Hosting video sessions begins when you've clicked to launch (start) a video session and a new tab has opened in your browser.
Note: Handshake uses Twilio Programmable Video, which is built using WebRTC. All multimedia traffic is routed through Twilio media servers. Because of this, there are some settings that may need to be adjusted to host a session.
On the day of the session, you can launch a session up to an hour early to test connectivity and performance.
Joining your session
A preview of your video can be seen on the right side of the page. If your video is off, your profile photo will display instead. If you do not have a profile photo, a circle with your initials will appear.
- The microphone and camera buttons are located at the bottom middle of the video. To toggle audio and video on or off, click the corresponding button.
- The three dots menu in the lower-right corner of the video screen provides access to audio and video settings and allows you to report a problem.
Note: in Chrome, a blurred background is on by default. Toggle the Blur off button in the top-right corner of the video screen to display your normal background instead.
Blurry background also works on Edge. However, we recommend Chrome for the best experience with all of our features!
The session specifics are listed on the left side of the page. This includes:
- name of the session (i.e. event title, appointment type, etc.)
- session host(s)
- date and time of the session
- note indicating your audio is muted upon joining
Click the blue button Join now below the session details to join your session.
After starting the session
Any students who have already joined (up to five minutes prior to the start of the meeting) will be able to participate once you enter the room.
After starting the session, the screen will display the following icons and action buttons:
- Settings (lower-left corner): allows you to manage your audio, video, and participant settings or to report a problem.
- If an attendee has their video on, Settings is replaced by a gear icon in the upper-left of the video display.
- icons for Microphone, Camera, and Screen Share (bottom-centre): click each icon to enable or disable your audio, video, or screen-sharing.
- Leave session: end the session for all participants.
- icons for Raise hand, Participants, and Chat (in the upper-right corner): click each icon to expand or collapse the side panel display.
Session Settings (audio, video, participants)
Click Settings (or the gear icon) to access audio, video, and participant settings or to report a problem.
If you encounter any unexpected audio or video issues, check out our troubleshooting steps in Hosts: Audio & Video Issues.
Select the correct microphone and speakers in the audio settings, or select alternative devices if necessary.
Click the microphone icon to test your input, and click the word Test to test your sound output.
Make sure that the correct camera is selected from the dropdown menu or select another video source if needed.
If your video is on during the session, a preview of the video is shown.
Participants settings (allow participants to share their screen)
Check the box to allow participants to share their screen.
Hosts will also be able to “End Presentation” for participants at any time.
Raise hand feature
The Raise Hand feature is available in video sessions that allow multiple attendees, such as an event or virtual fair group session, and is off by default.
Note: when a host enables this feature, it is for that session only - not a set preference for future sessions.
For group sessions with 15 or more total participants (including hosts) registered, we automatically disable audio and video for attendees - this is to preserve your audio, video, and screen-sharing quality.
To enable the Raise hand feature, click the hand icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, and then check the box to the far right of "Allow students to raise their hand".
Students can click the Raise Hand icon to be added to the queue. A number notification badge will appear on the hand icon, alerting you to a raised hand, if the side panel display is collapsed or the chat or participants list is open.
After attendees select Raise Hand, they can be "called on" by the host to interact via audio and video.
Click the blue button Call on participant to allow them to notify them that it's their turn to speak. Let them know that you'll be calling on them first!
Alternatively, you can click the grey button Dismiss to cancel the request.
When an attendee is finished with their turn, click the red button End turn.
Review participants and chat
Click the person icon in the upper-right corner of the screen (middle icon) to access the participants list.
All session attendees are listed with their preferred name and last name, institution name, and their audio and video status. A red mic or camera icon with a strikethrough indicates that their audio or video is off.
Click the message bubble in the upper-right corner of the screen to view and participate in the chat.
Messages sent display the sender's icon (profile photo or initials), name and institution (institution or employer) above the message.
Report or remove participants
As session host, you can report participants or remove participants from the session. You can report or remove a user from either the participants list or the chat window.
In the Participants side panel, click on their name from the list, then click Report user or Remove from session.
In the Chat side panel, hover your mouse over the message, then click the three dots menu to the right. From there, choose Report user or Remove from session.
If you choose to remove a user, that user will not be able to re-join the session. They aren't notified when they are removed, but if they attempt to re-join, they will encounter the error message "Something went wrong. Please try again!"
If you choose to report a user, you will be prompted to provide a reason and additional details in the pop-up modal.
- I think this user is fake or fraudulent
- This user is harassing me or someone else
These reports will be investigated by our Trust & Safety team.
Share your screen
If you'd like to share your screen, click the computer monitor icon on the bottom middle of the page.
For additional details, refer to Share Your Screen in a Video Session.
Ending a session
When you are ready to end the session, click Leave session in the lower-right corner of the video window. A confirmation will appear with a prompt to End session for all or Cancel.
If you accidentally end the session early, you will be able to re-join until the scheduled end time!
A countdown appears 1 minute prior to the scheduled end of the session. To allow for continued dialogue, sessions automatically close 20 minutes after the scheduled end time.
When you've ended the session, you may be asked to complete a brief survey on the quality of the session. Our team will use these results to continue refining our product.
For additional information, check out our Host Resources.