Enterprise Video-conferencing & Video Meeting Resources

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
ServiceLicenseCapacityAccessDial In OptionFirst ContactCost
MS Team MeetingsInstitutional, Self-Serve250 per sessionOutlook, Teams, QuercusYes, Localdivisional IT/EdTechnone
Collaborate Ultra defaultInstitutional, Self-Serve250 per sessionQuercus or scheduled by
divisional IT/EdTech
Yes, Localdivisional IT/EdTechnone
Collaborate Ultra Large EventInstitutional, Self-Serve500 per sessionQuercus or scheduled by
divisional IT/EdTech
Yes, Localdivisional IT/EdTechnone
MS Live EventsInstitutional, By Request10,000 per sessionBy Request from ace.act@utoronto.caYes, LocalACEnone
Zoom Pro Roomsprovisionally approved for teaching; departmentally supported
300 per sessionConsult departmental ITpossiblydivisional IT/EdTechmaybe*
Zoom with Webinar Optionprovisionally approved for teaching; departmentally supportedup to 3000 per sessionConsult departmental ITpossiblydivisional IT/EdTechmaybe*
Effective June 19, Zoom is now provisionally approved for teaching and general meetings, however, there is currently no universal license available at this time. Please check with your department to see if they have licenses for you.

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 consult with
departmental IT for
any potential costs

Service Descriptions

Team Meetings is the simplest and easiest solution to use for basic video-conferencing needs. TM 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 Team 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 Team Meeting is even easier – literally the push of a button.

While not many instructors are using Team 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 very soon, we hope to integrate Team Meetings 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.

While Team Meetings can be used for teaching, Collaborate Ultra, our supported webinar tool, is more popular with instructors at the moment. Relative to TM, Collaborate Ultra has additional tools, such as breakout rooms, and granular presenter controls, that make it more akin to a classroom experience. Collaborate Ultra is fully integrated with Quercus, making it easy for instructors to schedule and host events that automatically invites all students in a course, although session facilitators can also schedule independent sessions not connected to a course, and invite participants from outside the University. Like Team Meetings, there is no cost to use Collaborate Ultra at the University.

The default maximum concurrent participant number for both Team Meetings and Collaborate Ultra is 250, however, larger classes and events with up to 500 participants can be facilitated with Collaborate Ultra, by prior request, and coordinated through your divisional Educational Technology support group. There is no cost for these larger events; they just have to be pre-scheduled (as opposed to regular sessions up to 250, which can be done at any time).

Our third service is Live Events from Microsoft. This is a broadcast tool (rather than a discourse-based tool like Team Meetings and Collaborate Ultra), 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. There is no cost to use this service for UofT staff and faculty, but it requires pre-arranged scheduling with ACE (see below), as running one of these Live Events sessions requires at least one support staff member in a “producer” role.

As an added benefit, Live Events can also serve as a remote, virtual “recording studio.” Instructors and staff who may be interested in having assistance recording a video for later broadcast or sharing should contact ACE to discuss.

As of June 19, Zoom is now provisionally approved for teaching. However, at this time, there is no institutional licensing (we are looking into that). We know that several departments have licensed Zoom directly, and end users who are interested in this service should contact their departmental or divisional IT or EdTech group for licensing questions and support. 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.

For more information, please see the following resources: