Blackboard Collaborate - Best Practices

Understanding best practices of using Blackboard Collaborate will help run your web conferences smoother.

About Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaborative learning system, a web conferencing system to conduct webinars. The system is integrated with classroom management system, which allows the instructor to limit a session to registered students only. 

Best Practices in using Blackboard Collaborate

A few days before the webinar session:

1. Decide how the media will be displayed.
For example, there are two ways to show a PowerPoint:
a. Share your desktop and let participants see your presentation as you run it through the PowerPoint application.
Advantage: Your participants will be able to see all the special effects and transitions in your presentation.
Disadvantage: It’s a little awkward transitioning from your normal view to share the desktop and start PowerPoint.

b. Import your PowerPoint presentation directly into Blackboard Collaborate.
Advantage: Your presentation is preloaded, begins with a single click, and plays inside the meeting app. There’s no awkward transition while you share your desktop, switch apps, and start the presentation.
Disadvantage: None of the effects or transitions will be present. All you’ll have are still images of each slide.
2. Upload slides to the webinar room to ensure time for conversion or technical issues.  The PPT or PDF slides will be available to any moderator who logges into the room in the future.

3. If you encounter conversion errors or the slides do not render well, try saving the PPT as PDF and upload one more time.

4. At times the file conversion system may not be working as expected, in which case it may be best to try uploading slides later.  If the PPT file encounters errors, and if the PDF file you upload encounters errors, chances are the conversion system is temporarily unavailable.  You can test it by downloading our demo PPT file and converting it.  We verified, that this file will successfully convert into Collaborate slides, when the conversion system works correctly: http://bit.ly/DemoPPT

5. Given than you still have a few days to the webinar you can email ACCC at lts@uic.edu with a request to convert the slides for you.

In case of problems during the webinar:

  1. Check the official status of Blackboard Collaborate at http://status.blackboard.com/services/collaborate-ultra---aws-us
  2. If the uploaded slides fail, you can use screen sharing to display slides from your computer.
  3. If the video connection fails due to a weak Internet connection, you can conduct the session in audio-only mode.  You can email the PDF version of the PPT to class through Blackboard email system or make the PDF available in the Blackboard course for your students to view while you discuss the material through audio.

Learn more:

Web Conferencing - Best Practices for Creating PowerPoint Files to be Imported into the Whiteboard (2014)

Collaborate Ultra - How To Share PowerPoint Presentations Containing Custom Fonts (2017)

Known Issue: Collaborate with the Ultra experience slide conversion problems (2018)

Blog about general issues with other conferencing software:

Help for instructors or moderators:

10 Tips for faculty conducting webinars:




Keywords:Blackboard, Collaborate,webinar, web conferencing, powerpoint, conversion   Doc ID:87467
Owner:Szymon M.Group:University of Illinois at Chicago ACCC
Created:2018-11-01 14:43 CSTUpdated:2018-11-07 10:45 CST
Sites:University of Illinois at Chicago ACCC
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