Using the Whiteboard tool

This is another Microsoft product, that can be used within Microsoft Teams or as a standalone tool. It allows users to collaboratively draw on a shared whiteboard, which can be saved as an image file at any point. It is still fairly new and therefore should be used with some caution. The tool is available to all staff and students.

Microsoft, 2020



How do you recommend I use it?

Whilst it is possible to start and share a whiteboard within a Teams video call, not all devices are compatible when you share a whiteboard this way. For more details, have a look at our comparison of features across different devices. Sharing a whiteboard during a Teams call also places considerable stress on the end-users internet connection, and so again this could isolate/prevent some users from engaging.

However, the tool works well if set up and used separately from Teams. You can still share this during a video call/lecture, but once you’ve set up the Whiteboard, simply paste the URL to your chosen board in the chat, and allow students to open this as a separate screen from the call. Just be aware that unless your users have the whiteboard app installed, they will only be able to use basic features. You could also use this as an asynchronous task, as whiteboards can be edited at any time.



– Use with small groups of users

– Don’t use the whiteboard option during a Teams video call –  use separately

– Be aware that not all users will have all functionality – so keep it basic.

– If you are just looking to present the whiteboard (and not collaborate on it), you can set up a whiteboard yourself, and simply share you screen during a video call. This could be useful for various teaching scenarios.

How to set up and share a Whiteboard

1. Accessing the Whiteboard tool


– Download the Whiteboard App (Windows 10 users working on personal devices)

– Download the Microsoft Whiteboard mobile app (for iOS users only).

– Access via a web browser at (for Windows/Mac users). Please note users using the web version cannot use all features


Sign in with your university email address and password.


2. Set up a Whiteboard (can be done in advance)

  • Click Create New Whiteboard
  • That’s it! Use the drawing tools as appropriate. All users have a basic set of drawing tools, in various colours, and the ability to erase mistakes.
  • All users can expand the drawing canvas by clicking and dragging to the sides. Web users – this may be laggy
  • The whiteboard saves automatically
whiteboard on web screenshot

Whiteboard Canvas – Web view









iphone screenshot

Whiteboard canvas – iOS app view


















3. Sharing your Whiteboard (either during a live video meeting or as an asynchronous task)

  • All users have the ability to share their whiteboard by clicking the Share icon (top right of screen). You get a shareable weblink (which for example could be posted to a Teams chat, or added to My Studies) or you can invite specific users by typing in their university email address. For those users that have the app installed, clicking on the link will automatically open the whiteboard in the app.
  • All users can save an image copy of the whiteboard by clicking the menu/settings icon.


4. Advanced Features and Help

Those with the installed app (iOS or Windows 10 app) can add images, post-it notes, ‘lasso’ multiple items and more. For more information and help with the tool, check out the online FAQ page for Microsoft Whiteboard

This site also has some useful tips when using Microsoft Whiteboard


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