel by clicking the Audio Setup Wizard button or from the Audio & Video Options menu.

Video Tutorial: Audio Setup Wizard (2:14)

Breakout Rooms

To facilitate small group collaboration, a Moderator can create rooms separate from the Blackboard Collaborate Main room and place session attendees into these "breakout" rooms. Breakout rooms have their own private Audio, Video, Whiteboard, Application Sharing, etc., so the collaboration that takes place in a breakout room is independent of the Main room (and other breakout rooms).

Video Tutorial: Breakout Rooms (2:47)


Text-based communication is available in Blackboard Collaborate 11 Web Conferencing using the Chat tool. Use the Chat to send a text messages to everyone, to selected participants, or to a single Participant or Moderator in the session. Depending on your session configuration, the moderator may be able to monitor all messages sent between participants, including private messages. This is called a Supervised session and the word “Supervised” will appear in the Chat window..

Video Tutorial: Chat (2:16)


An individual's permissions are displayed next to their name in the Participants list.The Global permissions are displayed at the top of the Participants list. You can grant additional permissions to all Participants at once using the Global options menu(or the Global permission icons at the top of the Participants list) or to individual Participants using their Participant Options menus

Video Tutorial: Permissions (2:12)


The Polling feature allows you to poll your participants at any time using one of four different types of polls: Yes/No, Multiple-Choice (A-C, A-D or A-E), and Class Pace. You can use Polling to obtain quick responses to verbal or written questions. The poll type can be changed as many times as needed during a session. The Yes/No poll type is the default. By saving the Whiteboard, anonymous polling results can be saved and reviewed later in or out of a Blackboard Collaborate session.

Video Tutorial: Polling (1:57)


As a Moderator, you can record a session. All activity that occurs in the main room of the session will be recorded, except for private Chat messages, the Timer and Notes. As the recording progresses, index entries to mark significant events within the session will automatically be inserted into the recording. Anyone viewing the recording can navigate through the recording to points marked with index entries. The Moderator can also choose to manually insert index entries during the live session thereby marking specific session activities. You can start or pause recording at any time during the session. The recording can be erased at any time during the session by the Moderator.

Video Tutorial: Recording (1:26)


The Timer is a clock that you can use to effectively manage your Blackboard Collaborate sessions. It can be useful in helping you pace your own presentations or coordinate multiple presenters by tracking the time allotted to each. The Timer appears in the Collaboration toolbar showing the time counting either up or down, depending on how the Timer was configured.

Video Tutorial: Timer (2:08)