Hosting Live & Interactive Sessions


In this lesson instructors will learn how to create and host and interactive session using the Canvas Conferences tool.


Upon completion of this lesson, instructors will know how to:

  1. Create and facilitate a conference.
  2. Add the conference link to the course menu

Resources & Activities

Instructors may find it beneficial or necessary to host live sessions using webinar tools.

Canvas Conferences with BigBlueButton

The Canvas Conferences tool uses a service called BigBlueButton to host live, synchronous sessions. Live meetings can be with individual students or the full class and can include a chat window, have an option for web cam sharing, screen sharing, file sharing, and a digital whiteboard. We recommend limiting the duration to under one hour in length. Sessions can be recorded and viewed for a two-week period. Live sessions are not closed captioned. Note, instructors that do not typically use this tool will want to include in the course menu so that students can access it.

During a closure, it is helpful to record the live session so that a student who cannot participate can view it as their schedule permits.  Where possible, please remember that student access to and comfort with technology may be limited, so please also provide supplemental asynchronous resources when possible.

Canvas Video Guides – Conferences Overview:

Please also view the ​​Web Conferences Resource Page on the Canvas Community site for instructions for use and our Best Practices for Web Conferences post for additional strategies and suggestions to consider when hosting a live meeting.

✓ Activity 1 – Create a conference: To create a conference, click the “Conferences” link on the course menu, then click the “+ Conference” button. Enter conference details, then click the “Update” button. When ready to facilitate the session, click the corresponding start button on the Conferences page.

✓ Activity 2 – Add a conference link to the course menu: To add “Conferences” to the course menu, click the “Settings” link, click the “Navigation” tab, locate the Conferences tool and click the corresponding three vertical dot menu and enable. Click the Save button.

Next Lesson

Learn how to record video content >>