- Choosing Your Web Conferencing Tool
- Best Practices & Protocols for Web Conferencing
- Evidence Based Resources
Carleton University supports a number of web conferencing tools that you can use to support teaching and learning. You first need to decide whether you need and want to meet with your students for your class. Some of the activities that work well for web conferencing solutions are:
- Group work
- Peer review
- Group presentations
- Office hours
- Guest speakers
- Exam reviews
- One-on-one meetings with students
If your session requires these types of interactions, there are several options available to you.
|Internal/External Audiences||Either. External server requires manual setup.||Internal only||Either|
|Ease of Use||Medium – screen sharing is somewhat challenging. Break out rooms take some practice.||Medium-interface can be challenging to manage||Easy|
|Integrated in LMS||Yes – recording posts automatically in cuLearn||No||No, but easy to post links|
|Accessibility||Has some accessibility features. Ability to have live captioning.||Automated english live captions available in desktop application.||Some accessibility features|
|Screen Share||Yes, but there is a time delay||Yes. Easy.||Yes, very easy|
|Recording||Yes||Yes||Yes. Recommend saving locally and upload to Kaltura|
|Supports Slides||Yes, files and slides are loaded||No – yes via screen sharing only.||Yes, through screen sharing|
Computer and Internet Recommendations
- A laptop or desktop computer with (at least) 2G of memory and a 1Ghz processor (any computer bought in the last five years should be fine).
- Use either built-in or external camera or external camera with a headset or earbuds to reduce ambient noise.
- A mobile device with 4G LTI (best) or 3G (minimum connection)
Internet Connection Speed
- Ideal: 5 Mbps upsteam, using an ethernet cable instead of wifi.
- Minimum requirements: 1.5 Mbps upstream and 1 Mbps downstream.
- To check bandwidth use, https://speedtest.net/.
Scheduling and Communicating
- Create the meeting space at least a day in advance (e.g. create a Zoom link or set up the BBB room in your cuLearn course)
- Send a reminder to participants that details how they will join it and what they will need (e.g. headphones, mic, camera).
- If you plan on recording the meeting, let participants know in advance.
- Keep in mind that some students may not be able to access or engage with the synchronous session so a recording can help them stay connected to the class.
Code of Conduct
- If appropriate, describe the code of conduct you expect in the session (supportive, non-threatening, civil.). For tips visit the Netiquette support resource.
- Consult the Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology for further ideas and details
- Consider asking students on the first day of class to co-create a code of conduct with you.
- If appropriate, prepare an agenda for the session and invite participants to add items in advance.
- If you plan to use feedback tools or breakout rooms in the session, create the questions beforehand.
- Consider distributing your slides just before the presentation for those who might have issues connecting.
Making the Classroom Accessible and Equitable
Make your course accessible to all learners by keeping in mind that some of your students may need accommodations. You may want to consider the following:
- Organising ASL translators in advance
- Some tools allow someone to live caption
- Captioning the recording after the fact
- Posting notes, slides and other materials for students who require material in different formats
Joining the meeting early
- Join at least 10 minutes before the session is planned to start.
- Test audio and video and upload any teaching materials you will be sharing.
- Create a plan for how you will facilitate the meeting effectively. Consult this support document for tips: Facilitating effective online discussions
- At the start of the session, communicate the expectations for how participants will engage technically (e.g. using the chat to post questions, raise their hand or use built-in tool “reactions” to indicate they have a question). For more ideas, consult the ITS Teams Meeting Protocols Document
- Keep presentation of content to a minimum. Lecture content should be filmed in advance and posted to cuLearn. Use the synchronous meeting time for discussion.
- If appropriate use polls, chat feedback and breakout rooms to guide discussion.
- When using whiteboards or breakout rooms, describe what participants should see on their end.
- If you are demonstrating something, slow down and be very intentional.
Having a moderator
- With large groups or screen sharing presentations, it can be helpful to have a moderator. You might ask a TA, student or staff member to monitor the chat window and bring questions to you at regular intervals
- Use the last few minutes to conclude the discussion
- Consider using an asynchronous approach to wrap up the meeting – ask students to complete a feedback poll or submit a short reflection via cuLearn
- Share the session recording, if applicable
- You may want to share your own reflections on the discussion with your students in an email or announcement
1. How various tools available in webconferencing tools (chat, raise hand, polling, whiteboard, etc) enhance engagement and exploration and thus promote active learning.
Lieser, P, et al. 2018. The Webinar Integration Tool: A Framework for Promoting Active Learning in Blended Environments. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2018(1): 7, pp. 1–8, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/jime.453
2. How to facilitate engaged learning in a webconferencing session based on the indicators of active learning
Chapman, D. & Wiessner, C. (2008). Exploring Engaged Learning as a Tool for Evaluating Web Conferencing. In C. Bonk, M. Lee & T. Reynolds (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2008–World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 283-291). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 29, 2020 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/29619.
3. How best practices engage learners in a webconferencing session and are arranged into introducing and orienting; informing; active learning and feedback; humanizing the environment; closing and follow-up.
Badia, Giovanna, and April Colosimo. “Best Practices for Engaging Users in a Web Conferencing Environment.” Association for Engineering Education – Engineering Library Division Papers. Atlanta: American Society for Engineering Education-ASEE, 2013. 23.243.1–23.243.14. Web.
4. How modeling expected behavior during a webconferencing session contributes for an effective session.
Warren, A. (2014). Synchronous Web-Conferencing in Online Language Teacher Education. In M. Searson & M. Ochoa (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2014–Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 501-506). Jacksonville, Florida, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 29, 2020 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/130799.