The information on this page has been prepared to address questions, raised by attendees, asked across the number of Blackboard Collaborate sessions we have run. The list also includes information that was gathered from your Service Desk tickets and emails you have been sending us in relation to Collaborate.

Breakout Rooms

Yes, if you tick allow attendees to switch groups when creating the rooms.

Yes, Breakout rooms allow for group specific chat. The main room supports private 1-1 chat, or a public 1 to all chat.

No, groups need to be created once the session has started and attendees have joined the session. It also needs to be created fresh each time.

Yes, they will enter the main room, you can allocate them to a group.

Sharing Content

All sharing is via the Share Content area, in the Collaborate Panel in the bottom right. This includes uploaded PowerPoints, screen sharing, polls and breakout rooms.

You can share PowerPoint slides in three ways, each with its pro’s and con’s.

  • 1) Via Collaborate You would upload your files ahead of your session, collaborate will convert to PDF, allowing you to use functionality such as annotation. You lose PowerPoint functionality like transitions in this approach but gain other advantages such as on-screen annotation.

  • 2) Via Screen Sharing – Share Entire Screen You can share your full screen using Collaborate, and then open your PowerPoint as per normal via PowerPoint. You sacrifice Collaborate functionality like annotation in this approach but gain PowerPoint functionality like transitions. You are likely to have a temporary ‘hall of mirrors’ effect shown to attendees.

  • 3) Via Screen Sharing – Application window only and share just your PowerPoint program. Similar as option 2, but you avoid the ‘hall of mirrors’.

Yes, via two methods.

  • From the Main Room Moderators can send different files to different break-out rooms from the main room. This is great for setting different slides or images for each break-out room to work on, prior to coming back to the main room to present on.

  • From the Main Room Moderators can jump into any break-out rooms and share content in that location.

Use ChromeTM to share audio and video.

Share video from sites like YouTubeTM. Or, open video and audio files you have on your desktop in a new Chrome tab to share them. 

  1. From a Chrome browser, open the Collaborate panel and select the Share Content tab.

  2. Select Share Application/Screen.

  3. Select the Chrome Tab option. (If you are on Windows, you can also select Entire Screen).

  4. Select the Share audio check box.

  5. Choose the tab you want to share from the list.

  6. Select Share.

No – you will need to download it to your computer first.

All roles (moderator, presenter, participant) can by default, but you can disable that for participants. With the large scale session (250+) selected all of this is disabled and only the chat function can be enabled during the session.

Audio and Video

You can get away with it in a good environment, but we always recommend a proper headset.

Session Permissions and Attendance

Yes, if you enable and send them a guest link. These are created when you schedule a Collaborate session, but you can edit and add one later.

Yes, if:

  • They have instructor rights OR

  • You attend the session and promote them to moderator OR

  • You provide them with a moderator guest link ahead of time. 

250 by default, 500 if you check the large scale session for 250+ attendees in the session settings when you set the session.

Just one. You can set this up when scheduling a session or editing an existing session. A guest link can be set for any of the three roles (moderator, presenter or participant). However, for any one session the guest link can only be set for one of those 3 roles for that session.

You can share a Guest link to your Collaborate session to anyone outside of the university. Once they have joined you can make them a presenter using the attendees menu.

The participants should do this by turning their microphone on when you invite them to speak (using the microphone on/off icon at the bottom centre of the Collaborate screen) and off when they have finished speaking. You can also turn off the participant’s microphone by using the attendee control.


Please remind your students that they can click the X to temporarily close the poll window, which they can re-open when ready using the poll button in the bottom-middle menu.

You can only see how many students chose each poll option, but not whom. This is not designed for summative assessment.

Accessibility and Captioning


You can view recordings via Blackboard module sites you are enrolled in. Each Blackboard module site will have an area where recording are kept.

Go to Blackboard Collaborate in the Blackboard site concerned, open the menu by clicking on the three dots, and select Recordings.

If you want to record the session you can do so in two ways:

  1. By going to the session menu and clicking on start recording

  2. Clicking start recording pop-up found in the top right of the media space area. Check this guide.

To edit a collaborate recording you will need to download the recording and then upload the file to Panopto. Use the built in editor found in Panopto to edit the file as required.


Open the More options for Collaborate menu by clicking on the three dots () then Select Disable course room 

Go to the session menu in the top left, and click Leave Session or just close your web browser tab/window.

The recommended browsers and operating systems are listed on Blackboard’s Browser Support site.

Yes, you can run multiple Collaborate session simultaneously from within a course/module Blackboard site.

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