Update August, 2021: For clarity, we can confirm that our current solutions, MS Teams Video, MS LiveEvents, and Zoom Education, will continue to be available for classes this Fall. As part of the ongoing RFP process, which we hope to complete soon, additional functionality and services may be added to the mix. Please stay tuned for further announcements.
The University of Toronto offers several solutions for hosting video-meetings, either for teaching or for administrative work. This chart offers a quick comparison:
|Webinar and Video-Conferencing Solutions in Use at UofT|
|Service||License||Capacity||Access||Dial In Option||First Contact||Cost|
|MS Teams Video Meetings||Institutional, Self-Serve||1,000 per session||Outlook, Teams, Quercus||Yes, Local||divisional IT/EdTech||none|
|MS Live Events||Special Institutional, By Request|
For COURSES please contact LSM– there should be no cost for courses under most circumstances.
For non-course EVENTS, please contact CampusEvents. There may be a cost.
|10,000 per session|
By Request from
LSM (for courses)
|Yes, Local||Campus Events||see details to the left|
Effective June 19, Zoom is now provisionally approved for teaching and general meetings.
|300 per session||Consult departmental IT||possibly||divisional IT/EdTech||none|
|Please note that Zoom is NOT approved for uses that include personal health information. Please speak with your divisional IT unit for advice related to this need.|
|Zoom Webinar /|
Zoom Large Class
|These other products from Zoom are provisionally approved for teaching but are not covered by the Zoom Education license program. It is very important the users contact their divisional IT department before purchasing these services, otherwise, users may be locked out of the personal Zoom Education account by accident if proper procedures are not followed. Thank you.||Consult departmental IT||divisional IT/EdTech||yes|
|Collaborate Ultra||Collaborate Ultra at U of T will be discontinued effective August 31, 2021 – please read more here|
Teams Video Meetings is the simplest and easiest solution to use for basic video-conferencing needs. TVM can be used for one-off meetings, or for repeating meetings. The solution has basic screen sharing by a presenter, and an accompanying “chat” window for textual conversations (and the text transcripts automatically persist after the meeting). Because Teams Video Meetings is fully integrated with Office 365 (the UofT email and calendar system), it is easy to schedule sessions, and participants do not need to have a UofT/UTORid to join. And if you are using MS Teams as your virtual work space, then launching a Teams Video Meetings is even easier – literally the push of a button.
While not many instructors are using Teams Video Meetings for their classes, there is no reason why they can’t; they need only schedule a session and share the link with students, and Teams Video Meetings is integrated with Quercus, to make it even easier for instructors to create video meetings with their class (for live remote lecture, video office hours, thesis committee meetings, etc.). And best of all, it’s completely free, and protected by our formal agreements with Microsoft.
The default maximum concurrent participant number for Teams Video Meetings is 1000.
Our third service is Live Events from Microsoft. This is a broadcast tool (rather than a discourse-based tool like Team Video Meetings), which means there is a presenter and audience. The audience can engage with the presenter via text chat, but the audio and video is one-way broadcast. This tool is very useful for very large classes or other live events. The capacity is up to 10,000 audience members. The Live Events service is managed by the Campus Events unit at U of T. Because Live Events is a more complex environment on the back-end, Campus Events provides a concierge-type management service where their professional staff produce these events (not unlike booking a specialized physical space on campus). As such, there is a cost-recovery fee for internal U of T clients. Please contact Campus Events to discuss and schedule your event.
As of June 19, Zoom Education is now provisionally approved for teaching. The Zoom Education license allows instructors and staff to create a Zoom account and host meetings with up to 300 participants, via a University Zoom portal. However, before using this service, instructors and staff should carefully read and follow these instructions <https://act.utoronto.ca/zoom-information/>, as failing to do so may result in users being locked out of their account. Unlike Teams Video Meetings, Zoom Education is not integrated with Quercus. Please note that Zoom is NOT approved for uses that include personal health information. Please speak with your divisional IT unit for advice related to this need.
Please note that effective August 31, 2021, Collaborate Ultra will no longer be available at U of T – please read here to learn more.
For more information, please see the following resources:
- A great document on choosing between the different solutions from our Engineering Faculty:
- Find your Local EdTech Support Team: https://q.utoronto.ca/courses/46670/pages/support#support-contacts
- Team Meetings: https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/teams/
- MS Live Events: please contact Academic & Campus Events: https://ace.utoronto.ca/contact.html
- Zoom Best Practices (as compiled by our Engineering Faculty with help from Medicine and UTM): https://hub.engineering.utoronto.ca/administrative-resources/it/zoom-meetings/