Web Conferencing Tools

Towson University offers three web-conferencing solutions: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra,  Webex Meetings and Webex Teams. Recommendations for use are listed below.

Web Conferencing Solutions

WEBEX TEAMS

Webex Teams is a collaboration solution that brings together messaging, file sharing, video meetings, white boarding, calling to streamline teamwork and produce results faster.

WEBEX MEETINGS

A Webex Meeting is an online meeting that allows you to virtually meet with other people, without leaving your home or office. With a host account, you have access to your own personal virtual conference space or you can schedule a meeting using a unique URL.

BLACKBOARD COLLABORATE ULTRA

Collaborate Ultra is a real-time video conferencing system allowing you to add files, share applications and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate is available in all Blackboard courses and is turned on by default.

WHICH TOOL TO USE?

Using Web Compliant Technology

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, WebEx Meetings and Webex Teams are very similar tools. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is recommended when interacting with individuals who require the use of a screen reader, as it's currently the closest compliant web conferencing technology. In general, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra should be used when interacting with students because it's difficult to project if a disabled student will be added to class rosters during the add/drop period.

 

Comparing the Tools

PRODUCT FEATURES AUDIENCE
Webex Teams
  • Send instant messages (text chat)
  • Conduct Online Meetings with sharing capabilities
  • Share files from your computer or from OneDrive
  • Equal Control for all participants over content
  • Download on multiple devices
  • Integrates with Outlook and other office products Ties into TU directory
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Participants outside of TU
  • Up to 5,000 participants in a space
Webex Meetings
  • Conduct Online Meetings with sharing capabilities
  • Text chat
  • Integrates with Outlook and Office products
  • Polling function
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Participants outside of TU
  • Up to 1,000 participants
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • Conduct Online Meetings through Blackboard with sharing capabilities
  • Text chat
  • Record sessions
  • Breakout sessions
  • Polling function
  • Timer (count down, count up)
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Guest lecturer
  • Users of assistive technologies

 

WHICH TOOL SHOULD YOU USE FOR . . .

Conducting a video conference within a Blackboard course.

Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra experience, which opens in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join a session.

Quickly instant messaging a colleague.

With Webex Teams you can instantly chat and share content.

Delivering an online lecture.

Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or WebEx Meetings call quality is strong and you can deliver a slide show or share any other content with your viewers.

Meeting with a student virtually.

If you have a Blackboard course, use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to quickly meet with students to answer questions, collaborate with them or hold virtual office hours.

You may also use Webex Meetings if meeting outside the Blackboard environment.

Meeting with a student that relies on assistive technology.

Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, which was designed and developed in accordance with the internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) Guidelines 2.0 Level AA as well as the Section 508 standards in the United States.

Obtaining total control of a meeting.

Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or WebEx Meetings. As the host, you can assign a variety of privileges to participants (such annotation and printing rights), mute and unmute participants and control sharing rights.

Using a web conferencing solution if you don’t have a Blackboard course.

Use Webex Meetings or Webex Teams. If you have Blackboard course, Collaborate Ultra is your best solution.

 

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