Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Blackboard Collaborate for Instructors

How to create, record, and share Collaborate sessions.

This page is an overview of the more commonly used tools in the Collaborate Panel and how to use them.  To view a specific content-sharing tool, click on it in the page subheadings in the menu to the left.

White Board

The white board is a space where you can draw with the pen tool or type with the text tool to present content instantly.

The tools along the top left corner of the board are: (L-R) Select, Point, Pencil, Shapes, Text, Clear, and Color Selection.

screenshot of white board in Blackboard Collaborate session

A quick look at what each tool does:

Select: select a portion of white board content to move, resize or delete.

Pointer: For pointing to areas of the whiteboard; this is visible to attendees.

Pencil: For hand drawing or writing with your mouse.

Shapes: Allows you to draw a circle, rectangle, ellipses, or line.

Text: For writing using your keyboard.

Clear: Clears entire board.  (Please note that to clear only a specific portion of the board, you must use the selection tool to choose what to remove, and then press delete.  Clicking on the Clear tool will clear all content from the board.)

Color Selection: Opens a color palette from which you can select what color to write, type, or draw shapes with.


When you are finished with the white board, click the circled square icon in the top right corner.

Sharing Files

Best practice for sharing images, documents, or other presentations is to display them on your screen, browser, or other computer application and forgo uploading files into Collaborate.  Instructions for using the application and screen sharing tool are found in the next section, titled "Sharing Applications."

If you must use the file sharing tool, continue reading the directions here.  However, if you can avoid doing so, skip on to the next section and learn how to share your screen or applications in the next section.


To share a PowerPoint, .pdf, or an image file with attendees, you can select "Share Files."  By clicking on the grey "Add Files" box, a window will open, allowing you to browse your files and drag them over to the "Add Files" box.

screenshot of sharing files in Blackboard Collaborate session

When you have chosen the files you want to share, click "Share Now" in the grey box at the bottom of the panel.

The files you selected will be listed beneath the "Add Files" box.  Clicking on the ellipses next to their filenames will open the options to rename or remove each file.


Sharing Applications

Under "Share Application/Screen," you can choose to display your screen to session attendees, useful for demonstrating in real time. 

When you select "Share Application/Screen" a box will appear, prompting you to choose to display your entire screen, a single application, or an open tab in your browser.  Here, we have selected to display a tab that is currently open in Chrome.  When you select one of these, a list of available options will appear.  For example, here, we will choose to view the ALA login page, selected from the list.

Once we click on the available tab that we would like to display, it appears on the screen.  You may work in this browser tab, and your attendees will be able to follow along.


Polling is a quick and simple way to ask a question and receive feedback from participants.  When you select "Polling" in the Collaborate Panel, you will be prompted to choose a yes/no or a multiple choice poll format.

For example, let's choose the multiple choice format.  You would then be prompted to enter your question, as well as the possible answers.  Two possible answers is the default, but you may add more by clicking "add choice."

When you have written your poll, select "Start" (not shown but located at bottom right of the Collaborate Panel) and your poll will appear on attendee's screens.

You can end the poll at any time by clicking the circled square icon in the top right corner of the poll box.