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Tools to support your live teaching, meetings and events

There are a number of ISD supported platforms to help you manage your live teaching, meetings and events, from the preparation and planning stage through to delivery.

There are several tools available to help you run your live session. Below is a summary of key benefits and considerations for each platform.

For more help on identifying the most suitable platform for your needs, please visit the Planning a Virtual Event page on the staff intranet, and, if you are teaching, see our guidance on Choosing the right platform for live teaching


Microsoft Teams Meeting

Teams Meeting can be used to run events of up to 300 participants who can collaborate easily via video, audio and chat, without any moderation.

Key functionality

  • This is an existing UCL product which is integrated with Outlook and SharePoint and is already being used across the University
  • You can have up to 49 individuals on the screen at any one time
  • Individual participants can control their own cameras and audio to support collaborative meetings
  • You can create multiple breakout sessions to facilitate smaller group discussions
  • There is a UCL wide license for this (no need to purchase or request access)

Considerations

  • Meetings are limited to up to 300 participants
  • You can’t moderate the online chat functionality
  • At present Teams is not linked to Moodle or Portico so it isn’t possible easily to set up teaching events for module groups.
  • Students in China have reported that they do not have the best user experience

For more information visit the Microsoft Teams SharePoint site


Microsoft Teams Live Events

Microsoft Teams Live Events is an extension of Microsoft Teams Meetings.  It delivers live video streaming for up to 10,000 participants, (up to 20,000 until 31 September), which allows hosts to broadcast video and meeting content. Digital media services provide professional video production support to help host your event.

Key Functionality

  • Individual participants are automatically on mute and are unable to control their own audio or video
  • You can moderate chat functionality for participants with Q&A functionality

Considerations

  • You can only have 1 presenter on screen at any one time. This is controlled by the producer
  • An ‘Event Producer’ role is required, in addition to the presenters, to control which camera and audio feeds are broadcast. For more information visit MS Teams Live Events roles
  • There are limited licenses available. To request a Teams Live Events license, you’ll need to complete this booking form.
  • Students in China have reported that they do not have the best user experience

 To find out more, please visit the Teams Live Events SharePoint site


Zoom Meeting

Zoom Meeting can be used to run an event with up to 300 participants, and larger groups can be accommodated on request. Participants can collaborate easily and have a more interactive session via video, audio and chat, without any moderation.

If your group is larger than 300 then you can request an Large Meeting Zoom licence for up to 1000 participants by emailing zoomsupport@ucl.ac.uk letting us know the group size and whether it’s a one-off or repeated event; please allow 48 hours notice. For more information please see our Zoom SharePoint pages.

Key Functionality

  • You can have up to 49 people on the screen at any one time
  • Individual participants can control their own audio and video to support collaborative meetings
  • You can easily create multiple breakout rooms to enable smaller group discussions
  • You can update the chat settings to control whether participants can chat to everyone, just hosts or not be able to access the chat functionality at all
  • Students in China have reported a better user experience using Zoom Meeting
  • UCL has purchased a UCL wide license which everyone can access until July 2021

Considerations

  • Hosts can control audio for all participants (but you can allow participants to unmute themselves). However, hosts do not have any control of video of participants.
  • Zoom needs to be treated as an open platform with no guarantee of privacy for participants
  • To restrict access to the meeting, (i.e. to stop the link being shared and multiple individuals joining), you must configure your meeting so that only the people you send the link to can join or only individuals with a ucl.ac.uk login can attend.
  • You can restrict meeting access to only UCL attendees..

For a more detailed comparison between Zoom Meeting and Zoom Webinar, please visit Zoom Help Center feature comparison

For additional Zoom guidance visit the UCL Zoom SharePoint support site

To log on to Zoom visit the UCL Zoom log on page


Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar can be used to run an event or broadcast with up to 10,000 participants, where the interaction of the participants can be controlled by the event host. UCL has purchased a pool of webinar licenses that can be loaned out to individuals and event organisers as required.

Key Functionality

  • You can have up to 49 people on the screen at any one time (or up to 100 if you have 2 screens)
  • You can have up to 100 panellists in a webinar who can contribute with audio and video during the webinar
  • You have more control over audience participation - for participants to be able to talk, the webinar host has to enable this on an individual basis within the Webinar
  • You can update the chat settings to control whether participants can chat to everyone, just hosts or not be able to access the chat functionality at all
  • Moderated Q&A functionality
  • You can restrict meeting access to only UCL attendees
  • Students in China have reported a better user experience using Zoom Webinar
  • Panellists can talk in the green room in advance of the event starting
  • The host can initiate up to 50 breakout sessions and distribute the participants as desired

Considerations

  • In the majority of circumstances Zoom Meeting will be sufficient (and simpler). If you need a higher capacity for Zoom Meeting (up to 1,000 participants) please email zoomsupport@ucl.ac.uk letting us know the group size and whether it’s a one-off or repeated event; please allow 48 hours notice. You might also like to visit our Zoom SharePoint page for Large Meetings and Large Teaching Events
  • For Webinars you will need to consider how the event is set up in Zoom are set up to ensure it runs smoothly
  • Zoom needs to be treated as an open platform with no guarantee of privacy for call participants

For a more detailed comparison between Zoom Meeting and Zoom Webinar, please visit Zoom Help Center feature comparison

For additional Zoom guidance visit the UCL Zoom SharePoint support site

To log on to Zoom visit the UCL Zoom log on page

For teaching staff, blackboard collaborate may be a more suitable platform. For more information on the live teaching platforms please visit the choosing the right platform for live teaching webpages.


Functionality Comparison Table

Tool feature comparison table
 Teams MeetingTeams Live EventsZoom MeetingZoom Webinar
No of participantsUp to 300Up to 10,000Up to 500Up to 10,000
Participant locationWorldwide  exc. ChinaWorldwide  exc. ChinaWorldwide  inc. ChinaWorldwide  inc.  China
No of speakers on screen at one time49149100 (across 2 screens)
RolesHost/producer, participantHost/producer, participant, speaker, moderatorHost/producer, participantHost/producer, participant, speaker, moderator
Screen/document shareyyyy
Landing pagenyny
Waiting roomyyyy
Green room (waiting room for hosts and speakers only)nyny
Practise roomnnny

We understand that on occasion, ISD supported tools for online events may not meet your requirements.  Below is a list of tools that are being used across UCL for live events.  Please note that these tools are not supported by ISD and have not undergone any ISD or information security checks. We therefore cannot guarantee that the platforms meet Digital Accessibility standards or that the information shared is fully secure. Wherever possible, please use ISD supported platforms.

  • Jamboarda Google application, essentially an interactive whiteboard where participants can write, draw, add images, post notes, save and edit files etc.​
  • High Fidelity: an online audio networking application, that allows you to move around the screen and talk to people 1:1 or in groups like you would at a social gathering​
  • Remoa networking application that provides a virtual office space as well as ‘rooms’ to chat in, or an event/networking space including polls, Q&A, voting etc.​
  • Yotribe: a networking ‘room’ where participants choose their conversation partners/groups by approaching others, and can interact via video, audio or chat​
  • Mural: a digital workspace for visual collaboration, participants can add sticky notes which can be organised in lists, flowcharts, diagrams, frameworks, drawings etc.​Slido: a Q&A and polling tool to make online events more interactive

​N.B. some of these applications need a licence, and/or there is a cost to access them