Let's plan an online session
Practice, practice, practice!
Whether it is a face to face or an online teaching session the golden rule is 'be prepared.'
What are the risks if I don't prepare?
- Lack of training and knowledge of the system could result in participants not hearing the audio or seeing the content.
- Technical issues could affect the session and damage the reputation of the individual or organisation hosting the event.
- Some speakers may not be experienced at online teaching and may come across differently from how they would in person.
- Some people may not be willing to engage online out of choice or through a lack of understanding of the technology.
How can I ensure that my online session runs smoothly?
- Plan out your programme with timings included (see Session Planning).
- Check that visual aids like Microsoft Powerpoint and Prezi work effectively with the software.
- If a speaker is nervous, encourage them to rehearse. Reassure them that you will be present if they need help.
- Practise a backup plan in case a speaker is cut off for any reason.
- If possible, ask a colleague to monitor the chat pane for you. This keeps your focus on your presentation.
- Start and finish the session on time.
- Mute all participant microphones to reduce any background noise. Only enable them when needed.
- For participants that have not used web conferencing software before, give a demonstration of the key features.
- Make sure that any mobile phones are kept well away from the computer, otherwise there may be intermittent mobile signal noise.
- Practise using alternative tools and techniques to suit a wide audience (see Accessibility).
- Make copies of any presentation materials in case you need to upload them.
- Get to know your speaker's session. If they are having technical difficulties, you might need to run their presentation.
Organise a practice session to:
- Check that invitation emails are working effectively.
- Check the audio levels of any speakers involved and test their equipment.
- Rehearse the programme for the online session and check the timings.
- Make a quick 5 minute recording of the session to check the recording works.
- Run through the software functions with your speaker and check their understanding
Click on the links below for further advice from the professionals.