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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Keep accessibility in mind as you develop course content and build assignments and assessments. Many online tools are not fully accessible, so it’s important to think about how you will make the assignment accessible if requested. The Disability Resource Center and the UF Accessibility page will guide you in making appropriate accommodations. You can also find out more about accessibility at our toolbox page on Accessibility in the Online Classroom.