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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 as well as a table showing a comparison of the main features of each. If you are teaching, please also see our guidance on Choosing the right platform for live teaching.

If you would like to discuss your requirements with a member of the Virtual Events team, please fill in the Virtual Events self service form. On the form options, choose 'request something' and 'advice and guidance for hosting my event'. This will log a ticket and a member of the team will be in contact to help you determine which tool best fits your requirements.


Event decision board

You can use the table below to match your event type to the main features of each platform to help you to decide which platform best suits your needs.

Blank cells indicate where there is no platform support for that event type

Event decision board
PlatformsFor teachingFor interactive meetingsFor large events
 Fully interactive - chat, raise hands, screen share, users can interact with the meeting host
Blackboard Collaborate
  • Up to 250 participants as standard - upgradeable to 500 as a 'large event'
  • Access through Moodle
  • Best for teaching
  
Zoom Meeting
  • Up to 300 participants as standard - upgradeable to 1000 as a 'large meeting'
  • Access through Moodle
  • Best service to China
  • 300 - 1000 participants
  • Fully interactive - plus breakout rooms
  • Best service for China
 
Teams Meeting 
  • 1000 participants
  • Fully interactive
  • SharePoint integration
 
 Larger 'Broadcast' events - users can view, but have limited interactivity. Full production support is available for these events (services are chargeable at an hourly rate)
Teams Live Events  
  • Up to 10,000 participants
  • Q&A, live captioning & translation
Zoom Webinar  
  • Up to 10,000 participants
  • Q&A, polling, YouTube streaming
  • Best service for China 

Microsoft Teams Meeting

Teams Meeting can be used to run events of up to 1000 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 widely 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

  • 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, 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. If more participants are displaying video, additional pages are created with up to 49 participants on each page
  • 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 2022

Considerations

  • Hosts can stop audio and video for all participants and request that participants unmute or start their video
  • Zoom needs to be treated as an open platform with no guarantee of privacy for participants
  • To reduce the risk of unwanted access to the meeting  you should consider our guidence on Staying safe on Zoom
  • 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 support pages

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 (hosts and panelists only) 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

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 page for Large Meetings and Large Teaching Events
  • 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 support pages

If you know that you require a Zoom webinar licence, please fill in the Virtual Events self service form. On the form options, choose 'request something' and 'a Zoom webinar licence'. This will log a ticket to have the licence applied to your account.

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 1 ,000Up 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, participantHost/producer, participant, speaker, moderatorHost, co-host, participantHost, co-host, panelist, attendee
Screen/document shareyyyy
Landing pagenyny
Waiting roomyyyy
Green room (waiting room for hosts and speakers only)nyny
Practise roomnnny

Other tools

Mentimeter is polling software that allows you to create interactive online presentations. Visit the Mentimeter resource centre, which provides training and guidance to get you started to make interactive online presentations, online polling, questioning and voting tool that you can use in your teaching.

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