Comparison of Synchronous Teaching Tools

Are you interested in comparing BB Collaborate with other tools? See some highlights below.

(Note: this is subject to change and was last updated on the 12th of February 2021).

Comparison of Synchronous Teaching Tools  
Features Collaborate Ultra Microsoft Teams Zoom
Suppot for NUI Galway staff Support for technical/administration  (ISS). Support/advice for use in Teaching (CELT). Support for technical/administration  (ISS). Support/advice for use in Teaching (CELT).  Support for technical/administration  (ISS). Support/advice for use in Teaching (CELT).  
Support for NUI Galway students Library and IT Service Desk Library and IT Service Desk Library and IT Service Desk
Licence status Bundled with Blackboard licence Teams is available via Office365. Institutional licence for all staff and students. NUI Galway currently has a Zoom licence for 1 year in response to Covid-19. Renewal will require funding allocation and approval.
Max simultaneous webcams 4 on screen (on Chrome) and 2 (on Firefox) not including moderator 49 on screen 49 on screen
Max. no of  simultaneous audio 5 49 49
Max. no participants 250 by default, 500 with large sessions enabled 300 300 (large event, Webinars require an additional licence not currently in core NUI Galway provision for general use)
Large event option up to 500, but with limited tools (no breakout groups, polling, but chat can be activated for Q&A). Available to all Blackboard instructors. Live Meeting' up to 20,000 viewers. Essentially a streaming option with Chat for Q&A. Available in NUIG licence to all users. Zoom Webinar can support 100-10,000 viewers (stream plus text Q&A). Not available in general licence for NUIG. Requires additional cost/licence (depending on size)
Multiple moderators Yes Yes Yes
Supported browsers. Latest browser versions are recommended Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge Chromium, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE Chromium Chrome, Firefox, Edge Chromium, Safari
Mobile app available Yes Yes Yes
Desktop app/client available No (web based) Yes (Mac, Windows, Linux(X86)) Yes (Mac, Windows)
Chat feature Yes Yes Yes
Chat with everyone Yes Yes Yes
Chat with individuals Yes Yes Yes
Share white board Yes Yes Yes
Polling (very limited in all cases compared to polling apps) Yes Yes Yes
Hand raising Yes Yes Yes
Session scheduling Yes Yes Yes
Can record session Yes (recording in BB module) Yes (recording in MS Stream/Linked in the Team) Yes (Recording in personal Zoom account)
Recording format MP4 Video MP4 Video MP4 Video
Recording downloadable Yes Yes Yes
Share/download files Yes Yes Yes
Screen sharing capabilities Yes Yes Yes
Breakout rooms (group work) Yes Yes Yes
Browser based (no download required) Yes Yes Yes (App recommended)
Automated Live Captions No (can use Chrome automated captions if required) Yes (and editable afterwards) Yes (must be activated on account and only for client/app versions)
Manual Closed Captioning Yes (captioner role) Yes (captioner role) Yes  (captioner role)
*Bandwidth information for audio with video. In general,  when more bandwidth is available, quality and usage will increase to deliver the best experience.                                              Note 1 mbps = 1000 kbps Up to 360 kbps (presenter) and 1488 kbps (participant) Up to 2 mbps per second recommended for presenter/participant  Up to 2 mbps per second recommended for presenter/participant single screen
* Please note that there are a number of variables that may affect connectivity, such as the number of users in a session, bandwidth and simultaneous video options.