The following table lists the features and capabilities of three video conferencing resources available at NC State. For additional information on one of these, click on the link in its column heading.
|Feature||Blackboard Collaborate||Google Hangouts
|WebEx Meetings Server
Audio & text: 100
Air: No limit
|Cost||No charge to end user||No charge to end user||$5, $10 or $50
(see ComTech Service Rates: WebEx)
|Share screen & apps||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Use with mobile devices||Yes||Yes||Yes|
can edit document
in real time
|Via shared application
or Google Doc
|File transfer||Yes||To Google Drive||Yes|
||Via computer audio||
|OS compatibility||Mac, Windows, iOS, Android||Mac, Windows,
Linux, iOS, Android
|Mac, Windows, iOS, Android|
|Software needed||Install plugin||
|Session recording||Yes||Available only with
Hangouts on Air
|Live streaming||Requires link or
|Live public YouTube video||Requires link or
|Meeting creation||Unity ID required||Google account required||Unity ID required|
|Non-NC State participants||Yes||Google users (but can be external)||Yes|
|Keyboard-only accessibility||Yes||Keyboard shortcuts||Keyboard shortcuts|
|Integration with learning
(has Moodle plugin)
|No||Yes, can schedule
|Yes, appointment appears
on Calendar with
|Yes||Available only with
Hangouts on Air
|Subset of participants
can have private meeting,
then return to full session
|Yes||No||Can chat privately
|Quiz can be administered
during a session
set up content
before session starts
|Session reports||Yes||In Hangouts On Air,
can see participant list
How these tools might be used
- By choosing Blackboard Collaborate, you can meet with a group of your students to discuss several topics and then end the session with a quiz.
- If you are a professor who needs to set up office hours or hold an important class session while you are away from campus, Blackboard Collaborate can meet your needs.
- Your four-person campus working group is revising a document. Rather than driving across campus and finding parking, you use Google Hangouts to set up a video call to discuss and work on the document together.
- As a pathology professor, you want to show real-time video microscopy to a group of students and colleagues. The high-quality video provided by WebEx Meetings Server allows you to share very detailed images in real time.
- You have to schedule a training session for regulatory personnel in all 100 North Carolina counties. Knowing that several of them cannot attend in person but can participate by phone, you decide to use WebEx Meetings Server. You can also record the session and share it with all the invitees to view at their leisure.