Web Conferencing Solutions




A Hangout is a web-based tool created by Google for communicating through video. Up to fifteen people can “hang out” at one time in a virtual “room.” A Hangout can be as simple or as complex as needed for the task at hand. It can be used simply to converse or, through the use of extra apps and add-ons that Google provides, a Hangout can become a robust, virtual meeting space.


Having a Google account (through Miami) is all that is needed to be able to access and start a Google Hangout.  You will take a few minutes to set up your Google Plus (G+) account and you can quickly select “Start Hangout” with anyone that also has a G+ account.  You can also launch a quick Google Hangout through the chat feature in Gmail for a basic (limited features) Hangout experience.

When scheduling an event through Google Calendar, there is an option to automatically schedule and create a Google Hangout with the event invitation.

Ideas and Uses of Google Hangouts can include:

– Committee, Club, Organization Meetings
– 1:1 Discussions Online vs. Driving between Campuses
– Collaborative Group Sessions
– Online Mentoring/Tutoring
– Virtual Office Hours
– Hosting Guest Speakers/Subject Matter Experts Virtually
– Online Course Activities such as introductions, alternative to discussion forums, online debates, etc.
– Personal Learning Communities (PLC) or Professional Development Opportunities
In addition, by using the Hangouts On Air feature, professors can record Hangout discussions as a resource for other students. Professors can also hold virtual office hours when they wish, making themselves available to students who may not live on campus or be available during their regular office hours. For classes that are taught mostly online, this kind of communication can be a real game changer, making it easier for students to connect with their teacher on a more personal level and bringing a human element to what can sometimes be an alienating experience.
During the Hangout, it can simply be a face-to-face discussion or you can access other features such as screen sharing and other built in apps to produce a more hands-on collaborative session.
What equipment is needed?

It is recommended that you use a headset with microphone (audio) and a web cam (video) for the best Hangout experience.  If you do not have access to these materials, you can check equipment out from the library.



How to use Google  Hangout and Uses for Online Group work – Link
Video Tutorial – Google Hangouts for Educators – Link
Google Hangout – Next Frontier in Education – Link
Google Hangout Tips for Online Students – Link

* Side Note – If you plan to record your Google Hangout session via Google Hangouts on Air, it is important to consider the type of material you will be recording to distribute.  The hangouts on air currently only record in 400 dpi (low resolution) which means lectures and discussion are fine, however, screen sharing and looking at detailed documents may not be very clear and visible. For the second scenario, recording a Webex session would be recommended.



Miami is partnering with Cisco WebEx University to provide virtual meeting solutions for faculty and staff on all Miami campuses. There are four types of meetings available:
Meeting Center (up to 25 participants) – Allows you to conduct online meetings where you can present information, share documents and applications, and collaborate with others.
Training Center (up to 1,000 participants) – This service helps you deliver real-time, interactive training over the Web.
Event Center (up to 3,000 participants) – Allows you to conduct webinars, all-hands meetings, project kick-offs, or press events online so that you can share documents and applications, and collaborate with others.
Support Center (up to 5 participants) – Remotely diagnose problems, transfer files, and resolve issues for customers. Show customers how to use applications or control their computers.

All Miami faculty and staff can have accounts and create meetings. Students may participate in the sessions, but cannot create meetings. Once you have registered for the service, you will have unlimited access to the Meeting and Training Centers. Additional registration will be required for the other two services.

To access Webex, go to:
MiamiOH.webex.com and log in with your Miami UniqueID and password.

– Our Cisco WebEx solution will run on the following devices:

  • Windows computer
  • Apple computer
  • IOS mobile device (iPad, iPod, etc.)
  • Android mobile device (phones and tablets)


Audio Options
Additionally, a meeting organizer has two options for how to incorporate audio into their meeting.

  • Use VoIP Only (this is the default) utilizes the microphone/speakers on your computer, tablet or phone.
  • Use Cisco Unified Meetingplace Audio Conferencing, creating a separate phone connection. Once a WebEx session is initiated, a pop up will appear with instructions on how to dial in to the conference. Instructions are also included on the invitation on just dial into the WebEx session.

The two options cannot be mixed. One or the other must be selected

Webex University – Link
How Do I – Video Demonstrations – Link
Miami University Knowledge Base – FAQ’s – Link


“Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford

About Julie Straub