Web Conferencing

What is Web Conferencing?

Web Conferencing is the ability to converse with others through the internet by way of text, voice, and/or video. Conversations may be synchronous (delivered in a steady stream to viewers) or asynchronous (messages posted and engaged in at another user’s own pace).

Similar to a phone conversation or video conference call, online conversation involves transmitting audiovisual content between users.

What is the purpose of Web Conferencing?

Web Conferencing is a convenient way to engage and converse with others. It is an inexpensive way to have meetings, or engage with students outside of class. Many web conferencing platforms allow for recorded video, which makes it possible to use them for recording lectures.

How to use Web Conferencing

There are many styles of web conferencing available. Some are accessible through stand-alone applications, while others are available through a web browser.  To get started with a web conferencing, choose a platform such as Blackboard Collaborate, Skype or Google Hangouts and learn how you need to access the service. All web conferencing platforms will require a webcam and a microphone.

In teaching and learning, web conferencing tools could be used to connect with colleagues, hold meetings, host online office hours or tutorials, facilitate group work, or connect classes to guest lecturers who cannot be present in person.

Tool Comparison

Evaluated: June 2017

Collaborate UE Google Hangouts Skype
Functionality 2 stars 2 stars 1 stars
Accessibility 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars
Technical 2 stars 1 stars 1 stars
Mobile 1 stars 2 stars 1 stars
Usage and Account Setup 3 stars 1 stars 1 stars
Social Presence 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars
Instructor Presence 2 stars 3 stars 3 stars
Cognitive Presence 3 stars 2 stars 2 stars

All Tools