Tools for Learning Activities: Blackboard Collaborate Whiteboard

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You can use the whiteboard in Blackboard Collaborate to collaborate with your students and/or to allow students to collaborate with each other.

The Collaborate whiteboard and annotation tools were updated in August 2021. You can find details on the Blackboard help site: Blackboard Collaborate Annotation tools


  • Free
  • Online (via Blackboard Collaborate session)

Key features

  • Collaborative working in real-time
  • Freehand drawing tools (4-colour pen & eraser) & shapes
  • Add, move, resize & delete text free text annotations
  • Annotate in multiple languages
  • Insert files for mark-up (GIF, JPEG and PNG images, PDF files, or PowerPoint)
  • Toggle availability on/off in the main room for active learning exercises during presentations


  • Available in the Collaborate main room and Breakout Groups
  • Easily deployed in large classes & smaller groups
  • Simple toggle on-off feature to allow or remove access

Considerations and limitations

  • Requires some practice and clear managing of expectations
  • Annotations are anonymous – requires trust in students
  • Requires intervention to save – take a screenshot to retain any Collaborate Whiteboards you wish to keep
  • Breakout Groups Whiteboards are not saved when returning to the main room – take a screenshot to retain any Collaborate Whiteboards you wish to keep
  • Works best on desktop/laptop devices, with some mobile users experiencing issues

Does the Collaborate Whiteboard meet accessibility standards?

Copyright information and liabilities

Page last updated on September 13, 2021 by andyturner