Blackboard Collaborate with the Original experience includes many interactive features to help you get more out of an online course. Use these features to communicate effectively with the session Moderator.

In the Participants panel, use the toolbar functions to interact with others, such as providing feedback, asking a question, and answering a poll question.

Step Away

Click Step away from the session to alert others that you are temporarily unavailable. You can see and hear everything that occurs.

The step away indicator and Away appear next to your name in two areas of the Participants panel.

Raise Hand

Click Raise hand to ask a question. A hand icon and number appear with your name.

To lower your hand, click Lower Hand.

Participants with raised hands appear first in the participants list. When multiple participants raise hands, the numbers indicate the order.

Using Emoticons

During a presentation, you can provide visual feedback. Point to Show emotion to select an icon from the drop-down list. In the participants list, the icon you choose appears next to your name for a short time.


During a session, a moderator may ask you to participate in a poll for quick knowledge checks or surveys. Depending on the type of poll, you can choose from the following answers:

  • Yes and No options-the default
  • Multiple choice responses, A - C
  • Multiple choice responses, A - D
  • Multiple choice responses, A - E

Point to Respond to poll to select a response from the drop-down list.

When a moderator chooses a different type of poll, the available responses change.

If a moderator allows it, participants can see all responses. Your response also appears on the toolbar.


The Chat panel enables you to exchange text messages with others in the session.

You will know someone is entering a Chat message when the blue Chat activity indicator appears next to their name in the Participants list.

If the message text box in your Chat panel, says "Send a chat to the Moderator", the menu option Send a Private Chat in a selected person's Option menu is disabled or the Chat permission "off" indicator is displayed next to your name in the Participants list, it means you do not have permission to use Chat. You will, however, always be able to read Chat messages and send a message to the Moderators.

The Whiteboard

The Whiteboard is the most commonly used (and default) mode of the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing Content area. It is used for giving presentations (e.g., PowerPoint slides) and for collaboration between session attendees, who can interact by displaying images, writing, or drawing.

If you have permission to use the Whiteboard drawing tools, the Tools palette appears in the Whiteboard Content area.

Mobile device users can only view the Whiteboard, not add content or navigate through its pages.

When someone is loading content into the Whiteboard or using the Whiteboard tools, the blue Whiteboard activity indicator appears next to their name in the Participants list.

Whiteboard activity indicator icon