A web conference, also known as a webinar, refers to meetings or live presentations over the Internet. In a web conference each participant is connected to the other participants in real-time via the Internet. Most webinars also include audio communication through audio conferencing or voice over IP and can sometimes include text chat. Other features of a webinar can include slide presentations, file sharing, video, and surveys.
Web conferencing is generally sold as a hosted fee-based or membership-based service. The University of Florida has web conferencing capabilities through the tools available in the LMS.
Application to All Courses
- Can replace lectures in distance education classes or augment activities in face to face classes.
- Instructor and students can participate in synchronous discussions and web presentations.
- Allows for dynamic distance presentations that allow audio, video, and student participation.
- The quick paced medium can allow for greater information sharing.
- Allows users to give greater context to information in a rich environment.
Web Conferencing through a Hosted Service
- Web Conferencing hosts will require a username and password.
- Many sites will require that you schedule your meeting in advance, however some sites will allow for spontaneous meetings.
- To start an online meeting set the date and time of the meeting and enter the email addresses of the attendees in the “schedule a meeting” section of the site. An email will be sent to the attendees with a link to the meeting.
- To join the meeting the attendees click on a link in the email that they were sent. Most sites will also allow users to join a meeting by logging in to the site.
- After the attendees are present the instructor can proceed with the meeting.
- Some hosted services may require a telephone connection for audio during the web conference.
- This can be as simple as a speakerphone on a telephone or can involve users connecting via the Internet to transmit audio data between sites. This can be done with software programs such as Skype.
- Other sites, simply require users to connect via a microphone and audio input in the computer in order to use audio.
Video Conferencing at the University of Florida
- Conference rooms are available for rent and reservation.
- Portable units and videoconferencing carts are available for rent and reservation. Most classrooms and other spaces on campus with high-quality network connections can be used for videoconferencing. VCS will bring the equipment, set it up, and show you how to use it. If you’re not sure a room will work, VCS will come and test it for you.
- Those on the “other side” of the conference must also have access to video and audio equipment in order to participate in the conference. This may be as simple as a microphone and webcam or as complicated as a video conference meeting room and equipment on another campus.
- After a meeting room is reserved the instructors and students can meet at the assigned time for videoconferencing.
- For more detailed information on videoconferencing at the University of Florida visit the Academic Technology Video and Collaboration Services website.
- GoToMeeting: Free trial of GoToMeeting webinar software.
- nefsis: Free trial of nefsis webinar software.
- Wikipedia – Web Conferencing: Detailed description and example of web conferencing.
- What is web conferencing?
- Review of the top ten web conferencing providers (2014)
- Difference between web conferencing and video conferencing
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