Video Conferencing Solutions
Video Conferencing is a digital means to connect with other people at different locations for meeting, collaboration, teaching and learning, as well as interview. Various options are readily available on campus for different usage scenarios.
Zoom, a licensed video conferencing software, has been integrated with the University's Learning Management System (Canvas) for staff and students to facilitate their learning and teaching activities. Faculties may set up their Zoom session via Canvas or directly log into the CityU Zoom Portal. It is a cloud-based video conferencing platform for video meetings, audio conferencing, webinars which also support screen sharing, recording, and live chat. At CityU, Zoom is used in scheduled meetings as well as teaching activities. To meet different requirements, some add-on features are provided such as Zoom’s Webinar and Large meeting. These two special add-on features allow up to 1,000 participants to join as compared with 300 maximum participants for normal Zoom accounts. The Webinar, however, also provides special features that allow event organisers to customise their events and limit the interactions amongst panellists only. Zoom Accounts are available for all staff and students. Special add-on features, such as Webinar and Large Meeting, are available on request by departments.
Microsoft Teams is a part of Microsoft 365 (M365) offering. It is replacing Skype for Business as an integrated collaboration platform which works like WhatsApp and WeChat to facilitate both internal and external collaboration amongst staff and students. Regardless of whether staff or students are online or offline, you may communicate with your them in the form of text, audio, and video, share files with colleagues, as well as collaboratively edit the same document without sending the file back and forth through email in real-time. Users can create different Teams to work and communicate with different groups of people. Within a Team, members can also set up separate private channels which cover specific topics. Conversations, files and notes are only visible to members of the Team or the channel. Teams also allows users to schedule online meeting or create ad-hoc meeting. Staff and students may use Teams with their M365 account in the form of email@example.com for staff, and firstname.lastname@example.org for students. Users are reminded that staff and students use different M365 tenant and inter-tenant communications are more restrictive than communications in the same tenant.
Room-based Video Conferencing systems communicate over the traditional H.323 protocol which aims to connect with other remote room-based systems to provide a higher video conference quality. Rooms that are equipped with these units can provide a high-quality video conference service suitable for holding large meetings. However, the room-based systems usages have been dramatically reduced due to increased popularity of video conferencing software. To use the system, departments must first reserve rooms equipped with the compatible system (YEUNG-LT1/LT15, Multi-media Conference Room, Senate Room, etc) via the Booking System for Lecture Theatres, Classrooms, and Student Counters and then submit an online CSC Work Request for on-site support. This service is provided free of charge. However, users may need to pay over-time charges for outside office hours support.