Web & Video Conferencing FAQs

Q: What is the difference between Zoom meetings and Zoom webinars?

Zoom meetings are usually used when all participants are expected or have the ability to participate equally: depending on the way the Zoom meeting is configured, participants can turn their mics and cameras on and can share their content. Breakout rooms are possible in Zoom meetings, and Zoom meetings are available with the Basic Zoom license. Zoom account pricing is based on number of meeting participants; eg, up to 100, 300, 500, and 1000.

Zoom webinars are usually used when the format of the session is one-to-many; ie, one presenter will do most of the talking and sharing of their content and the audience is neither heard nor seen. Audience participation is usually limited to chat and asking questions via a Q & A tool. Webinars are an add-on to Zoom licenses, with pricing based on the number of webinar attendees from 500 to 10,000.

Q: How do I webcast a student event from MSB-3153 or MSB-3154 classroom to other members watching over the internet?

Please contact Discovery Commons for a consultation on how to setup an open source, free program using the in-room AV equipment. Alternatively, Discovery Commons has an professional solution available; contact us about service fees.

Q: What type of web conferencing service does Discovery Commons offer (i.e. how can I share video, voice and digital content within a group)?

Discovery Commons supports the university’s portal webconferencing tool, Blackboard Collaborate. This is a robust web-based tool allowing for multiple participants to join a virtual meeting room for real-time communication with a personal web cam, microphone and desktop sharing. Students see a video feed of the seminar or meeting leader and (if enabled), feeds of other students. They can watch content, such as Powerpoint, shared desktops, or other documents, and can be allowed to contribute in any of a number of ways. Go here for more information:http://www.portalinfo.utoronto.ca/webinar

Q: I have a presentation that I’m giving to a large group at the MSB and I would like to offer this to participants off-site as well. How can I do this?

Discovery Commons can help you webcast your event using our webcasting unit. While you are presenting to the large group at MSB, off-site participants can view the presentation live at their own PCs and use the text chat function to ask questions. Your off-site participants are given (via advance email) a url to access the webcast site. During the Q and A, the moderator of the live session can read questions that have been sent by off-site participants and answer these along with questions from the live audience. The session can also be recorded and made available online. See an infographic on webcasting here

Q: Can I use Zoom, Teams, or Skype in the meeting rooms at Discovery Commons?

Zoom, Teams, and Skype are popular commercial tools for web conferencing. MSB 3174, one of the Discovery Commons meeting rooms, is equipped with a webcam, and the microphones and speakers in the room are configured to optimize audio for Zoom and Skype calls. 

Q: What teaching tools or technological activities are currently available for Faculty to use in an "flipped" classroom teaching model?

Discovery Commons has a number of instructional technologies available such as software capture, web collaboration and presentation publishing programs. The department also has a permanent studio used for recording professional video and computer presentations to deliver as online lectures. Our knowledgeable staff can work with you to create effective professional course material.