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.

Tool Maximum participants Noteworthy features Dedicated support?
Google Hangouts Meet 250 Integrates with G Suite (formerly Google Apps) Yes
Webex 1,000   Yes
Microsoft Teams 250 Integrates with MS Office apps, Planner, etc. Yes
Zoom 300 with audio and video for 49 at a time Collaboration features, e.g. whiteboards, breakout rooms Beginning in late 2020
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra 250 with audio and video for 5 at a time Integrates with Canvas Yes
Live events in Microsoft Teams (see live events settings) 10,000   Yes

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 suggest?

That depends on who you are and what you need.

If you are:

  • A student organizing a study group or discussion for up to 250 participants, we suggest Google Hangouts Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • A student organizing a large gathering for up to 1,000 participants, we suggest Webex.
  • UW–Madison staff organizing a meeting for up to 250 participants, we suggest Microsoft Teams or Webex.
  • UW–Madison staff organizing a meeting for up to 1,000 participants, we suggest Webex.
  • Faculty organizing classes or discussions and need Canvas integration, we suggest Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

Didn’t find a suggestion to meet your needs? Please refer to the Help Desk KnowledgeBase document, Which tool should I use? for more complete information.

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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 compliance.wisc.edu/hipaa.

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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Security

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.”