Comparison of Virtual Meeting Tools: Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom

The following breakdown compares the features available in the following live collaboration / virtual meeting tools available at NIU: Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.

Task/Feature Blackboard Collaborate Microsoft Teams Zoom Meetings
Availability Available to all NIU faculty, staff, and students Available to all NIU faculty, staff, and students Available to all NIU faculty and instructors
Schedule a Session Via a Blackboard course or organization Via Microsoft Outlook or a Blackboard course At niu-edu.zoom.us
Integration with Blackboard Yes, integration for scheduler, recordings, attendance, and poll reporting Yes, basic integration to schedule sessions No
Desktop/Laptop Access Entirely in browser Can join via browser, best experience via Teams app Requires Zoom Launcher to be installed
Mobile Access Launch sessions directly in mobile browser on iOS and Android Use Microsoft Teams app Use Zoom Cloud Meetings app
Simultaneous Participants 250 (500 if the session is designated as a large session) 300 (update to 1000 expected by end of 2020, larger sessions possible by creating a Live Event) 300
Audio Built-in telephony to participate via phone Built-in telephony to participate via phone Built-in telephony to participate via phone
Simultaneous Video with No Shared Content 4
(update to a more robust gallery view expected by end of 2020)
up to 49
(depending on local connection & device)
up to 49
(depending on local connection & device)
Chat with Participants Available Available Available
Share a Document or File in a Meeting Display PowerPoint or PDF files with ability to annotate on them Use share tray to share a PowerPoint file or share your screen to share any open file Use share your screen

Share Screen to Demonstrate a Task Application share Share tray Share your screen
Control Another Person's Screen to Demonstrate a Task Not available Request Control Request or Give Control
Breakout Groups Available Not available (expected by end of 2020) Available
Session Recording

Recording saved to Collaborate, automatically available to students in Blackboard course

Can be downloaded as mp4

Recording saved to Microsoft Stream, can be posted to Blackboard course via a link

Can be downloaded as mp4 from Stream

Recording saved locally or to the cloud; limited cloud storage for recordings

Local recording can be uploaded to Kaltura and posted to Blackboard course via a link

Collect Information / Assess Participants

Available, created “on the fly”

Poll results available as a report

No polls

Polls, created in advance

Poll results available as a report

Faculty Training Regularly scheduled group training, custom group training on request, and one-on-one consultation None Public webinars facilitated by Zoom
Student Support 24/7 phone support provided by Blackboard (877-382-2293) NIU Service Desk (815-753-8100 or it.niu.edu) None

For more details or to discuss further using virtual meeting tools for your course, reach out to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, citl@niu.edu.

Get Help

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-753-0595
Email: citl@niu.edu

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