Set up a conference

Last updated: October 10, 2023

You can use conferences as you do office hours — to meet with one or multiple students — to answer questions or exchange ideas.

Now that Zoom is available in Canvas, we recommend that instructors use Zoom for setting up conferences. First, schedule recurring meetings, then turn on the Zoom waiting room.

Although Big Blue Button is an option in Canvas, users have shared that the quality of calls decreases as the number of participants increases. Thus, our recommendation for using Zoom.

The steps below show how to set up a conference using Big Blue Button:

  1. StepsActions
  2. In the course navigation, click Conferences.
  3. On the next screen, click New Conference.
  4. To start a new conference:
    • Enter a name for the conference.
    • If applicable, select the check box next to No time limit.
    • If applicable, select the check box next to Record this conference.
    • Set a time limit in the duration field.
    • Enter a description.
    • Invite participants: You can either select the check box next to Invite All Course Members, or clear the check box and enter names individually.
  5. Click Create Conference. The conference will appear on the Conferences page. Conferences are listed in chronological order, most recent to oldest.
  6. When participants click Start it now, BigBlueButton (the third-party application that handles conferences for Canvas) directs them to the conference room.

Note: If you would like advanced help and documentation on conferencing by using BigBlueButton, go to