An overview of tools for conferencing and collaboration.
Both of these conferencing and collaborative software tools are supported by institutional licenses at WashU and are therefore free to use for WashU instructors and students. They are particularly useful for those holding online, synchronous class sessions and doing collaborative, team-based work.
Description: Microsoft Teams, which is an Office 365 app, is a collaborative hub for collective work and conferencing. It includes a number of features which could be beneficial for instructors running hybrid or online courses, which rely on team-based learning or any kind of formal, long-term group work. Users can have conference-call type meetings, share files, and have text conversations. It contains the potential for focused workspaces called “channels” where small groups can communicate and collaborate on projects.
Cost: Microsoft Teams is free to use for instructors at WashU with the institutional license.
Additional Resources: Getting Started with Teams
Description: Zoom is an HD video and web conferencing application. Users can join from a variety of devices (computer, tablet, phone). Within this software, instructors can share screens, facilitate the use of a collaborative whiteboard, poll students, annotate a screen, facilitate small group breakout conversations, and record the meeting for those who are unable to make it. Meeting participants can chat on the side, “raise a hand” to participate, and “applaud” others’ ideas. Depending on security settings, participants can also share their screens and participate in annotating a shared screen or a whiteboard. Zoom meetings can be scheduled for your course within Canvas.
Cost: Zoom is free to use for instructors at WashU with the institutional license.
Additional Resources: Getting Started with Zoom
Zoom in Canvas Tutorial