Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

Video & Web Conferencing


Video and web conferencing is a useful tool for many applications, such as conducting meetings between different sites, collaborating with other researchers in separate locations, and bringing otherwise inaccessible experts into the classroom. Videoconferencing saves travel time and costs, and allows for a face-to-face meeting between individuals and small groups.

ITS has equipment and facilities to support high-quality video and web conferencing with dedicated Polycom equipment. We can also help configure desktop-based solutions.


There are several types of video and web conferencing available on the Iowa State campus:

Zoom Videoconferencing
ITS has purchased a site license for Zoom, which allows anyone with a Net-ID to download and use the software. Video conferences can have up to 25 participants, including desktops, mobile devices, and audio-only. Basic accounts are limited to 40-minute sessions, but a limited number of Pro accounts, which allow unlimited durations, are available for faculty and staff. To create an account and use the system, visit
Large Group Videoconferencing (Polycom and Access Grid)
Videoconferences where one or more sites have a large group of people require more than desktop videoconferencing software and webcams. Contact Classroom Services at 515-294-8026 to find out more about Polycom and Access Grid videoconferencing.
Webcasts broadcast information via the Web. The end user may not have the ability to interact with the presenter. Webcasts can be viewed by single users on one computer screen or by multiple users by connecting the computer to a projector.
Webinars are seminars broadcast over the Web. These normally require advanced registration to gain permission to access the content, and allow for two-way communication, often via chat. Webinars can be viewed by single users on one computer screen or by multiple users by connecting the computer to a projector.
Microsoft Unified Communications (Lync) may also be used for videoconferencing. For more information, please visit the Unified Communications (Lync) service page.


The recommended minimum requirements of a site involved in a desktop videoconference include:

  • Computer (either laptop or desktop)
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Speaker

You may also need to use specific software or web-based services for videoconferencing. For more information on types of videoconferencing, software requirements and web-based services, visit the Videoconferencing Resources page or contact Classroom Services at 515-294-8026.