Communication at a Distance

…using web conferencing to connect with a remote audience is still a relatively new practice. Virtually all interactions on campus occur in the same physical space. What works well in a physical environment doesn‚Äôt always translate well to an online environment. Below are a few examples along with suggestions on how to get started or improve your next online conference.

When planning a virtual meeting, kindly consider the following:

  1. Where is the virtual conference being held on campus?
  2. What is the expected size of audience?
  3. Is the virtual conference originating from off campus?
  4. Will you use a College-owned computer (i.e., podium computer) or your own personal device?
  5. Is a telephone necessary for the audio portion?
  6. Will you require the incoming video image to be projected on a large screen?
  7. Will you need to send a video image back to the external site?
  8. Does this virtual conference need to be recorded?
  9. Have you forwarded all this information to LEDs ?
A group of students interacts over video-communication with students at Colgate University in real time.
Students in the LEDS space interact with a panel of speakers over video-communication while the professor mediates.

Allow guest lecturers, speakers, panelists and other classroom to join your class

Connect and collaborate with research colleagues and educational resources across the globe

Hold virtual office hours during travel to conferences or to accommodate specific student needs when unable to attend class

A student poses a question to a panel of speakers, connected remotely via video-communication.
Students in the GIS center study a digital presentation while interacting on computers in the lab.
Students connect with many different parties at once, including students in Alaska and South Carolina, over video-communication in real time.

Use your first and last name when prompted to identify yourself in a call. It’s always very helpful to learn new names and faces!

Encourage web conference participants to join calls individually, i.e., one person per computer

Position the camera at or slightly above eye level to look your best.

Position lighting in front of you and also at or above eye level, and avoid intense light sources behind you (e.g. a bright window).

Make eye contact with your camera, not your screen, when you’re speaking.

One student stands out from a group and speaks to panelists over video-communication in real time.

What Faculty Are Saying

‚ÄúThe use of Skidmore’s Zoom and WordPress enabled my ED117 class to conduct synchronous, live collaborative class sessions shared with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Winthrop University in North Carolina. We established a learning community that stretched beyond the borders of one institution, in one locale, to multiple regions and individual representations. ‚Äù

Joan Swanson

Assistant Professor and Associate Chair, Education Studies


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