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Community Contributor

What conference tool(s) are you successfully using in Canvas other than BigBlueButton?

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We are looking at using at least one other conferencing tool than BigBlueButton (BBB) and are wondering what other's experiences with various tools has been.  We love the subscription service that BBB has provided as a contracted provider, and it works great so long as you are outside the college and the medical center, but due to firewall issues (we are inside a medical center firewall) we aren't able to resolve access issues. 

There are so many products out there but what works reliably and (ideally) works within Canvas?

We've identified that really there are more than one kind of conferencing need. One product might cover several types of need.  But whenever possible if we can find free, low cost or individual subscriptions that is best.  I've put in (  ) what I tools we are considering so far.

  • A tool that allows quick access the student's computer to help them with an issue. No audio or video needed - they are usually on the phone. (join Me?) (Something that could be a link on the College website for students to access quickly when needed?)
  • A tool that works well for student services to see and talk to the student - no recording, no doc sharing (Skype? How confidential is this?)
  • A tool for faculty or tutors to present, discuss, desktop share and document share with students at a single or multiple locations (individuals and small groups) (WebEx)
  • A tool for small groups to collaborate: present, discuss, document share and share desk top with other small groups.?  (WebEx)
  • A service or tool for capturing a live or recorded classroom with live distance student participation possible. (Probably a fixed room with special AV - but if anyone has mobile suggestions that would be great!

Has anyone else found a product that seems to rarely have firewall issues?  I'd be especially glad to hear from others inside HIPAA level firewalls, such as other Health Sciences Colleges!  We've have experimented with WebEx and that seems to be good.

Have any of used Spark?

I don't have a lot of faculty doing any of these, maybe 5 or 6 at each level so individual licenses seem best.

Does any one else do a mix of methods like this?  If so what works for you?

Thank you for your input!

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41 Replies
Community Contributor

We have loved Zoom's LTI integration.

I have created personal meeting rooms in Canvas. Everyone goes to the Canvas course/"meeting room." Only the host logs in through the Canvas login: instant meeting. No complicated scheduling. Add whole departments to the course for departmental meetings.

Community Contributor

We have opted for purchasing 20 individual rooms.  Faculty place the link to the room when needed in Canvas.  So far this seems to be working very, very well.  Having had all manner of difficulties with firewalls with other products, this has required no exceptions to be made to the firewall so far and it has worked 100% every time.  Of course we have only had a handful of sessions so far - but that is still better than in the past.

Community Contributor

We also do this- we have about 60 Connect rooms and they are used for everything from small group breakout sessions to 100 people webinars. We set up the initial generic accounts/rooms and the instructors or students just post the URL of the meeting in announcements or as part of an assignment.

It's been working well for us.

Community Contributor

Allow me to update you.

Last week I was informed that we would let our Zoom license expire this January.

This week I was appointed the WebEx administrator for our Canvas community.

My task now involves moving happy Zoom users to WebEx and dismantling a working integration between Zoom and Canvas in favor of a tool that integrates with Canvas through individual URLs--at best.

I intend to focus our Canvas community on the Personal Meeting Room feature of WebEx; this feature appears Zoom-like. It should reduce the learning curve and their frustration.

Glory to the newborn King!

Community Champion

Hey terry,

we have had a really good faculty rollout for webex.  They really like it and have been pretty low maintenance.  I have had to do very little training. 

We came from eliminate, then had bbb, and went to webex.  Webex has met all of the needs On campus, not just teaching. The only complaint is the lack of integration.  I am learning all I can about the canvas and webex api to hopefully develop something, even if it is initially just authentication. 

Let me me know how it goes!!!


Community Member

I know this conversation stopped in December - but if anyone is interested - we are currently using Adobe Connect and have just rolled out Cisco WebEx enterprise version. We are supporting both the Meeting Center and Training Center for instructors. We have a college that is using Zoom but we aren't actively supporting it and we've been asked to look into Big Blue Button. I've been tasked with creating documentation comparing all three and am curious if anyone else has done any comparisons like this or if you feel like sharing updated information on your current solution or solutions.


Community Champion

Debra, I did a comparison a few years ago that would still be relevant.  Can you send me a private message and I'll find it and send it to you? 

Community Contributor

I would also be very interested in this if you don't mind sharing with me as well.

I'll try to clean it up a bit so I can just post here for everyone. 

Community Participant


Any chance you have the comparison document to share?  I need to create one tomorrow and yours would give me a great starting point!