Web and video conferencing allow for meetings between individuals and small groups in remote locations while reducing travel time and costs. These services can conduct meetings between sites, collaborate with researchers in separate locations, and bring otherwise inaccessible experts into the classroom. 

The Webex link in Canvas connects to the external web conferencing tool.  See the News & Updates at the bottom of this page for outage information. Use the web interface for collaboration outside of class work. 

  • Schedule and record online class meetings
  • Hold virtual office hours – allow students to meet with you over a Webex meeting
  • Create Group Spaces for Students to collaborate
  • Closed Captioning and Transcripts
  • Video conferences can have up to 1000 participants
  • Participants can join via desktop, mobile device or telephone
  • Webex meetings can be up to 24 hours long

 Getting Started

Instructor Resources

Using Webex in your Canvas course

To set up the Webex tool in your Canvas course:

  1. Follow the steps to Set up the Webex Tool in Canvas.
  2. See these other useful tutorials:
    1. CELT’s Best Practices when Teaching with Webex
    2. Polling – View/Panels/Manage Panels and share poll results
    3. Using the Whiteboard
    4. Annotate – Interactive tools to keep attendees engaged
    5. Visual Guide to Tools for Instructors

Adding a Guest Lecturer/Presenter to your Webex meeting

To add a guest lecturer to a Webex Meeting scheduled in Canvas:

  1. Go to the Webex site in a web browser (https://iastate.webex.com/webappng/sites/iastate/dashboard?siteurl=iastate).
  2. Click Edit to edit the scheduled Meeting.
  3. Add the guest’s email in the “Who is invited?” section.

Your guest will receive an email invitation with the connection instructions. It is strongly recommended to do a practice meeting ahead of time with these exact same settings. 

Using breakout sessions in your Webex meeting

To learn about using breakout rooms in Webex, view the Webex help guide or watch the CELT Demonstration of the Webex Breakout Session video (4m 34s) below.

Preassigning students to Webex breakout rooms

  1. Obtain a CSV file of class participants from AccessPlus or ASW.
  2. Follow the Webex guide to Preassign People from a CSV File.
  3. Import these same groups into Canvas to facilitate collaborative assignments. Remember to give the groups meaningful names so that students are not enrolled in “Group 1” in all their courses.

Recording your Webex Meeting

Start by ensuring your recording preferences are specified:

  1. Go to the Webex site in a web browser (https://iastate.webex.com/webappng/sites/iastate/dashboard?siteurl=iastate).
  2. Click on Preferences in the left-hand menu and then select the Recording tab.
  3. Select the box to create recording transcripts for your MP4 recordings.
  4. Choose the screen layout for recordings. Excluding student video from recordings is preferred.
  5. Click Save.

Optionally, configure Webex to automatically record when you start a Meeting:

  1. Go to the Webex site in a web browser (https://iastate.webex.com/webappng/sites/iastate/dashboard?siteurl=iastate).
  2. Locate and edit the specific Meeting.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and expand the section for Show advanced options.
  4. Expand the Scheduling Options section.
  5. Check the box to Automatically start recording when the meeting starts.
  6. Click Save.

Finally, start recording from within a Meeting.

All meetings scheduled through Canvas and recorded to the cloud will be available inside Canvas on the Webex Recordings tab.

Creating closed captions or transcripts

Webex transcription services can be automatically enabled for all cloud-recorded meetings:

  1. Go to the Webex site in a web browser (https://iastate.webex.com/webappng/sites/iastate/dashboard?siteurl=iastate).
  2. Click on Preferences in the left-hand menu and then select the Recording tab.
  3. Select the box to create recording transcripts for your MP4 recordings.

Special Notes:

  • There is no cost for transcription services in Webex.
  • It is expected to take about twice the duration of the meeting for the transcription to appear in the Webex web portal.  In rare circumstances, it may take up to 24 hours for the transcription to appear due to the size of the meeting or due to temporary load on the transcription engine.

Sharing a Recording

If the Meeting was created within Canvas, no further action is needed to share the recording with the whole class. Students can find recordings on the Recordings tab.

If the Meeting was created outside of Canvas or if you want to limit which students have access to the recording:

  1. Go to the Webex site in a web browser (https://iastate.webex.com/webappng/sites/iastate/dashboard?siteurl=iastate).
  2. Follow the steps in the Share a Webex Recording guide, entering the email addresses for the specific students who should have access.

Syllabus Statement

Add the statement below to the required technologies section of your syllabus.

This course will use Webex for synchronous online interactions. Visit the Webex learning tool guide to view the terms of service, privacy policy, accessibility statement, and steps for getting started with Webex.

Student Resources

Using Webex in Your Canvas Course

To use the Webex tool in your Canvas course, click on the Webex link in your Canvas course navigation. Then, if enabled for your course, you will be able to access:

  • Virtual Meetings
  • Office Hours: To set up a meeting with your instructor:
    1. Select the “Office Hours” tab on the Webex Content page. Your instructor will have selected times when they are available to meet.
    2. Choose one of these appointment slots by clicking on the time.
    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click  “Confirm Meeting”.
    4. Upon clicking the confirmation button, an email will be set to your IASTATE email account (not Canvas Inbox internal messaging) and your instructor’s email account with the meeting link. Note: This is the ONLY copy of the meeting link you will receive.
    5. Your scheduled session will appear in the Virtual Meetings tab listed with the other meetings on the ISU Webex dashboard.

For more information, see the online documentation below or the Visual Guide to Tools for Students.


Webex Assistant

Add an Artificial Intelligence-powered assistant to your Webex meetings


  • Live transcription and automated closed captions.
  • Capture meeting highlights.
  • Use voice commands to create notes, action items, reminders, and more.
  • Record a meeting to get a post-meeting editable transcript.

Note: Because of limitations to the accuracy of the auto transcription/caption service, if a student requires an accommodation, it is required that a captioning service be used. Contact Student Accessibility Services to arrange/confirm captioning services for your course.

Enable Webex Assistant

  1. Contact solutions@iastate.edu to request Webex assistant be enabled on your account.
  2. You will receive a verification e-mail when the process is complete.

Live Captions During Webex Meeting

  1. Once Webex Assistant is enabled on your account, when you open a Webex Meeting as the host you are able to turn on or off the Webex Assistant.
  2. Hover over the Webex Assistant in the lower-left corner of the Webex browser to turn Webex Assistant on or off.
  3. From the Webex Assistant button, you may also choose to open captions and highlights in a panel on the right side of the Webex window.
  4. When Webex Assistant is turned on, a closed caption button (CC) will appear to the right of the Webex Assistant button. Click the CC button to turn captions on in your personal view.
  5. Attendees will also have access to the CC button to enable captions on their own device.
  6. To generate a full transcript delivered after the meeting, click record.
    • You can play audio clips of the transcript, download it, make edits, and share it with others.

Automatically Turn On the Webex Assistant for Every Meeting

  1. Sign in to Webex online site.
  2. Select Preferences from the left navigation bar.
  3. Select the Scheduling tab.
  4. Select Meeting type: Webex Meetings Pro Meeting
  5. Click the checkbox to enable Automatically turn on the Webex Assistant whenever I start a meeting
  6. You may also auto-enable Webex Assistant during Meeting type: Webex Personal Conference.

Change Caption Format During a Live Meeting

  1. Hover over the captions bar on the Webex window.
  2. Select … at the bottom right corner of the captions bar.
  3. Change background color and font size.


All students, faculty, and staff members with an Iowa State Net-ID have access at no charge. 

Webex Events is available to all faculty, staff, and students for webinars and allows up to 3000 attendees. Log in to Webex online to access the event option.


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