Webex: A Test DriveKeri Donovan-Group EEDU656: JIT TrainingDr. JohnsonAugust 26, 2010(week 03 Assignment)
Here is an overview of what we will be covering in this session, please feel free to raise your virtual hand if you have questions along the way.
People come from many different places. When you want to gather to discuss particular concepts, procedures or policies the biggest hurdle is figuring out how to get all the people involved in the same place, at the same time for a meeting. WebEx and other online meeting programs facilitate the gathering without having to be in the same geographical location.
The facilitator of the meeting must download and install the WebEx platform. From there they can send invitations to the rest of the group via email, text messaging, or a phone call.When an email or text message arrives it has a link to the meeting and any pertinent information that might be needed (like a password, or meeting number) to enter. The participants then click on the link and are transported from email to the hosted meeting site where interaction can begin.
Here is an example of what the screen might look like when you enter a meeting.
You can download a free trial from http://Webex.com/ and try the platform out for yourself!
WebEx allows the facilitator to be in a different location than the participants, and still have a synchronous meeting session. As long as the participants have the equipment necessary to join the meeting, the process is fairly easy for them.
What do you do in an online meeting?Virtual collaboration is a great way to share collective knowledge and experience. People can gather to brainstorm from various geographic locations.This allows input from many people without the expense and time involved in travel.Virtual collaboration can be excellent for implementing procedures and updating company policies or conducting a synchronous virtual class.
With programs like WebEx online meeting the boundaries are removed as an obstacle from gathering and opportunity to share with a more diverse group of people becomes possible!Some of the tips given in Clark & Kwinn’s (2007) book tell us to “explain the visual with audio narration only” (p.152), the reason is that text, is considered to be “pictures” according to Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia model (Clark & Mayer, 2007) reading and looking at the pictures requires the channels to travel through the eyes only, if the text is delivered in audio, then both channels can be engaged and promote a better flow into the sensory memory, which transfers more easily into the working memory and allows learning to take place and retain a footprint or a “hook” in the learners mind. Programs like Webex maximize the ability of the instructor to use images and audio in a balanced manner to create an engaging learning environment.
Pros (benefits)Comprehensive support24/7 tech supportApplication sharingBrowser to browser accessInteractive whiteboardLinks to Microsoft directly via Outlook and Office programsFrees up business phonesData integrity guaranteedPrivacy guaranteedSettings controlled by presenter have many variables for contributorsConference calls can be done by mic or telephone.VoiP activeExperienced and time-testedAccording to an article on CNET from 2005 WebEx has been touted as great software with expedient tech support, but that the “application sharing interface is somewhat clunky. In our tests, the cursor often vanished off the screen, making it difficult to highlight text or write in the margins of a Microsoft Word document” (CNET, 2005). The article also mentioned that during their testing of the WebEx software the annotation tool had a tendency to disappear.Another review on WebEx done more recently by Executive Edge’s technical director, Chris Randall (2009), explained that WebEx is not software but rather “a collection of Web-based conferencing tools that are delivered as a service through your browser” (2009).
Expensive at $75.00 a month per portSteep learning curveAny participant having difficulty with their ISP connection will slow down the entire group meetingLag in video when congestedCustomization can be very costly
Here is a look at how Webex stacks up to the competition.
ReferencesClark, R., & Kwinn, A., (2007). The new virtual classroom: Evidence-based guidelines for synchronous e-learning. Pfeiffer: San Francisco. ISBN: 9780787986520.(2005) CNET editor’s review. CNET. Retrieved August 22, 2010 from: < http://reviews.cnet.com/software/webex-meeting-center/1707-3513_7-9755871.html >.Randall, C., (2009). WebEx meeting center review. Executive Edge. < http://www.executive-edge.net/webex-meeting-center-review/ >.