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Choosing a digital classroom tool to use with students


1. Introduction

This guide is designed to help staff to select an online meeting tool to use with students.

These tools are useful for activities which require students to actively participate by speaking, typing text, asking questions and answering questions. If you wish students to silently listen to you speak, then a recording or narrated presentation hosted in Panopto is better as students can watch this at any time from any online device.

Please note, the quality of your experience using these tools will vary depending on the strength of your internet connection and the type of device you are using. For example, a headset will help to reduce audio feedback / echo. 


2. What are my options?

Digital classroom tools supported for use at Leeds Beckett University include:


3. Feature comparison

The table below provides an overview of the different features of each tool:

MS Teams Collaborate Ultra Google Meet Skype for Business
Maximum participants 250  250 (can be increased to 500 for individual sessions) 100 250
Access

MyBeckett integration

Web app

Desktop app (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Mobile app (iOS /
Android)

MyBeckett integration

Web app

Mobile app (Android / iOS)

Web app

Desktop app (Windows- choose licensed client)

Mobile app (iOS, Android, Windows)

Live auto-captioning Yes No Yes No
Record your session Yes Yes No Yes
Share desktop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Share files Yes Yes No Yes
Use web cam Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blur / change web cam background Yes No No No
Share whiteboard Yes Yes No Yes
Chat tool Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mute all attendees in one click Yes Yes No Yes
Mute individual attendees Yes Yes Yes Yes
Participant roles

Organiser

Presenter

Attendee

Participant

Presenter

Moderator

Participant

Presenter

Attendee

 Breakout groups

No - can be achieved via workaround

Yes No No
 Attendance reporting Yes - can be downloaded during the session  Yes - can be downloaded after the session No No 


4. Scenarios

The table below outlines recommendations and alternatives for broad teaching scenarios. If you would like to discuss more niche requirements, please contact us in the Digital Learning Service.

  Recommendation  Back up 
One to one support  Skype for Business
An individual student can phone your work number or you can phone their mobile / land line number.
MS Teams
You can create a meeting link and share it with an individual student via email.
Small group activity
MS Teams
You can set up a meeting link in a MyBeckett module and use adaptive release to share this with a sub-group.
If your group is not enrolled on a single module, you can also create a meeting link directly via MS Teams.
Google Meet
You can create a meeting link and share it with students via MyBeckett, using the adaptive release tool if you want to share this with a sub-group.
Large group activity MS Teams
You can set up a meeting link in a MyBeckett module, or via MS Teams if your group is not enrolled on a single module.
Google Meet
You can create a meeting link and share it with students via MyBeckett.
Large group activity with breakout groups Collaborate Ultra 
You can set up a meeting link in a MyBeckett module.
MS Teams (currently via workaround)
You can set up a meeting link in a MyBeckett module, or via MS Teams if your group is not enrolled on a single module.


5. What about other tools?

Although other online meeting tools are available, only tools which have been approved for University use can be used for remote teaching and working activities.  Digital tools must be approved via the University IT governance process. By going through this process, tools are checked to make sure that they meet all of our infrastructure, data security and privacy requirements. You and your students may be at risk when using unsupported tools.

IT Services, in collaboration with teaching and learning colleagues, have developed a guide to support staff with choosing the right tools for different purposes. Download the full Virtual Tool Guidance at the bottom of the University's IT & Working from Home webpage.

The online video conferencing tool, Zoom has been approved for limited use by identified subject areas, please see the policy for the use of Zoom video conferencing tool for more information.

If you are unsure about which tool best suits your teaching and learning requirements, please contact us in the Digital Learning Service for further advice.


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Page last updated: 16/04/2021

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