Videoconferencing vs. Webconferencing

Choosing a tool

Use Videoconferencing when:

  • Participants located at both the near and far side have access to supported videoconferencing facilities. 
    • Note: Videoconferencing can be achieved using either a hardware or software solution. A software solution can be installed on a computer to enable users to participate in a videoconference even if they do not have access to a supported videoconferencing facility. If a software solution is required, videoconferencing support specialists can recommend a software.
  • Financial resources are available to cover charges that may be required for usage, support, or booking of videoconferencing facilities.
  • There is very little time to plan and test for the event.
  • Participants do not want to or cannot manage webconferencing technology.
  • The teaching model is a small number of classrooms/venues (under 10) with multiple participants in each classroom/venue.
  • Functionality required includes high-definition video and quality multi-person audio.
  • Functionality required does NOT include chat-based interaction, polling, web-tours, desktop and/or application sharing.

 Use Webconferencing when:

  • People want to participate from their own residence or office.
  • Financial resources are not available to cover charges that may be required for usage, support, or booking of videoconferencing facilities.
  • There is enough preparation time before the event to test and train in the use of the webconferencing technology.
  • Participants have access to the technology required to use webconferencing in their home and are willing to use it.
  • The teaching model is a number of individual students/participants (from very few to upwards of 40) all participating from different locations, creating a distributed classroom.
  • Functionality required includes chat-based interaction, polling, web-tours, desktop and/or application sharing.
  • Functionality required does NOT include high-definition video and quality multi-person audio.

Use Webconferencing in conjunction with Videoconferencing when:

  • Participants located at both the near and far side have access to supported videoconferencing facilities.
    • Note: Videoconferencing can be achieved using either a hardware or software solution. A software solution can be installed on a computer to enable users to participate in a videoconference even if they do not have access to a supported videoconferencing facility. If a software solution is required, videoconferencing support specialists can recommend a software.
  • Financial resources are available to cover charges that may be required for usage, support, or booking videoconferencing facilities.
  • The teaching model is either a small number of classrooms/venues (under 10) with multiple participants in each classroom/venue or a number of individual students/participants (from very few to upwards of 40) all participating from different locations, creating a distributed classroom.
  • Functionality required includes both high-definition video and quality multi-person audio as well as chat-based interaction, polling, web-tours, desktop and/or application sharing.

Use Skype when:

  • Participants are familiar with and have access to the tool and can use it without on-site technical support.
  • The teaching model is two locations only (eg. bringing a remote guest speaker into your physical classroom).
  • Functionality required includes limited desktop sharing.