RSES Seminars Thursday 1pm | ANU Research School of Earth Sciences • rses.anu.edu.au
Here are some notes on the way we have been trying to run the school seminars(with an eye to making sure that we do not get unwanted visitors).
We are publishing an open and persistent link to our seminars which allows anyone to access the space. This is great for people to make sure they know how to connect in advance. The disadvantage is that anyone at all can come along and try that out. Of course, this is analogous to the real seminar room where people can drop in to find where it is.
Get the speaker to set up 10-15 minutes early - this helps stay in control of the audience too as they arrive and see something happening rather than sending random emails asking if they got the right time / url !
If you are recording - better to do this by hand rather than automatically as otherwise people testing the setup get recorded. You can also make an announcement that you intend to record before you start and people will have the option not to speak / show video if they wish.
We ask people in advance / at the beginning to check the chat box and use that to communicate with me(the host) rather than trying to unmute or interrupt. We also make sure they know where the raise-hand button is located.
(personal preference) It is a good idea to point out to people that they can set their screen name during the session. Its hard with people who choose random numbers or aliases as it is difficult to identify them when it comes to calling for questions. The same for someone that has“UNSW seminar room” or“RSES seminar convenor”(oops !).
It is helpful to tell people how to do side-to-side on their screens so that they can see the presentation and the speaker/participants at the same time.
Security wise, we do the following -
Make sure to set it up so that everyone is muted on arrival
Check the option that nobody can unmute themselves for the duration of the seminar(the host can over-ride anyone’s setting)
Check the option that nobody except the host can interrupt when the screen is being shared
(optional) make the speaker a co-host in case you as the host get knocked off-line - it will let things keep going smoothly while you get organised.
To handle questions - there are a couple of options.
One is to ask people to raise hands and then unmute them so they can talk
Another is to use the chat to line up an order of questions
Alternatively, use the chat room and either read out the questions as host or have the speaker do that.
Get the speaker to share their presentation(only) and not their whole screen as this means they can watch the audience and interact more naturally. It also means that there is no interruption from email or accidentally seeing private conversations.
It is helpful for the host to stay online for 10-15 mins after the seminar so that they can have a quick one-on-one“thank you” chat with the speaker and it allows people“leave the room” rather than“shutting the room”.