Which Web-Conferencing Tool Should I Use?

Posted April 1st, 2020 at 3:24 pm.

Bryn Mawr College has site licenses for three tools you can use to host online meetings: Zoom, Teams, and Skype for Business. All three allow you to schedule, host and record web meetings, in which BMC and non-BMC attendees can share audio, video, screens and a chat window. Below is a comparison of their strengths and limitations to help you determine when to use them.

Zoom

  • Zoom is a purpose-built web-conferencing tool.
  • It has built-in features that make it easier to run large collaborative meetings: a fully collaborative whiteboard,  polling, and breakout rooms.
  • It is the best option for meetings that involve Haverford students and other non-BMC participants.
  • If there is an accessibility need, LITS can schedule real-time, ADA-compliant close-captioning (aka CART services) and transcription for Zoom meetings. These services must be set up in advance, please e-mail help@brynmawr.edu for more information.
  • Our standard license allows up to 300 attendees per meeting*

*If you need to host larger online events, please email help@brynmawr.edu for information on options. 

Teams

  • Teams is an Office 365 instant-messaging (IM) and virtual-meeting tool.
  • It was designed for groups of users within a particular organization; although you can invite non-BMC users to meetings, they will not have access to some features (e.g., Whiteboard) and they will not be visible in your Contacts.
  • Users can turn on live Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) captioning in Teams, but it falls short of the 99% accuracy level required for full ADA compliance. If there is an accessibility need, please email help@brynmawr.edu about switching to Zoom.
  • It lacks built-in polling and breakout rooms.
  • Our license allows up to 250 attendees.

Skype for Business

  • Skype for Business is the old IM and virtual meeting tool built into O365.
  • Although it will remain available through July 31, 2021, Microsoft is no longer developing for it.
  • We recommend switching to Teams for a better experience, particularly for Mac users.
Filed under: Web Conferencing Tags: by Jenny Spohrer

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