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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Webex: Synchronous Web Conferencing

This page, which is frequently updated, offers information on using Webex for synchronous web conferencing.

On this page (select a link below to jump to a section):

Other FAQs about Webex at JMU


How do I get started in Webex?

Webex is a synchronous online communication system supported by JMU.  Learn more about JMU Webex support and resources in JMU IT's Webex guide.

To get started with Webex as an instructor:

  1. Go to jmu.webex.com
  2. Click "Sign In"
  3. Log in with your JMU credentials and download the Webex application. The screenshot below shows what the application download looks like on Firefox. 
  4. Follow this step-by-step guide about using Webex in Canvas, or see more info below.

screenshot of download options

What Are Some Tips for using Webex?

  • Run a test meeting before you join or host your first Webex meeting.
  • This Webex help guide gives instructions for joining a Webex meeting as a guest.   
  • If you plan to use headphones or a headset with a microphone, you should plug them into your computer before you start the Webex meeting and select "Connect with Computer Audio" in Webex to ensure audio quality.
  • Check out our flowchart with important reminders as you start using Webex.  
  • Learn more about JMU Webex support and resources in JMU IT's Webex guide.

What are some teaching-related functions that can be used in Webex?

Webex can be used for:

  • Presenting to your class and holding class discussions. You can also show things like PowerPoint slides, Google Slides, or programs like SPSS during your presentations.
  • Hosting office hours. You can create a personal meeting room at jmu.webex.com/meet/YourJMUeID. This will eliminate the step of entering all student emails outside Canvas. At your office hour time, launch the Webex meeting room and "Admit" visitors. Learn more about hosting office hours on Webex here.
  • Facilitating group work. Learn more about facilitating group work with Webex

How can I access Webex from Canvas?

After logging in to JMU Webex for the first time, you will be able to use Webex in Canvas by signing in to Canvas. You will find the Webex menu item in any of the Canvas courses that you teach, under Account Settings/Conference Settings. You will be able to schedule Webex meetings or training within Canvas if you see all green checkmarks as shown in the screenshot below. 

screenshot of green checkmarks by Webex features

Then follow the Host a WebEx session in Canvas tutorial to schedule Webex video conferencing for classes. 

How can my students access my Webex meeting or training sessions from Canvas?

Students will sign in to Canvas with their eID, find your class, and locate the Webex course menu, and join the meeting/training on the day/time of the class video conferencing, as illustrated by the screenshot below.

screenshot highlighting Join button

Note: For students, using Webex for the first time will prompt them to download extensions, plug-ins, or an app to be able to join your video conference. Send your students our student-oriented Webex instructions in advance, so that they can have their computer ready.

How do students turn on their camera/video/audio in a Webex session?

By default, jmu.webex.com has the camera/video option turned on for all @jmu.edu users. However, camera settings can vary depending on the web browser and operating system that is being used. Students may need to adjust settings in both their browser and in Webex itself. 

Adjusting video/audio settings in browsers:

Adjusting video/audio settings in Webex:

  • Webex Meetings: Once a student or instructor has followed the Chrome or Firefox steps from above, they should be able to further configure their camera connection by visiting Webex Meetings. Select the Audio menu then select Speaker, Microphone, and Camera... from the dropdown options.
     
  • Webex Events: Once a student or instructor has followed the Chrome or Firefox steps from above, they should be able to further configure their camera connection by visiting Webex Events. Select the Communicate menu then select Speaker, Microphone, and Camera... from the dropdown options.
     
  • Webex Training sessions allow a host (Instructor) to enable Video with Webcamera for Full Group Sessions (instructions below). However, Webex Training Breakout Sessions (or Breakout Rooms) do not allow video chat. Only audio and text chat are available for Breakout Session communication. Students will resume video capability after they leave the Breakout Session and re-join the full group. Learn more about Breakout Sessions from Webex.
    • How to enable video for Full Group Sessions in Webex Training:
      • As host (instructor), you will need to enable participants to Send Video. Within Webex Training, select Participant in the system menu and then select Assign Privileges... from the dropdown list that appears.
      • Instruct your participants (students) to adjust their security settings to allow their camera to be used by Webex Trainings. They can do this on a Mac if they:
        • Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
        • Select System Preferences from the menu that appears. 
        • Select Security & Privacy
        • Select Camera from the options on the left. Ensure there is a check mark next to Cisco Webex Training.
        • If the student is in the Webex Training session when they enable their camera, they will need to leave the session and re-join.

Participants in Webex Meetings or Webex Events will then be able to adjust their audio/video settings using this interface after selecting Speaker, Microphone, and Camera...

screenshot of Speaker, Microphone, and Camera settings

How might I use video conferencing to facilitate group work?

Option 1: Breakout Rooms within Webex Training Sessions

Scheduling a Webex training session in your Canvas course will give you the option of using virtual small groups called Breakout Sessions (see screenshot below). IMPORTANT: Breakout rooms do NOT support video. Only audio and text chat are available for Breakout Room communication.

Here is a tutorial on setting up and facilitating breakout sessions in Webex (created by VU Collaborate).

screenshot of Webex interface

Option 2: Encourage students to schedule their group meetings with jmudukes.webex.com 

Support students to take learning ownership by setting up their own Webex meeting rooms at jmudukes.webex.com. Share the group meeting link by copying the Webex Meeting information from jmudukes.webe.com and pasting to the Canvas Group area so that their peers can join the group meetings. 

How do I use breakout sessions in Webex through Canvas?

Here are instructions for using Webex breakout rooms. Important things to know before getting started:

  • The Breakout Rooms do not support video chatting. Your students will be able to communicate through audio and/or the chat client.
  • If you’ve never hosted a Webex meeting before, you’ll need to log in to https://jmu.webex.com to get started.  This will ensure your WebEx account is properly linked and integrated into your Canvas course and you can set up and run meetings from Canvas.
  • You must set up your Webex sessions as Webex Trainings or else you will not be able to utilize Breakout Rooms. This is the only Conference Account type that supports Breakout Rooms.
  • It’s not possible to record the Breakout Room sessions with Webex, but you can save PDFs of the work that happens in the collaborative space.
  • The groupings you use for the Breakout Rooms cannot be saved and will need to be set up at the start of every session.  You can set the number of students who should be in each room and then have Webex automatically create the groups, but the groupings will be random.

How do I view my external camera or microphone in Webex on Google Chrome?

Visit this Webex page to learn how to view your external camera/microphone in Webex on Google Chrome.

​​​​​​​How do I set camera and microphone permissions for Webex on Firefox?

Visit this page from MIT to learn how to set camera/microphone permissions on Firefox.

What are some other tools that I can use for synchronous class presentation and virtual office hours?

You are welcome to try Zoom instead. Learn more about Zoom at JMU here.

You and your students may already use one of these web-based communication and collaboration tools, which are not supported by JMU:

  • Google Hangouts is also a widely used video conferencing tool, with up to 25 participants in your organization. The 10 most active participants are shown at the bottom of the screen. See Hangouts Help for more information.
  • Skype to Skype calling lets you make free calls online for up to 50 people (49 plus you), and can be used for audio or video conferencing on any device. 

 

Privacy Note: For recordings and video conferencing involving observing clinical sessions, telemedicine activities, discussing patient information, etc., please refer to subject-specific HIPPA guidelines.


Find more topics in this guide on the A-Z Page List or in the menu.