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What conferencing tools are available for virtual collaboration with video?

Web conferencing allows you to interact with others over the Internet. You can share your video, your computer screen, initiate a poll, and chat with attendees.

Technology Solutions offers web conferencing solutions through several applications:

  • Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing system that facilitates real-time online teaching and learning. Blackboard Collaborate is available to all UIC Blackboard users. Instructors and TAs can create individual (and repeat) web conferencing sessions on their own without requesting a session to be created or activated. All session links and recordings are located under Course Tools > Blackboard Collaborate.

  • Google Meet provides web conferencing options - with phone call-in capability. This solution works well for students and small groups (please note this solution may not be available in certain countries):

  • Webex is a video and audio conference web application that combines web-based meetings with integrated collaboration tools such as whiteboard, chat, and screen share.

  • Zoom is an alternative solution for meeting online with instructors and students. Zoom at UIC has been integrated with the Blackboard Learn system for the ease of instructors and students.

  • Microsoft Teams provides collaboration tools and allows for conferencing - though only using computer audio (your computer’s microphone and speakers, or a headset). There is no phone call-in capability unless using the Teams mobile app:

The web conferencing tools supported by UIC provide similar conferencing services but can contain different features. Some features may be available but are not enabled by University Administrators. Selecting the right tool depends on your course needs and teaching objectives, so it is important to understand each tool's features and capabilities. The table below lists each tool's features to help identify the right one for you.

FeaturesBlackboard CollaborateGoogle MeetWebexZoomMicrosoft Teams
Attendance ReportingChrome Extension Required
Attendee Capacity5001001000300250
Audio Conferencing
Blackboard Integration   
Breakout Room 
Call-Me feature   
Chat Capabilities 
Chromebook Compatible
Desktop App
Dial-in Audio  
File Sharing
Gate-Crashing* RiskLowMediumMediumHighMedium
Group Collaboration
Host Controls which attendee can present, share files, whiteboard etc 
Invite External Participants
iPad Compatible
Lock Meeting  
Mobile App 
Multiple Moderators
Mute Participants
Mute Participants on Entry  
Outlook Integration
Password for Meeting  
Personal Meeting Room 
Polling (collect responses) 
Private Chat
Raise Hand  
Record Session 
Remove Attendees 
Screen Sharing
Smartphone App
Students can create session
Unique Meeting ID's  
Use Phone for Audio 
Video Conferencing
Virtual Background  
VOIP (Internet Phone) 
Waiting Room  Personal room only 
*Gate-crashing refers to uninvited guests "crashing" meetings.

See Also:

Keywords:webex, hangouts meet, chat, MS teams, teams, Microsoft team, blackboard collaborate, Zoom, Zoom meetings, video conferencing, virtual lectures   Doc ID:75125
Owner:Elizabeth R.Group:University of Illinois Chicago Technology Solutions
Created:2017-08-01 15:09 CSTUpdated:2020-10-13 10:32 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Chicago Technology Solutions
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