University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Web conferencing tools simplified

There are several web conferencing tools available to UW–Madison faculty, staff, and students. This document can help you determine which conferencing tool is best for you.

Use Maximum participants Recommendation
Student groups for study, discussion or projects 250 Google Hangouts Meet
Large student gatherings 1,000 Webex
Staff meetings 250 Microsoft Teams
Large staff meetings 1,000 Webex
Lectures or large class discussions 250 with audio and video for 5 at a time Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Large gatherings 10,000 Live events in Microsoft Teams (see live events settings)

Additional Webex resources: Webex: Tools and Features for Meetings, Training, Events and Support. For Webex training, browse to the Office of Human Resources training catalog, click the Search button, enter Webex then click Search.

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Which tool do we recommend?

That depends on who you are and what your need is.

  • If you’re a student organizing a study group or discussion for up to 250 participants, we recommend Google Hangouts Meet.
  • If you’re a student organizing a large gathering for up to 1,000 participants, we recommend Webex.
  • If you’re UW–Madison staff organizing a meeting for up to 250 participants, we recommend Microsoft Teams.
  • If you’re UW–Madison staff organizing a meeting for up to 1,000 participants, we recommend Webex.
  • If you’re faculty organizing classes or discussions for up to 250 participants with simultaneous video and audio for 5 at a time, we recommend Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

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Please adhere to federal regulations

The Provisional UW–Madison Online Collaboration Session Recording Policy (eff. March 16, 2020) restricts the use of any conferencing tool that is NOT supported by campus when discussing sensitive, restricted or internal data. Please use the campus-supported web conferencing tools: Webex Meetings (See Webex Meetings: Getting Started) and Microsoft Teams (See Office 365 – Getting Started with Microsoft Teams).

If you belong to the UW–Madison Health Care Component, contact your HIPAA Privacy or Security Coordinator with questions about the tools approved for creating, storing, and sharing Protected Health Information. A list of currently approved tools for use with PHI is available at

Get the help you need when and how you need it

Need a disability-related accommodation?

Contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center for assistance.

Need help with a technology issue?

The DoIT Help Desk stands at the ready 7 days a week via phone, email, chat.

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There are multiple security issues with Zoom. If you use Zoom for personal conversations, please read and follow the recommendations in the article, “Beware of the security risks in using Zoom.”