The Conferences feature in Canvas allows synchronous video conferencing for instructors and the students registered in their courses. Conferences allow faculty to broadcast real-time audio and video, hold virtual office hours, demo desktop applications, share presentation slides, or demo online resources.

At SLCC, there are currently two video conferencing tools that integrate with Canvas—the Conferences tool (powered by BigBlueButton) and WebEx. 


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Helps for Instructors

To learn how to use the Conferences feature, please view the following video: Conferences Overview (Instructors)
 
For additional information, please review these Canvas Guides:

Helps for Students

To learn how to attend a conference in Canvas, please review these instructions: Attending a session (Students)

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Recommendations

For best results with Conferences, try the following:
  • Test-drive features and become familiar with settings prior to important events.
  • Although you can record meetings using BigBlueButton, they are deleted after 14 days by default. For more robust recording options, we recommend using WebEx. Please see: How do I create a conference in Canvas using WebEx?

WebEx vs. BigBlueButton - What’s the Difference?

SLCC recommends WebEx. Training on WebEx is provided by the OIT Department for all faculty and Staff. Canvas Support assists with correct integration inside your Canvas course. BigBlueButton has limited recording availability. It is popular with some users but has no official tech support from SLCC.; however, if you use it for limited use virtual conferences, than BigBlueButton is a fine choice.

Features Common to Both WebEx and Conferences (BigBlueButton)

Conferencing Features:
  • Audio
  • Instant Messaging / Chat
  • Video / Webcam
  • Desktop Sharing Capabilities:
    • Screen Sharing (BBB requires Java application to run, with limited abilities)
    • File Uploads (Viewing within BBB only)
    • Annotation and Drawing Tools
    • Whiteboard
    • Slideshow (advancing pages or slides automatically)
    • Full Screen / Partial Screen Mode
Invitation & Meeting Follow-up Features:
  • Schedule Meetings
  • Ad-Hoc / Instant Meetings
  • Instant Notification Alert (Must send link or manual invitation for WebEx)
  • Meeting Recording / Playback (limited for BBB)
Security Features:
  • All meetings are strictly between Canvas course enrollments (BBB)

WebEx Only Features

Conferencing Features:
  • Remove Attendee from Meeting
  • Desktop Sharing Capabilities:
    • File Transfers
    • Application Sharing
Invitation & Meeting Follow-up Features:
  • Schedule Recurring Meetings
  • Can Invite non-student attendees, such as guest speakers (must have at least one enrollment within the course)
  • Indefinite Recordings
  • Meeting Analytics
Security Features:
  • Non-Canvas course individuals can attend

See Software Insider's Comparison of WebEx and BigBlueButton: Features Overview 

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