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Topics Map > Communication & Collaboration > Conferencing > Zoom
Should I use Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom?
This article compares the different features and capabilities when teaching online synchronously using either Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom. Selecting the right tool depends on your course needs and teaching objectives.
Features to Consider When Choosing Which Tool to Use
Both tools are able to generate a report of who attended a session, however Blackboard Collaborate can push those results to the Blackboard Learn Attendance tool, which enables awarding participation points into a GradeCenter column. For instructions on how to enable this functionality, please consult this Blackboard Help article.
Participant Video Display
Blackboard Collaborate is limited to 4 video thumbnails on screen. Zoom can display up to 49 per screen with additional shown on multiple pages. Additionally, the host can spotlight up to 9 videos in Zoom. Spotlight video puts a participant as the primary active speaker for all participants. All participants will only see the selected speakers as the active speakers. This feature is often used to spotlight a keynote speaker.
Share Multiple Host Camera Feeds or Devices
The Share camera option in Blackboard Collaborate, gives you the ability to share more than one camera. Share your video and share another camera connected to your computer. Students can see you and anything else you want to show. You can also share a second camera in Zoom, and can use your iOS or Android device camera for that purpose. For more information, see Can I use a document camera with Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate?
Upload Polling Questions before the Session
Both tools are able to conduct polls in session, however Blackboard Collaborate polls have to be created while in the live session. Zoom allows creation of polling questions at any time, with the ability to create multiple questions then save, and upload when convenient.
Share Files to Breakout Rooms
Both tools have breakout room capability, however Zoom is limited to screen sharing in breakouts, while Blackboard Collaborate moderators can conduct group activities by sharing files for participants to discuss in their individual rooms. Moderators can also retrieve and save files that were shared in the breakout rooms.
Pre-assign Breakout Groups
Blackboard Collaborate breakout groups can only be created in session, but Zoom meeting hosts can split session participants into breakout rooms when scheduling the meeting. This can be useful if you already know how you want to split up your participants.
Screen Share Multiple Applications
On Blackboard Collaborate, you can choose a desktop application to share on screen, however in Zoom you can share multiple applications at once, instead of sharing the desktop. Hold the key on macOS or the key on Windows to select more than one application.