Most web-conferencing systems have built-in tools (pods) to enable communication, cooperation and collaboration. Here below you will find a quick overview of some of these tools.
Chat pods are possibly the part of the standard setup in a “webinar-room” that participants will know from other services such as Instant Messaging services and Facebook messenger. These offer a very easy way for communication, many-to-many which demands little commitment from the participants
Many web-conferencing services offer “Note-Pods” where participants can all participate in writing the same text.
Polls offer the possibility of asking specific questions of the participants and displaying graphically the answers to these questions. This is also an anonymous and non-commital way og getting participants to begin to communicate with you and the other participants.
Whiteboard pods allow particpants to write or draw on the same space at the same time. This can for example be used for brainstorming or to ask participants to explain their ideas with images or diagrams.
The microphone – understandably – gives participants a voice during a webinar. We have experienced that when people participate in an event with a large number of strangers, they are reluctant to “raise their voice”, but if it does suit the webinars purpose it is possible to encourage participants to voice their opinions. In such cases it is wize to get them to test the microphone as early as possible in the webinar and even just before, when people are testing the equipment.
An integral part of the Webinar is the video / camera pod where you as an organizor should show yourself and the eventual presenters as well. Depending on the number of participants it will create a greater feeling of belonging if you encourage participants to “show themselves” as well.
More on collaboration:
- Collaborative tools “Plain vanilla” On the collaborative tools built into most web conferencing systems
- Collaboration on documents Learn how to get participants to write together
- Collaboration on canvases Use canvases to offer totally unstructured or very structured collaboration
- Collaborative mind mapping Mindmaps can help participants structure their discussions on the run and give them a better overview of their ideas