Learn@UW - Which should I use? Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Google Hangouts Meet, Webex Meetings, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect
There are a number of web conferencing tools available to UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students. This document compares the major features of five web conferencing tools: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Google Hangouts Meet, Webex Meetings, and Microsoft Teams, and Adobe Connect.
Please also look over this policy about collaboration technologies and recordings as they relate to students in particular. If the technology you want to use is not listed in this policy, do not use it for instructional purposes.
Google Hangouts Meet is available to faculty, staff, and students through the UW-Madison G Suite. You must activate a UW Google+ account to use Meet. For details about Meet, click here. For instructions on how to set-up a UW Google+ account, click here.
Cisco Webex Meetings is available to faculty, staff, and students (students can join but cannot create meetings). This software is available for installation on all UW-Madison computers and is also accessible for download on the Campus Software Library. For more information about Webex Meetings, click here.
Microsoft Teams offers chat, calls, and meetings and is available to faculty, staff, and students through the University's Office 365 license. For more information, click here.
Adobe Connect is a similar product to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, though it is only available to those who purchase a license. For more information on Adobe Connect and how to get a license, click here.
Non-UW-Madison tools: Due to FERPA, HIPAA, and other data privacy considerations, it is strongly recommended to avoid use of other, non-sanctioned web conferencing software such as Skype or Zoom for any University academic or business purposes.
|Features||Blackboard Collaborate Ultra||Google Hangouts Meet||Webex Meetings||Microsoft Teams||Adobe Connect|
|Max. # simultaneous video||5||100||1,000||250||15*|
|Max. # simultaneous audio||5||100||1,000||250||15*|
|Max. # participants||250 (or, see Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - What to expect with large attendance events (250+ participants))||100* (250 through 7/1/2020)||1,000#||10,000 (several live event settings must be configured first; see here for instructions)||unlimited**|
|Can record session||Yes (mp4)||No||Yes
|File sharing capabilities||Yes||No##||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Screen sharing capabilities||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Breakout rooms (group work)||Yes||
Yes (Webex Training Center)
|Cost||Free to UW||Free to UW||Free to UW||Free to UW||Depends**|
|Integrated with Canvas||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Remembers content||Yes (some)||No||Yes (some)||Yes||Yes|
|Browser based (no download required)||Yes||Yes||Yes^||Yes||Yes|
|Live/closed captioning integration for captioners (e.g. CART)||Yes
|Students can create a session||No||Yes||Not yet enabled||Yes||No|
|Live streaming||N/A||No*||Not yet enabled||Yes (Live Events)||N/A|
|Record meeting||Yes||No*||Yes||Yes (if meeting has > 2 participants)||N/A|
|Allow external participants (non UW-Madison)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A|
My UW-Madison Portal
||G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Drive, and more)||Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, IBM Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive||Microsoft Suite (Email, OneDrive, and more)||N/A|
|Platform||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Webex Teams, Webex Meetings, Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||N/A|
|Blur background||N/A||No||Yes (iPhone only)||Yes (Mac OS/Win desktop clients)||N/A|
|FERPA Data Allowed
|HIPAA Data Allowed+
* Adobe Connect theoretically allows unlimited video and audio, though no more than 15 is recommended simultaneously.
** Adobe Connect charges by room size, and the more people in a room the more expensive it is. Various departments and schools have purchased licenses for Adobe Connect. Check with your departmental IT resources to find out if you have access to a license.
## While Google Hangouts Meet has no native file-sharing feature, you can share files through Google Drive.
# Webex Meetings can have up to 1,000 attendees, including 200 video devices.
^ Webex Meetings has a desktop, browser, and mobile
version. Attendees can choose to join via any option.
Setting up meetings can be done in Outlook Desktop Client
with Productivity Tools installed, Outlook web access, and
through the Webex Meetings mobile app.
+ HIPAA regulations apply to businesses and
individuals in the health care industry such as health plans
and health care providers. These are called “covered
entities,” meaning they are covered by HIPAA. UW-Madison is
a “hybrid entity” because it includes units
that perform HIPAA-covered functions (such as providing
health care) and units that do not. As a hybrid entity,
UW-Madison has designated units that perform covered
functions, and individuals or units that perform support
functions on behalf of those designated units, as its
“Health Care Component.”