Video Conferencing tools at CU

Product User
Zoom Basic - All students can activate their basic Zoom account at columbiauniversity.zoom.us All
Zoom Pro - TAs may request for hybrid teaching  only through the Office of Academic Affairs  Faculty, TAs
Conferences (BBB) All
Google Meet All

Video Conferencing Resouces for Students

Google MEET for group meetings

Students can use Google Meet under LIonmail for group meetings.

COnferences tool (BBB) for Students

Canvas has a built-in Conferences Big Blue Button (BBB) that is available for use by faculty, TAs and students. Students in groups can use the tool.

How do i use Conferences tool in Courseworks (Canvas)?

  • Instructors can assign students to groups. 
  • Students can use Conferences with each other, post on in the Discussions, share documents and use chat.
  • The Conferences tool allows Teachers and TA’s to start a web conference using Big Blue Button (BBB). 
  • Students can also use Conferences in any group sites that have been put in by Instructors.
  • CUIT posted a guide for teachers up on the Canvas Tips and Tricks page (requires authentication).
  • Canvas has documentation for here


  • An instructor can setup a recitation for a TA and provide a host key.
  • A TA can also use the built-in Conferences tool in Courseworks (Canvas) for office hours with total of 3 participants. There is no time restriction for this.
  • A TA can activate the free basic Zoom account at columbiauniversity.zoom.us


Resources for Student Groups

How do I hold meetings with my student Groups?

Please contact Dean Samantha Shapses-Wertheim <[email protected]> for the use of a shared Zoom Pro account. You should setup a password protected meeting and share it only with the people you want to invite.

Are the meetings secure?

All meetings have a password and share it only with the people you want to invite.




where can i find class recordings?

Class was recordings will be available when porocessed under "Panapto recordings" in Courseworks (Canvas). Please note that not all classes are recorded. 



Do I have a Zoom account? 

Students can access a free, basic Zoom account at columbiauniversity.zoom.us and using the “Sign In” button. It will take you to the Columbia page where you will sign in with your UNI. This allows you to host meeting with 3 or more participants for 40 minutes. You can restrart a meeting again after that. Zoom Pro accounts are not available to students.

How do I sign into my Zoom account? 

You can sign into your Zoom account at columbiauniversity.zoom.us and choose “SIgn In.” It will take you to the CU page where you will sign in with your UNI and you will be directed to your Zoom account. 

Do I have a basic or pro account? 

  • Students can activate a basic account only.
  • Log into your Zoom account at columbiauniversity.zoom.us
  • Go to your Profile on the left of the page and from there you can check your User Type.

If you have a free, basic account it will say “Basic.”

How do I access my Zoom meeting? 

You can either click on the URL under “Join Zoom Meeting Link” and it will prompt you to open your Zoom app and take you to the meeting. OR, you can go to columbiauniversity.zoom.us and go to “Join a Meeting” where you will be prompted to enter the Zoom Meeting ID.

Can I start a Zoom meeting in SIPA Worspace?

No. A Zoom meeting must be started outside on your local system or device or in SIPA Workspace is a remote session on a server. 

How do I start Zoom on a Chromebook?

  • In order to activate your microphone and camera on your chromebook you must be logged in

with your personal gmail account. Do not log in with your columbia.edu credentials, doing so
will establish restrictions on your chromebook which will not allow you to use certain devices or
install applications.

  • If you do not have an existing gmail account you can easily create at the login screen.
  • Once you are logged in you can download the zoom application from the google play store.


Search Zoom from Google Play

Zoom controls

  • Click on the install tab for Zoom.
  • Once Zoom is installed it will automatically detect your microphone and camera.

If you have any questions or issues please email [email protected].

How do I end the meeting? 

As host you have the ability to end the meeting for everyone. This will also stop any recording of the meeting. If you are the host, click on End Meeting in red on the bottom right (see image below).

In the dialog box that pops up, choose End Meeting for All (second image). If you are not the host you will only see Leave Meeting. 



Can I schedule a one-on-0ne session for Conferences

SIPA AV will work with SIPA staff to schedule an individual session. Any one can join the Office hours and ask question

How do I sign into the Zoom mobile app? 

If you’re signing into the Zoom mobile app with your personal UNI account, you will not use the default Email Address and Password to sign in. Instead, the easiest route is to use Google (see image). Type in your [email protected], you will then be taken to a CU page where you will sign in.