Hosting video sessions begins when you've clicked to launch (start) a video session and a new tab has opened in your browser.
We strongly recommend reviewing the resources listed below ahead of the scheduled 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 will be available 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)
- maximum of 20 hosts allowed
- 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 (three dots, lower-left corner): allows you to manage your audio, video, and participant settings or to report a problem.
- icons for Microphone, Camera, and Screen Share, Raise hand, Chat, and Participants (bottom-center): allows you to enable or disable your audio, video, or screen sharing, and expand or collapse the side panel display.
- Leave session: end the session for all participants.
Once attendees have joined
If multiple attendees are participating, the active speaker will appear in the largest tile of the screen, while the attendees are shown on the carousel, located on the left side of the screen. This is the default view in Handshake, and currently the only view.
For mobile users, up to 6 attendees are displayed, while on a desktop, up to 7 attendees are displayed. To view additional participants, click the up and down arrows, located at the top and bottom of the carrousel.
Note: 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.
Session Settings (audio, video, participants)
Click Settings (three dots 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.
To enable the Raise hand feature, click the hand icon in the bottom-center of the screen, then check the box to the right of "Allow students to raise their hand".
Students can click the Raise Hand icon to be added to the queue. To alert you of this notification, a number badge will appear on the hand icon, 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. Let them know you'll be notifying them to speak, then click the blue button Call on participant to let them know it's their turn!
Alternatively, you can click the gray 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 bottom-center of the screen (far right) to access the participants list.
All session attendees are listed with their preferred name and last name, school 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 bottom-center of the screen to view and participate in the chat.
Messages sent display the sender's icon (profile photo or initials), name and institution (school or employer) above the message.
Report or remove participants
As session host, you can report participants or remove participants from the session. This can be done via the participants list or the chat window.
From the Participants list, click on their name, then click Report user or Remove from session.
From the Chat list, scroll 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 won't be able to rejoin the session. They aren't notified when they are removed, but if they attempt to rejoin, they'll encounter the error message "Something went wrong. Please try again!"
If you choose to report a user, you'll 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
Our Trust & Safety team will review the reports once submitted.
Share your screen
If you'd like to share your screen, click the computer icon, located at the bottom-center of your screen.
For additional details, refer to Share Your Screen in a Video Session.
Ending a session
When you're ready to end the session, click Leave in the lower-right corner of the video screen. A confirmation will appear with a prompt to End session for all or Cancel.
If you accidentally end the session early, you'll be able to rejoin until the scheduled end time!
Note: a countdown appears 1 minute prior to the scheduled end of the session. To allow for continued dialog, 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.