Moderators can make participants presenters. This means that you can upload, share, edit, and stop sharing content. You can also see hand raise notifications and can lower hands.

You are automatically a presenter in your own group when moderators start breakout groups. To learn more, see Breakout groups.

More on the different roles in Collaborate

Share content

The Ultra experience of Blackboard Collaborate makes it easy to share your knowledge. You can upload content, including PowerPoint® presentations, or share your desktop screen to show more details.

Open the Collaborate panel and select Share Content. Select one of these share options to start sharing and collaborating with your attendees.

  • Whiteboard
  • Application
  • Camera
  • File

Not sure where the Collaborate panel is? Jump to Find Your Way Around.

You can upload multiple presentations in a session as long as the total file size is 125 MB or less.

Share whiteboard

Collaborate the whiteboard. Open a blank whiteboard to draw or just jot down notes.

Moderators decide if participants can use the whiteboard and tools along with you during a session.

Share application

Share your desktop or a software application to teach students about a particular topic. Whenever you move through the application or desktop, your students automatically follow along.

Use ChromeTM or Firefox® when sharing applications. In Chrome, you will need to add the browser desktop sharing extension to share applications in Collaborate sessions. No desktop sharing extension is needed for Firefox.

More on adding the Chrome Desktop Sharing extension

When you share your desktop or application it is seen by everybody in the live session and anybody viewing the recording later. Make sure to close any windows and applications you don't want others to see before starting to share.

Application sharing is not currently supported for screen readers in Blackboard Collaborate. If you are using a screen reader, you can share files and a blank whiteboard with your attendees. You cannot share an application.

Share camera

The Share camera option gives you the ability to share more than one camera. Share your video and share another camera connected to your computer. Attendees can see you and anything else you want to show. You're only limited by the number of cameras and USB ports in your computer.

Share files

Upload GIF, JPEG and PNG images, PDF files, or PowerPoint presentations of 60MB or lower to your session. You can upload multiple presentations, however the total size allowed is 125 MB or lower for any session.

Screen reader users can access text from PowerPoint and PDF files shared in the session. This provides an easy way to follow along as slides change. Moderators and presenters must select Share Files and upload the files to Collaborate for screen readers to access the text.

Select Add Files Here or drag a file into the box to upload it. Select Share Now when you're ready for students to see the file. Moderators can choose to allow participants to mark up your shared file.

If you are recording your session, allow 8 seconds for the recording to include your shared file before moving on.

Content editing tools

Collaborate Markup Tools

Use these tools to edit and mark up shared files and the whiteboard.

Content editing tools
Tool Description
Use the arrow to select an object on the whiteboard. After you select it you can resize, move, and delete it.
Use the hand to point to different areas of the visible slide. Attendees see wherever you are pointing on the slide.
Use the pencil to draw free hand on the slide.
Use the Shapes icon to draw a rectangle, ellipse, or a straight line. Your choice.
Type text on the slide with the "T".
Use Clear to undo everything.
View controls
Show or hide your zoom, fit, and size controls.
View controls opened
Zoom in, Zoom out, Best Fit, Actual size

Best fit takes advantage of your screen real estate. Content adjusts to be completely viewable in the available area. It displays as large as possible while keeping the aspect ratio intact. These actions are visible only to you. For example, others won't see you zoom the content in or out and you won't see what others zoom.

Slide navigation controls
Move to the previous our next slide.

With your keyboard, press Alt + Page Down to move back a slide and Alt + Page Up to move forward a slide. On a Mac, press Alt + Fn + Down Arrow or Alt + Fn + Up Arrow.

Select the slide name to view all slides.

Stop sharing content.

Collaborate Annotation Tools

Beta release of the new markup tools

The new whiteboard was released as a beta to select clients for testing purposes from 23 July 2020. Then extended to a broader audience September 10, 2020. Beta access is now closed for application. General availability of the whiteboard is postponed due to testing. We’ll inform you of a new release date when the new date is determined. Learn more on the Community site.

When files or a blank whiteboard are shared in a session, you can use annotation tools to edit and mark up the document during the live session. You’ll find the annotation tools at the top of the screen. These tools are available for both the moderator and participant roles unless the moderator turns it off in Session Settings.

Moderators can share an annotated file in the main room with breakout groups. More on sharing files with breakout groups.

Document view settings

  • Pan: Move the whiteboard or shared file on the page.
  • Zoom and Fit: Zoom in and out of the page or adjust the view to fit the page or width.


  • Drawing, Brush, and Eraser: Draw freehand on the page with various colors, thickness, and opacity. Select the eraser to remove annotations. You can erase parts of a freehand drawing with the eraser or select the Delete icon to delete the whole drawing.
  • Text: Add text directly on the page. You can move, edit, and change the text and select the font, size, alignment, and color of the text.
  • Shapes: Choose Line, Arrow, Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, and Polyline. Each shape has its own settings to change the color, width, opacity, and more.
  • Clear Annotations: Annotations are saved in the session. You can share something new, go to a new slide, or stop sharing. The annotations remain. Moderators can use Clear Annotations to delete all annotations from all pages.
  • Highlighter: Select areas on a shared file to highlight. As you highlight text on the page, an additional menu opens. You can highlight, strikethrough, underline, squiggle, or comment on the highlighted section. The highlighter is only available on shared files. It's not available on the whiteboard.

    Upload a blank file of several pages to have a multi-page whiteboard.

Manage Raised Hands in Collaborate

Manage raised hands

Attendees can raise their hands any time during your session. They do this to get your attention or ask a question. You can choose to call on them now or close the notification and call on them later.

Turn on notifications for when someone raises their hand. An image of a person raising a hand appears beside attendees with their hand raised. Those attendees are also brought to the top of their role list in the Attendees panel so they aren't forgotten and are easily found.

You can lower hands from the Attendees panel. Point to the attendee with their hand raised and select Attendees controls. Select Lower hand.

By default you are notified when someone raises their hand. If you do not see or hear hand raise notifications when attendees raise their hands, check your Notification Settings in My Settings.

  • Audio notification: You'll hear an alert that sounds like "Duh da".
  • Collaborate pop-up notification: A pop-up appears over the media space. Select Lower Hand in the notification to remove raised hands. Close the notification to leave the hand raised and come back to later.
  • Browser pop-up notification: A pop-up appears at the top of your browser window. Browser notifications only appear when you have another browser window, or application, open and active. Close the notification to leave the hand raised and come back to later.

Mute attendees

Only moderators can mute attendees.


Only moderators can record sessions. If you want to record a session, ask your moderator to start and stop the recording.