Web Conferencing

WebEx – what is it and how can I use it?WebEx monitor

WebEx Overview

WebEx is a set of tools designed for personal and corporate collaboration. It’s used to connect to others, typically through the internet, and allows you to communicate with audio, video, text chat, file sharing, whiteboard and other features.

WebEx uses:

  • To hold and attend online meetings, collaborate on team projects, and share documents
  • To record/capture class lectures and facilitate student discussions for distance education
  • To watch and attend presentations, communicate with the presenter, and collaborate with remote participants

How does it work?

  • WebEx software is delivered over the web as you need it. The first time you attend a meeting, WebEx will automatically install on your computer – and takes only a few moments.
  • You can use WebEx from any computer with an internet connection, and from most smartphones and tablets. You can schedule a WebEx lecture or meeting ahead of time, or start one spontaneously as needed. 
  • If you use WebEx to invite someone to a lecture or meeting, they will receive an email that allows them to attend. Attendees don't have to have a WebEx account. Your invitation includes a link they can click to join you online.
  • During your meeting, you can video conference, type chat messages, share content, annotate materials or just have an audio discussion.
  • A typical meeting is for 2 to 10 participants. The University currently supports a maximum of 25 participants per conference and, institutionally a maximum of 250 concurrent conferences.

Setting up a WebEx Meeting

Some information you may want to gather about a meeting you will host:Host name, department, phone & email

  • Host name, department, phone & email
  • Date, time and approximate length
  • Approximate number of local participants
  • Email addresses and phone numbers of remote participants
  • Audio only or audio & video
  • Other WebEx features needed (whiteboard annotation and/or record the meeting?)
  • Room location for conference (is it the best room and is it booked?)
  • Topic for the meeting or conference

General Tips:

  • Note the time zones people are in (Google – What time is it in “City”)
  • Schedule ½ hour in advance of the actual start time, and an hour to the end time in case it goes longer than expected. That way people aren’t cut off in mid-sentence.
  • Meeting events are added to your calendar with reminders
  • Don’t book too early as people may forget the meeting (in the meeting you can send them a reminder)
  • If additional equipment is needed, like a webcam or speakers, ensure you have them and test them ahead of time
  • Wired internet is generally faster than wireless
  • Install software updates, like Java, on your computer prior to the meeting. Read ‘2d’ below to ensure your version of Java is up to date.

Creating a WebEx Meeting

  1. In a browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) go to http://mymeeting.uleth.ca
  2. Login with your regular University credentials and an account is activated
  3. The Productivity Tools add WebEx features; you may want to do this by setting up a test meeting prior to the actual day of a live meetingSign in to WebEx

Meeting Information

To Create a Meeting select the appropriate Tab to Meet Now or Schedule a Meeting.

Schedule WebEx Meeting now

To Meet Now:

Enter the ""What" which is the name of the meeting (e.g. "Discuss travel arrangements")

Type in a contact's email address and hit Enter on the keyboard OR start to type a name and when it appears from the Global Address List, hit Enter. This is only the case when University employees are invited. For external participants, you will need to fill in the entire email address.

 For a Scheduled Meeting, add and select the appropriate meeting information:

  • Topic for conference
  • Date & Length
  • Email addresses of participants
  • Password protect if desired

Passwords should contain a minimum of 4 characters, and can contain a maximum of 16 characters. A password cannot contain any of the following characters: \ ` " / & < > = [ ], and cannot be your username, the host's name, the topic name, or the site name.

Specify a registration password only if you want to limit registrants to those whom you invite to register. If you invite attendees to register, each invitee receives an invitation email message, which contains the registration password. If you are scheduling a Personal Conference meeting, you do not need to specify a password. By default, the password is the attendee access code in your Personal Conference number account that is specified for this meeting.

WebEx scheduled meeting

The Email Communication

After a meeting has been created by the Host, email messages are sent to participants from which they can join the meeting immediately or on the appropriate date and time.

On the device you'll be using to join the meeting, click the “Start” button to use your computer, or phone in to join the meeting using the on- or off-campus numbers, or the toll-free number. On a phone connection you will be requested to enter the Meeting Number or Access Code (either will work) followed by the pound key (#).

WebEx email invitation

Joining a WebEx Meeting

If you created the meeting you can login to http://mymeetings.uleth.ca

Select “Start Meeting" or join from your email communication

Connecting to the Conference

When you or a visitor to a meeting starts the meeting, or clicks the email link and enters the conference information, they will be directed to install the WebEx client software on their computer.

This can be made easy if the visitor has JavaScript installed. For either a Windows computer or a Mac go to www.java.com and install JavaScript. (Watch out for the default ‘ON’ check box option during the installation inviting you to install Chrome and the Ask toolbar – you may not want them!) If you are having issues with your browser because of Java, try another browser.

When you are requested to install the WebEx client: please click Install

WebEx installer

The last step before the meeting starts is to let WebEx know how you will be participating in the conference.

You can simply phone in to hear the conference (you will be in the participant list), or

Click Call Using Computer where you can test your speakers and microphone.

Using WebEx on your phone or computer

If you have multiple cameras, you can switch cameras by clicking the Gear icon  in the top of the participant’s pane. You can adjust your speaker volume through the operating system’s preferences. You typically do not adjust the microphone levels as this level is auto-detected.

Using WebEx Conference Screen & Tools

With “Share My Desktop” active, another set of tools becomes available at the top of the screen. You will see the following icons and buttons:

WebEx conference screen and tools

You can click on the red "Stop Sharing" button at the top of your screen at any time.

WebEx sharing desktop

Using WebEx on an iPad

The iPad has a built in camera, microphone, and speakers and as such it has the hardware required to participate in a WebEx conference.

To use WebEx on the iPad you can open Safari and go to mymeeting.uleth.ca or install the Cisco/WebEx app (search for the free “Cisco WebEx Meetings” App). See step-by-step instructions below.

WebEx on iPad

To get and use the WebEx App on an iPad

  1. Open Safari browser
  2. Go to http://mymeeting.uleth.ca
  3. Login
  4. Select Downloads
  5. Select WebEx for Mobile  Devices
  6. Then “Apple iPhone and iPad devices” by clicking Continue

An activation email will be sent to you
Open the email through webmail on the device itself.

In the email is a link where you can download the app and/or activate it. This way the “i-device” will have the WebEx App that uses the University WebEx account.

WebEx for mobile devices

Some Concepts and Terms

What is a host?

A host is the organizer who schedules and starts a WebEx meeting or session.

What is a presenter?

The presenter is the person who shares content with everyone in the meeting. The host can pass control to anyone in the session by simply clicking the appropriate name in the attendee list and choosing "Make presenter", or by dragging the Cisco ball icon Cisco WebEx ball to them. That attendee can then share content with the group.

How does the audio work?

Integrated audio is part of every WebEx product. A single meeting invitation allows both the web and phone connections for your meeting.

VoIP (Voice-over-internet-protocol or internet calling) allows participants to attend meetings using their computer’s built-in audio system.

Toll call-in (by phone) provides a phone number that participants can use to join the conference. Long distance charges may apply.

Toll-free call-in provides attendees with a toll-free number so they may choose to attend the meeting at no expense to them.

International calling and international toll-free service are also available, on a per-minute, per-attendee basis.

WebEx products support mixed conferencing capabilities, so different people can join with a Windows or Mac computer or a phone within the same session. WebEx Mobile App is for WebEx Meetings whereas Meeting Centre allows you to host and attend meetings on 3G/4G or Wi-Fi from your smartphone or tablet. First mention of Meeting Centre.

Active Speaker technology dynamically features the current speaker whether you are in a video conference or an audio-only meeting. As the host, you can mute any or all attendees, and participants can mute or unmute their own audio. Participants can turn their own video feed on or off.

Does WebEx include video conferencing?

WebEx meetings include standard-quality video. You can watch up to seven video feeds per meeting.

Can I record my WebEx session?

You can record any of your WebEx sessions for sharing or reviewing later. A link to your recording will be available for you to access and share.

Is WebEx supported across different platforms?

You can host or join a WebEx meeting from PC, Mac, Linux, Unix, and Solaris systems — and most smartphones and tablets.

True Video Conferencing

True video conferencing technology typically uses specialized hardware (codec), and includes sophisticated cameras and microphones to produce high quality audio and video feeds. Thgis is the recommended technology when you are connecting to groups of people like a classroom of 30 people. True Video conferencing utilizes the internet with its own protocol (E-164) so that the data runs separate from common internet protocol data (http).

Saving Whiteboard files, Chat Notes & Recorded sessions

If you used the whiteboard or chat during a meeting, you will have the opportunity to save the files when you end the meeting.

WebEx saving and ending meeting

Chat files save as text files and the whiteboard image saves as a PDF.

You can record the conference. During the session click the Record button.

Approximately an hour after the session ends:

  1. Log in to your Uleth WebEx account
  2. Select the Recordings Tab
  3. Click the Options button

You can play the recording or you may want to download the file.

From the Download options you can download the Webex media player to view your Webex recording (Webex Player). It is also worth noting that in the player you can go to the File menu and Export the file as a .WMV or .SWF file to allow viewing in other players, or to edit the movie.

NOTE: Recorded videos are only stored for 30 days!

 Using WebEx T&T.pdf (701.52 KB)

For the related story, visit our blog site here.

See also the Tip & Trick on joining a WebEx on a computer, which is more concise.

For assistance, or to request a training session, contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490, or help@uleth.ca, or in person in E610, University Hall.