UConn has made multiple video conferencing technologies available to faculty, staff, and students. The tools vary in numerous ways including the maximum number of participants, ability to break participants into groups, ability for participants to share their screens, number of participants visible to presenter, integration with HuskyCT, ability to lock access, and other factors. The best product depends on your individual situation. We are happy to provide suggestions on which technology may work best for you.
Webex is an online conferencing tool you can use anywhere you have Internet access on your computer or ability to call via phone. Webex allows you to meet with others and share data, presentations, and online demonstrations. Faculty can use Webex to bring guest speakers into their classrooms, hold virtual office hours, provide one-on-one or group tutorials, participate in committee work, and more. Faculty and staff can also use Webex to host large webinars. Anyone with a NetID can use Webex to host and attend online meetings with people inside and outside UConn. Webex sessions can be recorded so the video files can then be uploaded into Blackboard courses. (Note: Recordings may take up to 24 hours to appear)
Webex is available in some classrooms on campus so remote students can participate in class sessions. To see a list of the classrooms with Webex, visit classrooms.uconn.edu, then filter for video conference options.
Webex is now integrated into HuskyCT. Integration with HuskyCT eliminates the need for sending session invites to email addresses or needing a username or password; by accessing through HuskyCT students just click on a link to access a session.
Webex Meetings versus Webex Events
UConn offers access to Webex Meetings and Webex Events. Webex Meetings is more commonly utilized in the classroom setting but Webex Events offers an alternative for sessions when there is no, or very limited, vocal audience participation but participants can submit questions via the Q&A feature or participate in polling and chats. With Events, only the presenter can share their webcam or screen.
|Feature||Personal Webex meeting room||WebEx Meetings||WebEx Events|
|Assign alternate host||No||Yes||No|
|Lock meeting room||Yes||Yes||No|
|Establish panel of presenters||No||No||Yes|
Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaborative learning tool integrated that can be used for online teaching and web conferencing with HuskyCT and its features complement the existing functionality of HuskyCT. Collaborate makes it possible for instructors to interact with students synchronously in an online web conferencing session that includes the capabilities for video, audio, screen sharing, text chat, hand-raising, file sharing, an interactive whiteboard, and breakout groups. Sessions can also be recorded. Integration with HuskyCT eliminates the need for sending session invites to email addresses or needing a username or password; by accessing through HuskyCT students just click on a link to access a session. Collaborate creates a virtual classroom, where participants can interact via features such as chat and audio, “hand raising,” screen sharing, and an interactive whiteboard. It supports up to 500 participants at a time. NOTE: Breakout sessions are not an available feature for sessions with more than 250 participants.
- HuskyCT Integration;
- Ability to break students into groups;
- Application and document sharing with multiple users in real-time;
- Polling feature to ask participants Yes/No or multiple-choice questions during a session;
- Chat tool that allows moderators and participants to communicate publicly or privately via text during a session;
- Hand raising feature allows participants to alert the moderator if they have an issue or question during the session; and
- Ability to provide guest invitations from all across the institution and beyond.
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration and productivity tool that is included with Office 365. With Teams, you can chat with individual or groups, hold video conferences, store and share files, present and share desktop content, and connect with other third-party applications. All faculty, staff, and students can install Teams from either the Office 365 online portal page or from the software center. Teams and Outlook are integrated, and you can schedule and manage meetings through Outlook as well as other emerging communication/collaboration features. All team interaction is fully encrypted and secured. Meetings can be created with individuals inside or outside of the University and can be recorded. To utilize Teams, it must be downloaded onto a computer or other device with an internet connection. NOTE: Screen sharing with audio (such as sharing a video from your own computer) is limited to Windows-based computers only.
- Group meetings for up to 10,000 people;
- Video or audio conferencing;
- Screen sharing;
- Meeting note taking;
- Meeting recording;
- Messaging with participants; and
- Meeting scheduling.
Google Meet is a video and chat communication tool made available as part of G Suite. This allows users to connect with groups and individual people. It includes messaging, video chat, and VoIP features. Since it is integrated with the apps in G Suite, you can send meeting invitations from Gmail and Google calendar and save recorded meetings to Google Drive. Google Meet is accessible from Gmail or at https://meet.google.com/.
- Group meetings for up to 250 people;
- Screen sharing;
- Messaging with participants; and
- Connect your Google Voice account to make calls, send and receive SMS or to access your voicemail.
Other products not supported by the university
Many educational technology products are available to meet your teaching needs. Unfortunately, Ed Tech and ITS do not support them all. As an instructor, you are welcome to use other products if you deem them the most appropriate for your course but you will need to obtain the product, training, and support on your own. Note on use of Zoom: Some faculty have expressed interest in using Zoom. Please note that Zoom has been frequently associated with increased security risk and this product is not supported by the university.
Please note that UConn does not support the use of Zoom. If you are using Zoom, please do so safely.
Accessibility features of tools
|Software||Available & supported at UConn||Option to record||Automated captioning||Save transcript|
|Bb Collaborate||Yes||Yes (main room)||No||Yes (if live captioner)|
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (with extension)|
|Zoom||No||Yes||No||Yes (if cloud recording enabled)|