Web Conferencing Tool Comparison

Compare the features of TU's web conferencing tools to decide which best fits your needs.

Web Conferencing Tools Comparison

PRODUCT FEATURES AUDIENCE
Webex 
  • 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
  • Virtual Backgrounds
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Participants outside of TU
  • Up to 5,000 participants in a space
Webex Meetings
  • Closed Captioning available
  • Conduct Online Meetings with sharing capabilities
  • Text chat
  • Integrates with Outlook and Office products
  • Polling function
  • Record sessions
  • Digital whiteboarding
  • Conduct virtual events
  • FERPA/HIPAA compliant
  • Accessible for most learners
  • Conduct virtual events (through Events Center)
  • Virtual Backgrounds
  • 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
  • Polling function
  • Record sessions
  • Digital whiteboarding
  • Breakout sessions
  • Timer (count down, count up)
  • Accessible for all learners
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Guest lecturer
  • Users of assistive technologies
Zoom
  • Conduct Online Meetings with sharing capabilities
  • Text chat
  • Polling function
  • Record sessions
  • Audio transcription
  • Digital whiteboarding
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Accessible for all learners
  • Virtual Backgrounds
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Participants outside of TU
  • Up to 300 participants

Using Web Compliant Technology

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Webex Meetings, Webex and Zoom 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.

Which Tool Should You Use For . . .

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

With Webex you can instantly chat and share content.

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

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 or Zoom if meeting outside the Blackboard environment.

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.

Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Zoom 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.

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

Webex Meetings/Event Center is the recommended online tool for faculty, staff, and students to host events up to 1,000 participants. If you need to host an event that exceeds 1,000 participants, or need specific guidance on your event, submit a TechHelp service request (select "Employee Role>Collaboration, Video Conferencing, SharePoint, Webex Zoom>Event Consultation").

Scenario Driven Tools Recommendations
(A-Synchronous vs. Synchronous)

MODE OF INSTRUCTION SCENARIO RECOMMENDED SOLUTION PROS OF SOLUTION
A-synchronous Instant Messaging Webex 
  • Simple to use interface
  • Quickly communicate
A-synchronous Record lecture to share with class Panopto
  • Easy to use
  • Storage in cloud
  • Integrates with Blackboard
  • Can share with multiple sections/courses
A-Synchronous Convert PowerPoint Presentation into video Panopto
  • Easy to use
  • Storage in cloud
  • Integrates with Blackboard
  • Can share with multiple sections/courses
A-Synchronous Convert PowerPoint Presentation into interactive video VoiceThread Integrates directly into Blackboard
A-Synchronous Have students record video for class assignments VoiceThread/Panopto
  • Easy to use
  • Storage in cloud
  • Integrates with Blackboard
Synchronous Polling during class Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
Synchronous Breakout Groups during class Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
Synchronous Conduct on-line meetings Webex or Zoom
  •  Personal Meeting Room
  • Using TU's enterprise solution protects confidential data
Synchronous Share Screen with students during class Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
Synchronous Share applications with students during class Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
Synchronous Share applications with staff/colleagues Webex or Zoom
  • Easy to use
  • Accessible
Synchronous Share Video with students during class (Chrome Only) Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
Synchronous Live stream an event (Interactions through Chat only) Panopto
  • Easy to use
  • Storage in cloud
  • Integrates with Blackboard
  • Can share with multiple sections/courses
Synchronous Share Whiteboard with students during class Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
Synchronous Interviews Webex or Zoom Ability to Lock Room
Synchronous Share whiteboard during meeting  Webex or Zoom Easy to use
Accessible
Synchronous Virtual Office Hours with students  Blackboard Collaborate
  • Integrates directly into Blackboard
  • Accessible
  • Ability to Lock Room
Synchronous Collaborate outside of classroom Webex or Zoom Guest lecturers, etc. can join a meeting

 

INSTRUCTIONAL LECTURE CAPTURE GUIDELINES AND RELEASE FORM  

Guidelines

Faculty and staff who intend to use instructional lecture capture resources supported by Towson University are to adhere to the Instructional Lecture Capture Guidelines to ensure the FERPA regulations are not violated.

Release Form

If a faculty/staff member intends to reuse recordings where the image, voice or materials of students are captured, the Instructional Lecture Capture Release Form must be used. *Be sure to read the guidelines (above) first.

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