Behind the Blackboard! Best Practices for Application Sharing - Behind the Blackboard Skip Navigation
Download PDF  Icon Download PDF    Print article

Best Practices for Application Sharing

Date Published: Jul 26,2019

CategoryProduct:Web Conferencing; Version:Web Conferencing
Article No.: 000064627
Blackboard Collaborate
Document Type:
User Documentation

Document Summary:


This article provides advice on how to best manage your bandwidth when using the Application Sharing feature in Collaborate with a latent network or a low bandwidth upload/download speed.

When Collaborate detects that a users network can no longer support application sharing upload/download, application sharing will be shut off and no longer viewable. Moderators and Presenters who use these best practices will send less data, less frequently to the participants in a class and by doing so optimize the participant experience.


Best Practice One

Turn off your video camera. Generally participants should be focused on the application sharing window and not video. Turning off the video feed will significantly decrease the amount of data being sent by the moderator and received by the participant. 

Best Practice Two

Ensure good internet connectivity. Application Sharing uses a lot of bandwidth. Be sure you have a robust Internet connection, either a fast LAN connection or excellent Wi-Fi signal strength are key. However, if at all possible plugging in directly to the router with an ethernet cable is preferable to using Wi-Fi.

Best Practice Three

Sharing the entire desktop uses the most bandwidth, due to the larger screen area being shared. If possible choose to application share only a particular application, your web browser for example. Then reduce the size of the application's window to the smallest size that is still practical for the presentation. 

Please note, some applications simply display better when you share them in full desktop mode rather than sharing a specific application.  For instance, menus that appear when right-clicking within an application may not appear and sharing individual Microsoft Office applications can be problematic. PowerPoint slides do not appear to advance for participants in the session.  Participants cannot see edits made to Microsoft Word documents or Excel workbooks.  If an application fails to display properly when sharing a single application, try switching to full desktop sharing.

Best Practice Four

The more motion and visual changes made in the application sharing window, the more bandwidth you will use. While seeing motion is part of what makes application sharing a wonderful tool, try to cut out any excessive motion that isn't needed for the class, for example "cute" animations.

Additionally, it is inadvisable to application share videos as no audio will be heard and the video may take up enough bandwidth to downgrade a participant so that they no longer see application sharing. 

If you must share a video in Collaborate, please use these steps to share a Chrome tab:

Best Practice Five

When switching between applications, ensure participants are able to see changes before continuing with the lecture. The more drastic the change the more data will need to be transmitted.

The information contained in the Knowledge Base was written and/or verified by Blackboard Support. It is approved for client use. Nothing in the Knowledge Base shall be deemed to modify your license in any way to any Blackboard product. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please send an email to © 2022 Blackboard Inc. All rights reserved