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Instructional Design & Support

Using Google Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat for Online Classes



Overview 

Zoom is the recommended live, online course delivery tool for the University of Tennessee. Both Hangouts Chat and the recently launched Hangouts Meet offer alternative solutions for communicating with your students, delivering an online class, or holding an online meeting. As a courtesy to faculty who may need an alternative to Zoom for the remainder of the term, we are offering support for Google Hangouts Chat and Meet through the end of the Spring 2020 term. 

Hangouts is built into the regular offerings from your university G Suite for Education and will allow you to set up groups to text and voice call over the internet. Hangouts Meet is a new addition to the G Suite and features video calling to individuals or groups. Both Hangouts Chat and Meet adhere to FERPA policies by enabling class communication without exposing student or attendee personal information. 

Accessing Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet requires a Google account. UT faculty, staff, and students must Sign into Hangouts using their UT Email and Password. Please note: Hangouts Meet will only be available to the UT community through the end of the spring semester. 

Hangouts Chat allows for an unlimited number of people in a group. However, a Hangouts Meet is limited to 250 people at a time.  

Get Started 

We recommend that participants who are accessing Hangouts from a Mac or PC use Google Chrome as their browser. Alternative browsers will work but may require a plugin. 

Participants accessing Hangouts from a mobile device (iOS or Android) will need to install the Hangouts Meet by Google app as well as the Google Hangouts Chat appwhich are available for free at either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. 

Hangouts Meet:  

Hangouts Chat: 

Google Hangouts Meet – Video Conferences 

Start an impromptu meeting from a Mobile Device 

  1. Download and install the Hangouts Meet app. Upon launching the app, you’ll be prompted to enable camera and microphone access.  
  2. Sign in using your UT Email and Password. You may need to select your UT account from the list if you also have a personal Google account. 
  3. Select New meeting to start a meeting.
  4. To add others, select Share joining info and Copy. You can then paste the link in an email and send to your students.  

Start an impromptu meeting from Hangouts Meet from a computer 

  1. Go to meet.google.com 
  2. Sign in using your UT Email and Password by clicking on the Sign In button at the top right of the page. Note: do not use your personal Google account 
  3. Hangouts Meet will open in your browser 
  4. Select Join or Start a Meeting 
  5. Enter the name of the meeting you want to create or join and click continue 
  6. You will now see a preview of your video screen. You have the option to enable or disable your video and microphone before entering the meeting. 
  7. Select Join Now or Present 
    Note: after selecting the Join Now option, you’ll be able to select Present once inside the meeting 
  8. Once inside the Meet you’ll see a screen with links to share with those you choose to invite to the Meet. If not, select the meeting name to open the meeting details to copy the link. Optionally, you can click on Add People and enter the emails of those you wish to invite. Select Send invite to email the participants.  
  9. At the bottom of the Meet screen note the meeting controls:
    • Mic – Mute or unmute 
    • Leave Meeting button 
    • Video – turn your camera on and off 
    • Turn on captions – activates live, closed captioning 
    • Present now – share your entire screen or a window 
    • Vertical ellipse … – settings and layout options including Record meeting

Schedule a Hangouts Meet from a computer 

  1. Navigate to calendar.google.com 
  2. Create an event, select +Create in the top-left corner on the web page. 
  3. Add details including title, guests, date, and time
  4. Click on location to indicate a time-zone then Add conferencing to create the meeting ID. 
    Selecting the drop-down arrow to the right of Join Hangouts Meet, will reveal the meeting ID, meeting phone number, and Live Stream option.  
  5. The Meeting ID and call-in number will auto populate. Once you have added all guests, select Save, and you will be asked if you want to send invitation emails to participants, this is recommended. Interactive links to join the meeting are provided in the email sent to guests. 
  6. If you want to schedule a recurring Hangouts Meet, you can choose to repeat the event under More Options, otherwise choose Save. 
  7. To add Hangouts Meet to your Outlook Calendar, a plug-in will need to be installed. Hangouts Meet browser plug-in directions 

Use text-based messaging during a Hangouts Meet 

  1. Click the message icon to the left-hand side of the screen. Type and send a message. 
  2. These messages appear in speech bubbles in real-time for everyone and fade after a few seconds. 
  3. Anyone may review the chat message history by opening the chat window and selecting show history

Share screen in a Hangout 

  1. Go to the top-right corner vertical ellipses … share screen 
  2. Choose options for sharing either the whole screen or a specific application. 
  3. When finished click the stop sharing button at the bottom of the screen. 

Google Hangouts Chat – Texting 

Hangouts Chat lets your students ask questions, collaborate in group-chats, or create virtual rooms for classes and team projects. Go to chat.google.com to get started. 

Direct Message 

Send a message to an individual or group. 

  1. Go to chat.google.com 
  2. Sign in using your UT Email and password. You may need to select your UT account from the list if you also have a personal Google account. 
  3. Select the Find people, rooms, bots search box.  
  4. Select Group Message
  5. Search for the person or people you want to message. 
  6. When you have added all the people, select Message to start chatting. 

Rooms 

Rooms make it easy to communicate with a whole group at one time. 

Create a Room 

  1. Go to chat.google.com 
  2. Sign in using your UT Email and password. You may need to select your UT account from the list if you also have a personal Google account. 
  3. Select the Find people, rooms, bots search box. 
  4. Select Create a room
  5. Type the name of your room in the Create or find room box. Please use the full Registrar course name for your room name. You can also create rooms for lab sections, team projects, etc. 
  6. Select Create. 
  7. Select Add people & bots to add your students. 
  8. Select + New thread to add a topic for discussion. Use threads to organize your room by topic or point of discussion. 

From a Mobile Device 

Direct Message 

  1. Open the Hangouts Chat app  
  2. Sign in using your UT Email and password. You may need to select your UT account from the list if you also have a personal Google account. 
  3. In the bottom-right corner, select the + button 
  4. Select Group Message
  5. Search for the person or people you want to message. 
  6. When you have added all the people, select the check mark to start your message. 

Rooms 

  1. Open the Hangouts Chat app  
  2. Sign in using your UT Email and password. You’ll be sent to UT SSO (Single Sign On) to sign in with your NetID and Password, then approve using Duo 2-factor authentication.  
    Note: You may need to select your UT account from the list if you also have a personal Google account. 
  3. In the bottom-right corner, select the + button. 
  4. Select Create a room
  5. Type the name of your room in the Create or find room box. Please use the full Registrar course name for your room name. You can also create rooms for lab sections, team projects, etc. 
  6. Select Create. 
  7. Select Add people & bots to add your students. 
  8. Select button in the bottom-right to add a topic for discussion. Use threads to organize your room by topic or point of discussion. 

More Information & Support 

For a video-based overview of Google Hangouts Meet, watch a 10-minute presentation, Google Meet for Remote and online learning | Tips and Tricks Episode 40 by Sethi from the ‘Flipped Classroom Tutorials’ Channel for Apps Events. 

 For support with Google Hangouts, please contact the OIT HelpDesk at help.utk.edu