Weekly outline

  • A web conference is an online event bringing together groups of people for meetings, presentations, teaching and training. Participants can interact using voice, video, chat, and response tools.

    Have you attended an online meeting or presentation which has been chaotic, unengaging or disorganised? Have you felt less than confident about running your own training session or webinar?

    Here is a one-stop-shop where you can access everything you need to know about making the best use of web conferencing.

    • How to use the toolkit

      How to use this toolkit

      Are you choosing a web conferencing tool? Would you like to make your online sessions more accessible? Do you want to run an online course, present a webinar, or have a meeting?

      Each section of this toolkit contains information, tips and checklists which you may find useful wherever you are on your web conferencing journey. Begin with the overview and then explore the sections which are most relevant to you. For example, you may only be interested in using web conferencing to deliver webinars, if this is the case then just use the Planning, Delivering and Follow up books for that section. Click on the topic heading or image to open the section.

      Use the 'Overview' to find out about the features and benefits of web conferencing.

      Learn how to build 'Accessibility' into the planning, delivery and follow up of your sessions.

      Plan, Deliver and Follow Up sessions using the 'Teaching & Training,' ' Webinars' and 'Meetings' sections. 

      Have a look at some useful 'Case studies.'

      Prepare yourself to be a participant in an online session in 'Attending a web conference.'

      Find guidance about choosing a platform in 'Web conference interfaces.'

      Help us to improve this resource by 'Telling us what you think' of it.

      Tips to help you navigate through the toolkit

      This toolkit is best viewed with ALL the blocks docked, see below for instructions how to do this.

      Use these tools to navigate through the chapters of the books.
      Use these tools to navigate between books.
      • Overview


        How is web conferencing being used to facilitate training events, courses, presentations, lectures or meetings? How can you start to use these services and get the most from them?

        Web conferencing allows events to be shared online with remote particpants across geographically dispersed locations. These services allow real-time point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications (one sender to many receivers). Typically voice, video, text-based chat and files can be shared simultaneously.

        Learn more about the web conference interface and the benefits of web conferencing in the 'Features' and 'Benefits' sections below.

      • Accessibility


        Accessibility is purely and simply about good practice and it benefits more than disabled people.

        • Try to consider the needs of all delegates.
        • Accommodations for disabled people may be welcomed by many others and usually look and feel like good practice.
        • If an accommodation is likely to have a detrimental effect on others it is the wrong accommodation.
        • Any disabled delegate should be given the option of submitting a question/comment immediately after the event for inclusion in the post event notes. People with disabilities can find it difficult to respond quickly to the chaos of text chat.
        'Everyone is responsible for making learning accessible to all.
        Staff should be aware of relevant legislation and techniques required to ensure that resources, presentations and support are accessible to all learners.'

        Jisc TechDis 2013

      • Teaching and Training

        Teaching and Training

        Do you want to use web conferencing to enhance teaching and training?

        Do you want to deliver sessions that are thought provoking and engaging for your learners? This is possible online, with thought and planning

        Classroom practices do not always translate directly into the online environment, but planning specifically for live online sessions and making use of web conferencing tools can help you create sessions that are just as interactive and enjoyable.

        Use this section to prepare and deliver your online teaching or training sessions.

      • Webinars


        A webinar is an online event that is hosted by an organisation/company and broadcast to a select group of individuals through their computers via the Internet. (A webinar is sometimes also referred to as a “webcast”, “online event” or “web seminar”.)

        A webinar allows a speaker from the hosting organisation/company to share PowerPoint presentations, videos, web pages or other multimedia content with audiences that can be located anywhere. Webinars typically have audio and visual components.  The visual component of a webinar is shared through a web conferencing tool or Internet browser.  The audio portion of a webinar is usually broadcast through the audience’s computers (through speakers and media players) or through the telephone. A webinar also allows the hosting organisation/company to interact with an audience. The audience can ask the speaker or moderator (who is leading the webinar) questions in real-time through an instant messaging tool or e-mail.

        The focus of a webinar is to provide information on a topic or service to an audience for a specific purpose. It could be for marketing, promotion, continuing professional development (CPD) or a learning experience.

        Use this section to plan and deliver your webinars.

      • Meetings


        We all know good communications are vital, but do you ever feel there are not enough hours to fit in all those meetings? Is it difficult to organise them or find a room? Is your organisation multi-site, creating time and cost issues? Are you trying to meet up with people outside your organisation?

        Now imagine how you could stay at your desk and connect with others quickly and easily online. Online meetings could help maintain important working links with others while saving you time and reducing your organisation's costs.

        Use this section to set up and manage your online meetings.

      • Case Studies

        Case Studies

        It's always useful to see how other providers are using these tools and services, and to learn from their experiences.

        In this section you will find case studies from many sectors and areas of the UK.

      • Choosing a platform

        Choosing a platform

        Are you involved in choosing an interface for web conferencing? If you would like some guidance on what is available and what you should consider in your evaluation this section is for you.

        Use these links to visit a sample of service providers' websites.

        Webex Collaborate
        Big Blue Button Microsoft Infinite


      • Attending a web conference

        Attending a web conference

        Relax! Want to know how to prepare? Need to choose a headset? Here is everything you need to know about attending a web conference as a delegate.

      • Tell us what you think

        Tell us what you think

        Please take a few moments to tell us what you think of this resource so that we can improve and update it for the benefit of all.