Email students in your course using Google Groups

Back to Google Tutorials

Approximately two weeks before the start of each term, a Google Group is created for each course in Banner. These groups are maintained for 2 terms. You can use your class group to email all students enrolled in your course.

NOTE: Canvas mail forwards messages to and from PSU Gmail addresses, so you can now message your class (or selected students/groups) from the Canvas Inbox and get replies in both Canvas mail and PSU Gmail.

  1. Sign into your PSU Gmail account from
  2. Select the Google Groups icon from your Google Apps menu, or go directly to while logged into your PSU Google account.
  3. Click the Group for your course to open it.
  4. On the left of that screen, select About.
    Google Group About button.
  5. At the top of the About screen, under the full course title, copy the group email address:
    Google Group email address.
  6. Paste it into your Gmail message “to” address area.
    The format for the group email address is: course-[department abbreviation]-[course number]-[course section number]-[course year and four digit term code]

For more information, see the OIT article on Google Groups for Classes

Host a virtual meeting with Hangouts/Meet

Google Hangouts Meet is the newest version of Google Hangouts. Hangouts Meet can be used at PSU for video conferencing. There are many additional online resources available for Google Hangouts Meet if you need more help.

NOTE: As of December 2019, Hangouts Meet only works in recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. View current Meet requirements.

Start a video meeting from Meet

NOTE: You can have up to 100 participants in a Google Hangouts Meet.

  1. Make sure you are logged out of any personal Gmail accounts to avoid confusion.
  2. Login to your PDX Gmail account with your ODIN account information.
  3. From the upper right corner, select the Apps menu (a square grid of dots):
  4. Go to Google Meet.
  5. select New Meeting.
  6. Select an option:
    Create a meeting for later:
    To share the meeting details for a future meeting, copy the meeting link and share with participants.
  7. To directly start the meeting with this link, paste the link into a browser; or enter the link into the Enter a code or link field and then select Join.
  8. Start an instant meeting: Create a new meeting and join the meeting directly.
  9. Schedule in Google Calendar: To schedule a meeting, you’re directed to Google Calendar.

Start a video meeting from Gmail

Important: To start a video meeting from Gmail, you must turn on Meet in Gmail.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the bottom left corner, under “Meet,” select New meeting .
    To send the meeting invite via link or email, select Send invite.
    To copy the meeting invite details, select Copy meeting invite.
    To send an email invite, select Share via email.
  3. When you’re ready to join the meeting, select Join now.
    Before you join your first meeting, make sure to allow permissions for your Microphone and Camera. Once you grant permission:
    To turn your microphone on or off, select Microphone.
    To turn your camera on or off, select Camera.
    To join the call, select Join now.
    To end the call, select Leave call.

Schedule a video meeting from Google Calendar

When you create an event on Google Calendar, you can add a video meeting link. You can also add a dial-in number to the Calendar event. Important: Guests can forward the meeting link to other people. If an uninvited person tries to join , a meeting participant from your organization must accept their request.

  1. Calendar, create an event.
  2. select Add guests.
  3. Enter the names or email of the people you want to invite.
  4. select Save.
  5. To notify guests, select Send.

See more support from Google.

Create a reusable Meet link for office hours

NOTE: You can have up to 100 participants in a Google Hangouts Meet.

  1. Make sure you are logged out of any personal Gmail accounts to avoid confusion.
  2. Login to your PDX Gmail account with your ODIN account information.
  3. From the upper right corner, click on the Apps menu.
  4. Select Meet from the available options.
    NOTE: You can also access Meet via
  5. Click + Start a new meeting.
  6. Click Start Meeting.
  7. Select the option to Copy joining info. This URL and dial-in access can be used for future meetings.
    To use this meeting room at a later date, save the joining info. Copy the Meet URL to your syllabus, D2L page, or email; or share with those you wish to join the video conference.
    If you need access to the meeting details after you have closed the initial dialogue box, you can find them by clicking the Meeting details tab in the lower left corner of the page.
  8. To end your call, close your browser tab, or click the red telephone icon in the lower center of your screen.
  9. When you are ready to meet with someone, navigate to your saved Meet URL and click Join Meeting.

This article was last updated on Jun 30, 2021 @ 1:53 pm.

Communicate collaboratively with Google Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat is a group communication tool from Google. With it, you can create virtual rooms to chat with groups of people. Hangouts Chat facilitates quick back and forth conversation, similar to text messaging, but also preserves a searchable record of that conversation for later reference. Instructors might use Hangouts Chat to facilitate Q & A, discussions, or group communications. Hangouts Chat seamlessly integrates with Google Docs, and instructors who assign group writing projects or conduct writing coaching may find Hangouts Chat a particularly useful way to facilitate communications. Access Hangouts Chat at

You can organize two types of conversation in Hangouts Chat: Rooms and Direct Messages.

  1. Rooms are conversational spaces, to which you can add students or other PSU users to at any time. Participants can chat and share files with everyone in the Room. You might set a room for your entire course to communicate, as well as additional Rooms for students working on group projects.
  2. Direct Messages are better suited for private conversations with individuals or groups. Unlike in groups, once you have started a Direct Message conversation, you cannot add new participants.

View Google’s Hangouts Chat Help.

This article was last updated on Jun 28, 2021 @ 1:15 pm.

Minimize connection issues in Google Hangouts

Lost or dropped internet connections are a common problem when using Google Hangouts. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you begin your Hangout.

  • Avoid using a high traffic WiFi area. On campus, the library, the Smith Memorial Student Union and other high traffic areas at peak times may not provide sufficient bandwidth for a steady connection. Coffee shops and other public networks may have similar issues.
  • Test your connection first. If you can play this NASA YouTube video in high definition in full screen mode this should approximate the amount of bandwidth you’ll need to join a Hangout.
  • Close non-essential running applications on your computer. This will reduce the amount of work your CPU has to do.
  • Limit the number of participants in your Hangout. The bandwidth needed for a hangout is variable, and increases per user. For more information on bandwidth requirements, see the System Requirements Google Support article.

This article was last updated on Jun 28, 2021 @ 1:28 pm.

Record Google Hangouts on Air via YouTube Live

Google Hangouts is being deprecated over 2018 as Google updates to Google Hangouts Meet. However, you can still record classic Hangouts via Hangouts on Air/Youtube live.

  1. Before you begin using Hangouts on Air, you will need to verify your YouTube account. Account verification takes 24 hours.
  2. Once your account has been verified, follow this link to create a Hangout on Air via YouTube live.
  3. Under Basic Info, create a Title, and pick a Start Time.
  4. Be sure that the Type option is set to Quick (using Google Hangouts on Air).
  5. In the privacy settings drop down menu on the right, select Public, Unlisted, or Private.
    • An unlisted event is viewable to anyone with a link to the event, while a private event is viewable only by people you share the event with.
  6. Click the Go Live Now or Create Event button when you are ready to start or save your event.
  7. If you need to share a future Hangout’s details with participants, click the Start Hangout on Air button and add participants. You can then leave the Hangout and come back to it at its scheduled start time.

NOTE: Your recorded video will upload to your YouTube channel once you leave the Hangout on Air.

For more resources, visit Google Support.

This article was last updated on Jun 28, 2021 @ 1:26 pm.