Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings, training, or presentations via the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the internet.
Sultan Qaboos University
College of Education
Instructional and Learning Technologies Department
Asma Al-kalbani 82934
Byan al-Rawas 68712
What is web conferencing?
Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings, training, or
presentations via the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits
at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the
Finding a common time for “class discussions”, particularly if
students are spread over multiple time zones.
Ensuring the availability of faculty and student hardware
requirements, including video cams and headsets.
Coordination as the number of participants rise. Conferencing
with 15 is a different experience to conferencing with 150.
Advantages of web conferencing:
Eliminate the hassle and cost of travelling to face-to-face meetings
Create your own virtual meeting room .
Polling facilities, instant chat and option for multiple presenters.
Save your time.
adding the richness of vocal inflections and even body language to
It is an excellent way to brainstorm or hold group activities .
Allows learners to share slides and other electronic data.
Features of web conferencing:
Engage in two-way audio (students can use a headset
(recommended) or a phone).
Deliver presentation in PowerPoint and a range of other graphic
Engage in public / private text chat.
Share desktop applications for demonstration and instructional
Push web pages to participants.
Use a live whiteboard for drawing and annotation.
Conduct real time polls and surveys.
Build lessons to be accessed and delivered directly from
Archive sessions for later review by both those who were present
and those absent.
Limitations of web conferencing:
Bandwidth and appropriate content
Highly technical content is more difficult to present during Web
users download and install Web conferencing software on their
computers. This can be time consuming and also requires that
users track and eventually remove the programs once a session is
Web conferencing uses:
Web conferencing is now a critical tool for online distance learning
classes--both through real-time meetings and recorded sessions for
students unable to attend regularly scheduled hours.
During real-time meetings, students can interact directly with
faculty by voice or text online, asking questions and sharing their
computer screens with professors to go over specific problems.
10 Fundamental Requirements for Any Web Conferencing
Web conferencing has proved to be an invaluable tool for today’s
corporate communications. Allowing participants around the globe
to meet and collaborate online, Web conferencing can cut travel
costs, eliminate planning hassles and boost productivity. That is, if
you have the right features to facilitate your event.
These 10 requirements will ensure that your Web conference goes
off without a hitch.
1. Screen and Application Sharing: This feature allows
conference participants to view any document, Web site or tool
that a presenter has pulled up on his or her computer. Attendees
can better understand what’s being discussed and won’t need to
disrupt the presentation for clarification.
2. File Transfer and Document Sharing: With file transfer, users
can upload and download documents to their individual machines
and share them with the other conference attendees. This is
especially important for events about proposals, briefs or other
types of collaborative documents.
3. Text Chat: Text chat simply allows participants to send IMs
(instant messages) to each other, publicly or privately. It’s a useful
feature for question-and-answer sessions as well as one-on-one
4. Record and Playback: If you’ve ever attended a corporate
conference, you know how easy it is to miss another attendee’s
comment or an important side conversation. Record and playback
lets Web conference participants view everything at a later date.
This is also helpful for individuals who could not attend the
5. Polls and Surveys: These are easy ways to get immediate user
feedback. The conference presenter has the ability to ask questions
with multiple answer choices for the audience, as well as solicit
public or private responses.
6. Slide Shows: PowerPoint presentations have become a
fundamental tool for almost every corporate meeting today. It is,
therefore, vital to ensure that your Web conferencing solution
supports slide presentation capabilities. Many offerings also
support Keynote for Apple Macintosh users.
7. Whiteboards with Annotation: Just because you’re meeting
online doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice hands-on collaboration.
The whiteboards feature lets the conference presenter or
participants make changes to slides or take notes on a blank
8. Security: With a countless number of security threats plaguing
the Internet, it’s essential for your Web conferencing solution to
have the right defenses in place. Tools including firewalls,
password protection and encryption are good indicators that the
offering you’re considering will protect your event from online
9. Video Integration: Seeing is believing, right? With a simple
desktop video camera, video integration allows attendees to view
each other and the presenter.
10. VoIP: While many Web conferencing solutions get by with
simple audio capabilities, you’ll want to be sure that your choice
has VoIP. VoIP, or Voice over IP — a voice-communications
technology that uses the Internet instead of traditional phone lines
— lets participants talk in real-time through headsets and their
computers’ speakers. This simplifies your conference by limiting
all communications to individuals’ machines; participants won’t
have to worry about having a phone line available during the
Of course, there are a host of additional Web conferencing features
available to help meet your individual needs, and vendors will be
promoting them shamelessly. But without these 10 fundamental
capabilities, your event will likely be plagued with too many
problems and too few features to be effective.
Webex is a Web-based Web conferencing service. It combines
real-time desktop sharing with phone conferencing. It has
comparable features to NetMeeting but is an externally managed
service. It works for individual or small-scale implementations, as
well as large corporate implementations.
Webex can be used on multiple platforms (e.g., Windows,
Macintosh) as long as users have an appropriate Web browser,
such as Navigator or Internet Explorer.
Advantages of Webex :
Get more done without leaving your office.
Make meetings more efficient.
Train more people.
Record meetings for those who missed the session.
Resolve support issues faster to better serve your customers.
McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences trialed Wimba's Live
Classroom Web conferencing technology to support education and
curriculum activities with students and faculty.
The Objective of the study:
Explore faculty, staff, and student perceptions of Web conferencing as a
support for teaching and learning in health sciences.
Q-methodology was used to identify unique and common viewpoints of
participants who had exposure to Web conferencing to support
educational applications during the trial evaluation period.
This methodology is particularly useful for research on human
perceptions and interpersonal relationships to identify groups of
participants with different perceptions. It mixes qualitative and
quantitative methods. In a Q-methodology study, the goal is to uncover
different patterns of thought rather than their numerical distribution
among the larger population.
A total of 36 people participated in the study, including medical
residents (14), nursing graduate students (11), health sciences faculty
(9), and health sciences staff (2). Three unique viewpoints were
The majority of respondents were pragmatists who endorsed the
value of Web conferencing yet identified that technical and ease-
of-use problems could jeopardize its use.
Positive communicators (28%) enjoyed technology and felt that
Web conferencing could facilitate communication in a variety of
Shy enthusiasts (11% ) were also positive = and comfortable with
the technology but differed in that they preferred communicating
from a distance rather than face-to-face.
Common viewpoints were held by all groups: they found Web
conferencing to be superior to audio conferencing alone, felt more
training would be useful, and had no concerns that Web
conferencing would hamper their interactivity with remote
participants or that students accustomed to face-to-face learning
would not enjoy Web conferencing.
Overall, all participants, including pragmatists who were more
cautious about the technology, viewed Web conferencing as an
enabler, especially when face-to-face meetings were not possible.
Adequate technical support and training need to be provided for
successful ongoing implementation of Web conferencing.
Frame Work for Distance Education:
Time of interaction
Type of interaction
Ease of access/use
Cost High cost