Support for moderators
The content area on the right of the Collaborate web conferencing page allows the exchange information. There are 3 different modes:
- the Whiteboard: shares presentations and other material
- Application Sharing: allows individual applications or your entire desktop to be shared with participats, and
- Web Tour: shares web pages with participants
You can switch between modes by clicking the mode icons in the Collaborate toolbar:
Only one mode at a time can be displayed in the content area and each mode behaves differently when you move between them:
- The Whiteboard content is persistent and the content will remain available if you move to a different mode and then return.
- Application Sharing content also persists but you do need to Resume Sharing when leaving and then returning to this mode.
- Web Tour content will always have to be reloaded when you return to this mode.
The Whiteboard is the most commonly used (and the default) mode of the content area. Use it to deliver presentations (e.g. PowerPoint slides) and to encourage session attendees to collaborate—they can interact by displaying images, or by writing or drawing on the Whiteboard.
Moderators with Whiteboard permission can manage the pages in the Whiteboard, the content of those pages and participants’ permissions to work in those pages.
You can load a number of different file types into the Whiteboard as Whiteboard pages, e.g. PowerPoint and image files—see "Loading content using the Collaborate toolbar" on this page.
The Page Explorer window
The Page Explorer window opens automatically when you load a file into the Whiteboard. Use it to navigate between the file's pages.
Copy text and images to or from other applications
You can drag and drop, or copy and paste, rich or plain text and images from other applications (or from Windows Explorer, Finder, etc.) into the Whiteboard. The following image formats are supported: bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg and .png.
Note that you cannot do this with entire text files. Select the rich/plain text in the source application to copy or drag it across
The Tools palette
The Tools palette contains drawing and text tools you can use to create and manipulate objects on the Whiteboard. It also contains a pointer tool, a tool for placing screen captures on the Whiteboard and a clip art tool to add images from available clip art libraries.
A tab in the lower right corner of a tool (e.g. ) indicates that you can replace that tool with one of its additional optional tools. Depending on your operating system, click and hold the tool, or double-click it, to expand the options and make a selection.
The Properties Editor
When you click any text tool or drawing tool in the Whiteboard's Tools palette, the Properties Editor displays at the bottom of the Whiteboard. Use the editor to format your text or graphic. The contents of the editor change depending on which tool you're using and which object is selected. For example, if you're using the Filled Ellipse or Filled Rectangle tool, the Properties Editor will contain colour buttons only.
The Properties editor for the Simple Text and Text Editor tools contains buttons to set text colour, font, font size and style.
Enter text using the Simple Text tool
To enter a single line of text:
- Click the Simple Text tool's button . (If the Simple Text tool is not in the Tools Palette, click and hold the Text Editor button until it expands, then click the Simple Text button.)
- Select the text colour, font name, font size, and font style (bold, underline and/or italics) from the Properties Editor.
- Click the Whiteboard to place an insertion point.
- Enter the text.
- Press Enter.
Insert external links
You can insert a link into Whiteboard text using either the Simple Text tool or the Text Editor tool. Anyone viewing your Whiteboard page can click the link to access an Internet site or send an email.
Use the following tools to insert graphic elements on the Whiteboard.
Insert clip art images
You can load clip art images into Blackboard Collaborate from a clip art library of presentation and mathematical symbols. To insert a clip art image on the Whiteboard:
- Click the Insert Clip Art button . The Clip Art menu opens.
- Select the tab that contains the clip art you wish to load.
- Click the desired image.
- Move your cursor to the desired position on the Whiteboard.
- Click the Whiteboard to insert the image.
Insert a clip art background image
- Select the Insert Clip Art tool . The Clip Art menu opens.
- Select the Backgrounds tab.
- Click the desired image. The selected image will be inserted as the background of the Whiteboard page. Once there, it can be replaced but not edited or moved.
Use Pointer tools
To draw people's attention to something on the Whiteboard, you can point to it using one of the Pointer tools.
- In the Whiteboard Tools palette, click and hold (or double-click) the Pointer tool button until it expands to show all the available pointers:
- Click the desired pointer and either:
- hold down the left or right mouse button to move the pointer to the desired location, then release the mouse button to place the pointer image on the Whiteboard, or
- to make the pointer to follow the mouse motion without having to hold down the mouse button, double-click anywhere on the Whiteboard. The pointer will then follow the mouse. To release this mode, click with the mouse again or select a different tool.
Clear the page
To delete all foreground objects from the Whiteboard at once, click Clear Page in the Whiteboard menu bar
then click Yes in the Confirm Clear Page window.
Use the Collaboration toolbar to load any type of file to Blackboard Collaborate. Some file types are reprocessed as part of the upload process and larger documents can take a few minutes to upload and process, so it is advisable to upload files before your session starts.]
The following file types can be loaded into the Whiteboard:
- Whiteboard (.wbd and .wbp).
- PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx).
- OpenOffice (.ppt, .pptx, .sxi and .odp).
- Image (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg and .png).
If you upload other file types, they will be loaded into different modules of Blackboard Collaborate:
- Quiz (.vcq) files will be loaded into the Quiz Manager.
- Session Plan (.elp and .elpx) files will be loaded into the Session Plan Library.
- Notes (.eln) files will be loaded into the Notes window.
- Multimedia (.mp3, .wmv, .mpeg, .mpeg4, QuickTime and Flash) files will be loaded into the Multimedia Library
- files not associated with a Blackboard Collaborate module will be loaded to the File Transfer Library.
To load a file to the Whiteboard using the Collaboration toolbar:
- Navigate to the page you want to be the "current page" referenced by the Page Insertion Location preference. (You set up Page Insertion Location by selecting Edit > Preferences (Windows/Linux) or Preferences (Mac), then in the Preferences dialog box selecting Whiteboard > Content Options.)
- Add your content file by either:
- clicking Load Content in the Collaboration toolbar (The Load File dialog box will open. Select the desired file and click Open.), or
- dragging and dropping the desired file onto the Collaboration toolbar. A dashed box will display as the mouse pointer as you drop the file.
- (For .ppt and .pptx files only) Select the converter you want to use to import the presentation file into the Whiteboard file (OpenOffice.org converter or PowerPoint converter) and click Load.
The module into which the file is being loaded will open (e.g. if you are loading an .mpeg file the Multimedia Library will open), giving you immediate access to your file.
The Page Explorer
The Page Explorer opens automatically when you load a file into the Whiteboard. Use it to navigate from page to page of the file.
Application Sharing enables session participants to share their applications or entire desktops with others in the Blackboard Collaborate session.
Begin Application Sharing
- Switch to Application Sharing mode using one of the following methods:
- In the Collaboration toolbar, click the Application Sharing mode button.
- In the View menu, select Application Sharing.
- Use the keyboard shortcut Control+Alt+A (Command-Option-A on Mac).
- In the Tools menu, select Application Sharing followed by Start Sharing. (If you select Share Entire Desktop instead of Start Sharing, you will bypass the Available Sharing Selections dialog box and Application Sharing will start immediately.)
The Available Sharing Selections dialog box will display.
- In the Available Sharing Selections dialog box, click Share Desktop or an available program window to select it. For programs with multiple available windows, click the arrow to expand the list if you wish to share only one window from the program. You can share multiple applications or windows by selecting them using Shift or Control.
- Click Share to begin sharing. (If you click Cancel, and then wish to begin a new share, click Start Sharing in the Action bar.)
- Move the window you wish to share to the front of the desktop. Obscured windows or portions of windows will not be visible to remote participants.
- Application Sharing persists until you switch it off or leave the session. If you switch to Whiteboard or Web Tour mode, the share will still be active, but participants will not see it until you switch back to Application Sharing mode.
Switch off Application Sharing
To exit an Application Sharing session, do one of the following:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+S (Command-Shift-S on a Mac).
- In the Action bar, click Stop Sharing. (If the Hosting preference Hide content area is turned on, the Action bar will not be visible.)
- From Tools menu, select Application Sharing followed by Stop Sharing.
Using the Web Tour feature, session participants can share web pages with others in the session. Switch to Web Tour mode by clicking the Web Tour icon in the Collaboration toolbar.
The Web Tour interface
Start a Web Tour
To start a Web Tour:
- Click the Web Tour mode icon.
- In the Web Tour navigation bar, enter the URL of the desired website in the address field and press Enter.
- When the web page displays, you can navigate through it by clicking on links, or you can move to a different website by entering a new URL in the address field. As you move from page to page, Web Tour maintains a history of where you go. You can use the Back and Forward buttons to move between the pages kept in the history.
The Follow Me check box
By default, the Follow Me check box is selected when you switch to Web Tour mode. With Follow Me selected, session attendees can browse to other web pages, independently of the pages to which you, the tour guide, browse. However, when you move to a new page, they will be redirected to your new page.
With Follow Me de-selected, attendees can continue to browse independently, even when you move to a new web page.
Exit Web Tour mode
To stop the Web Tour, either:
- de-select the Follow Me check box or
- switch to Whiteboard or Application Sharing mode.