Get Help Now @ 256.216.6698
Athens State University Knowledge Base

Blackboard Collaborate: Using 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. Like the other two content modes, Application Sharing and Web Tour, the Whiteboard can be accessed through the Collaboration toolbar.

Moderators with the Whiteboard permission have the ability to manage the pages in the Whiteboard, the content of those pages, and Participants’ permissions to work in those pages.

The Whiteboard has the following components:

  1. Whiteboard Action bar
  2. Collaboration toolbar
  3. Whiteboard Mode button
  4. Scaling menu
  5. Page Options menu
  6. Information menu
  7. Load Content button
  8. Record button
  9. Navigation bar
  10. Navigation bar Options menu
  11. Explore Mode button
  12. Follow option
  13. Page counter
  14. Go to Page menu
  15. Next Page button
  16. Previous Page button
  17. Whiteboard Page
  18. Properties Editor palette
  19. Tools palette

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. In the example below, the Moderator Vivian is loading a presentation into the Whiteboard. Status indicators appear next to everyone else in the session as they are receiving the Whiteboard content.

As a Moderator, you can use all the available Whiteboard features. Participants can use only a
subset of the features, and only if they have been granted the Whiteboard permission.

Whiteboard Mode

In order to use the Whiteboard, the Content area must be in the Whiteboard mode. The
Whiteboard mode is the default mode when a session begins.

Only certain users can switch between modes:

  • Moderators can switch between all modes.
  • Participants with Application Sharing permission can switch to Application Sharing mode and back to Whiteboard mode.
  • Participants with Web Tour permission can switch to Web Tour mode and back to Whiteboard mode.


Caution: If you are in a session that has more than one Moderator, be careful not to inadvertently switch modes on another Moderator who is presenting content. Everyone in the session will follow you to the new mode.

If you are not already in Whiteboard mode, you can switch to it in one of the following ways:

  • In the Collaboration toolbar, click the Whiteboard Mode button.
  • In the View menu, select Whiteboard.
  • Enter the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+W (Command-Option-W on Mac).


Scaling the Whiteboard Page

Whiteboard pages can be many times smaller or larger than the Content area. In order to make
the canvas appear at the size most useful, the page can be scaled using the Scaling menu in the
Whiteboard action bar.

Click the menu and select the desired scale factor. If the preferred factor is not available by default, click Custom… to enter type a factor into the dialog.

If Fit Page is selected, the page is automatically scaled as large or as small as it needs to be in order to fit into the Content area.

Maximizing the Content Area
Your other option is to resize the Whiteboard Content area.

You can optimize the space available in the Content area in two ways; for maximum space, do

  • Maximize your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing window.
  • Hide the side bar (Audio & Video, Participants and Chat panels) by unselecting Show Side Bar in the View menu or by grabbing the border of any one of the panels and dragging it all the way to the left.


To restore the side bar, reselect Show Side Bar or drag the panel border back to the right.

Have more questions? Submit a request