This section is for faculty, students, and staff seeking information regarding Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate™ is a simple, convenient, and reliable online collaborative learning solution. The tool is tightly integrated with HuskyCT, the University’s learning management system and its features complement the existing functionality of HuskyCT. Collaborate also has unique in-session tools, such as breakout rooms, an interactive whiteboard, application sharing, polling, and a hand-raising feature, that enhances engagement and the face-to-face feel of online classes.


Comparison of Blackboard Collaborate and Webex Meeting

ItemBlackboard Collaborate UltraWebex Meeting
Product DescriptionBlackboard Collaborate is a simple, convenient, and reliable online collaborative learning solution. It allows you to virtually meet synchronously with students. The tool is tightly integrated with HuskyCT.A Webex meeting is an online meeting that allows you to virtually meet with other people. Also included is a Personal Room that includes a lobby that allows the host to select who to allow entrance to the room. The lobby is also available for Scheduled Webex Sessions.
RoomsCourse Room: Always available to anyone in the course. Recommended using this when meeting with students.
Created Sessions: Available to anyone in the course if the instructor wants multiple sessions at once (i.e. virtual study room)
Personal Room: includes lobby that gives the host the option to select who can enter the room or let everyone in at once. The Personal Room is locked until the host unlocks it.
Created Sessions: Can be used to invite attendees using Webex application or a link can be sent to attendees.  This also includes the lobby feature.
Max # Participants

500
Must indicate 250+ participants in session settings
(cannot use breakout groups if 250+ is selected)

1,000
Max # Simultaneous Video425
Virtual BackgroundNoYes
Blackboard/HuskyCT IntegrationYes, recordings are automatically stored in the course, and participants are identified by their account information from the course. Makes polling easier to track.No, recording links must be added to the course and when attendees join the session, there is no way to control their Webex name. Makes polling trickier to track.
Outlook IntegrationNoYes, can schedule sessions or personal rooms on behalf of someone. Need to install Webex add-in for Outlook.
Share Screen/ApplicationYesYes
Share Files/WhiteboardYes, can save annotations but file resolution is low (PNG) and if sharing a file, the original document isn't saved with it.
Sharing files size limit 60MB, total 125MB
Yes, can save annotations with the option to save as PDF. The resolution is good and the original document is saved with the annotation. Sharing Files or Whiteboard will affect the final recording.
Share Video/AudioYes, using Chrome & Windows, can share Audio with Screen or Chrome tab. 
Yes, using Chrome & Mac, can share Audio with Chrome Tab
The quality of the video, audio, and images with Collaborate seems to do this better than Webex
Yes, before sharing, click on Optimize for Motion and Video. This will degrade the resolution of images on the screen but it may not be noticeable. 
Music ModeNot available (Webex feature)Music Mode in Webex preserves the original sound and optimizes it for music. And the audio is better suited for your virtual party, concert, or music lessons. Synchronizes singers and/or instruments.
Sharing iPadNo, not directly. But can be connected to a computer (Mac/Windows) to share its screen.Yes. The recommendation is to connect the computer (Mac/Windows) to host the session and connect the iPad or another similar device as a participant. Then share the screen.
PollingYes, in the moment. Recommendation: Setup questions in PowerPoint so don't need to type out the entire question during the live session. New: The Polling responses can be downloaded after the session is over to give credit to students.Yes, can create questions in any Webex room before the meeting starts to save questions. Then once the meeting starts, questions can be opened.  Uses ATP file format. Responses can be saved right after the question is asked.
Breakout Rooms

Yes; in a Course Room or Created Session.

Breakout groups are randomized or manually populated.  Group membership may change if participants go back into breakout groups again. To control participants in the Breakout room it's recommended you "Allow attendees to switch groups" and students can move to their group after breakout sessions start.  Or the instructor can create Groups in HuskyCT and add the Collaborate Tool for the group. Only students in that Group can see the Group Room and Instructor can go into any Group Room. 

Communicating with Everyone can be accomplished by sending a chat to Everyone (i.e. breakout session ends in 5 min).

Note: when recording the session, the recording will stop when breakout sessions begin.  The instructor (moderator) will need to restart the recording when everyone returns to the main room. 

Yes, in the personal room or scheduled session.

Breakout sessions are randomized or manually populated.  Group membership remains the same throughout the session.  There is no option to allow participants to change groups like there is for Collaborate, they can only return to the main room.

There is a timer for the breakout group which Collaborate does not have at this time. Below are the default options for breakout sessions (attendees cannot change groups after the session starts, they can only return to the main room if this option is turned on).

Recommended options:

  • Allow attendees to return to the main session: turn on if participants need to chat with the host
  • Allow attendees to join session later: recommended to turn this off
  • Show countdown warning before closing sessions: give participants some time to complete their conversations before returning to the main room. 

Note: when recording the session, the recording will continue recording the main room when breakout sessions begin.  If the instructor (host) is in the main room anything said or displayed is recorded.  The recording can be paused but would need to be started again when the breakout session end.

Co-HostYes, the host is the moderator.  Instructors and TAs have the role of moderator, but anyone that joins the session can be assigned the moderator role.Yes, after a meeting starts, anyone in the session can be assigned as co-host. 
Guest SpeakerYes, off by default when creating sessions.Yes
Non-verbal Interaction with ParticipantsYes; chat, raise hand (student that raises hand goes to the top of the attendee list), my status icon gives options to indicate different emotions (happy/sad, etc.), and responses (agree/disagree)Yes; chat and raise hand. The hand appears next to the attendee.  By default attendee list is sorted by who raised their hand first.
ReportingCollaborate offers attendance reports for each Collaborate session and can be downloaded to a CSV file.Webex offers Insight/Reports that include attendance for sessions and can be downloaded to a CSV file.
Mobile AppYes, requires Safari on iOS; Chrome on Android (but only use as participant, not host)Yes, using Webex Meet app
Contract with UConnYesYes