An online meeting is a digital conference in which one or more participants join in from another location. They may be in various offices across campus, in another city, another state, or even another country. Attendees use their computer, or potentially their mobile device, to join the meeting. They can hear and talk to each other using the speakers and microphone in the digital device. Presenters and attendees can also see each other using their webcam and share content on their computers. 

People meet online for lots of reasons: 

  • view a guest speaker who can't travel
  • training events
  • attend class
  • collaborate on group projects 
  • office hours

Available Software Options

There are lots of options available and you may choose whatever you wish. However, the tools listed below are currently supported by Lesley University. 

Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate Ultra is a robust web conferencing software that is available in every myLesley course. Faculty can use the Collaborate Course Room or schedule individual sessions as needed. It's a good choice if you need to invite guest speakers to your online meeting or if you want attendees to be able to use their phone to call in to the meeting. 

Features include: 

  • Ability to invite guests
  • Ability to record
  • Telephony capabilities (call in on a phone for audio)
  • Runs in your web browser (best with Chrome or Firefox)
  • Available on mobile via Bb Student app or browser
  • Good for presentations, lectures, guest speakers, online classrooms

View Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for more information


Microsoft Teams combines synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration in one tool. Have individual or group text conversations, share and collaborate on documents, and meet online in a video call. Teams can be accessed or downloaded via Office 365 using your Lesley email address and password.  

At this time, you cannot use your phone to call in for audio. If you need these features, see Collaborate Ultra above. 

Features include: 

  • Contact list of people you regularly communicate with
  • Instant messaging chat 
  • Create Team sites to converse and share documents with a specific group of people
  • Meet online using audio, video, and screen share 
  • Desktop, mobile and web versions available
  • Good for ad-hoc meetings and conversations, class discussion, group work, tutoring, support

Check out the overview video of Teams, view Using Microsoft Teams, or view the Hoonuit video tutorials (log in with your myLesley username and password).

Best Practices

  • Log in to the meeting with plenty of time to check and test your audio and video. Make sure it works before you need to use it.
  • If possible, utilize a wired internet connection for the fastest and most reliable speed. Wifi signals can drop unexpectedly. 
  • Ask participants to wear headphones in order to minimize audio feedback. The earbuds that come with cell phones often work great. 
  • When you are not speaking, mute your microphone in the application to minimize background noise. Don't forget to un-mute when it's your turn to speak, though!
  • Be mindful of your background and lighting. For example, sitting in front of a window will light you well, but sitting with a window behind you will make it difficult for you to be seen.
  • If you have several participants physically together in one room that need to all be heard in the virtual meeting, consider using a usb microphone so the online attendees can be sure to hear everyone in the room.

Review Planning an Online Meeting and Web Conferencing Event Guidelines for scenarios and more best practices for having an online meeting.