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Using Conferences in your Course

If your school has set up an integration with Zoom or BigBlueButton (or both), then you'll be able to use the Conferences feature to include live video meetings in your courses.

If your school is using the Zoom integration, the email address for your Zoom user account must match your Primary email address in Populi.

  • When you start a Conference, Populi will check Zoom to see if your email matches an existing Zoom login. If it does, you won't notice anything—you'll just add the conference and proceed.
  • If there is not a matching user in Zoom, Populi will prompt Zoom to send you an invitation. Check that email address for the invitation, set up your account, and then return to Populi to add the conference.
  • If you have any questions about your Zoom user account, please ask your school's Zoom administrator.

Course > Conferences

The Conferences view shows you all the conferences you've set up for that course.

  • In Progress conferences are currently open; course faculty and students who've been included can join the conference.
  • Scheduled conferences have yet to begin; course faculty can start them at any time.
  • Concluded conferences have already ended; they may include a link to view a recording of the conference.

Adding a conference

Here's how to add a new conference:

  1. Click Add a conference.
  2. If your school has set up more than one provider, select a provider (if not, you won't have this option).
  • If using Zoom, you may also be asked to select a Host account. Check with your school's Populi Account Administrator if you have questions about which Zoom host to use.
  • Enter a name and an optional description.
  • Enter an optional start time and time limit. The start time is strictly for information purposes—conferences will not start until you manually start it.
    • If you're using BBB, check to Enable recording. (If you're using Zoom, you'll have the option to record the meeting in their app.)
    • If you're using Zoom, check to require a password before participants can join the meeting; feel free to edit the password.
  • Select the students you wish to invite to this conference. By default, all the students in your course will be able to join it; you can also select individual students.
  • When you're done, click Save.

    Now that you've created the conference, it will list under Scheduled Conferences. Students who are permitted to join it will see the conference when they view the course Conferences view. It will also appear on the course calendar and will show on upcoming events on the course dashboard view.

    Conducting a conference

    1. When it's time to start the conference, click Start Conference next to the Scheduled conference you wish to begin.
    2. The conference will open in a new browswer window or tab. For details about how to participate in a conference:
  • Students can join the conference by going to the Conferences view and clicking Join Conference.
    • The simplest way for students to join a conference is via the Conferences view—you shouldn't need to share a meeting URL with them. They can also join via the Populi apps for iOS and Android.
    • Zoom conferences will: 1) Open a Zoom website in a new browser tab; 2) Open the Zoom app on the student's computer (orirect them to download/install it); 3) Finally, in the Zoom app, the student will click to join the meeting.
    • BBB conferences will open in a new browswer tab, from which students can easily participate in the meeting.
  • When it's time to conclude the conference, go to the course Conferences view in Populi and click End Conference. When you do this, all the users in the conference at that time will be logged out of Zoom/BBB.
  • The conference will display under Concluded. If you recorded any parts of the conference, a link to view the recordings will appear after a few minutes.
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    3 Comments

    • 0
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      Carlos Marin

      Testing this out. What sort of communications/reminders/emails does the student get for conferences? 

    • 0
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      Brendan O'Donnell

      Carlos Marin Right now they appear on the course calendar (and upcoming events on the course Dashboard). We're adding them to Alerts before too long, as well as some kind of email notification.

    • 0
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      David Waldo

      Can this article be updated to reflect that the time limit is a hard limit that will forcibly end the conference (at least in Zoom) and that there is no way to prevent that once the conference has started?  Some of our professors have used it without understanding the consequences and had class meetings end before they were ready.  Our recommendation has been to not use time limits unless they have a very specific reason for them.

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