WA Secretary of State Wikis
Welcome GuestLogin

Peer Learning



Search the wiki

This page offers an overview of the possibilities for online meetings and events. Once you have decided on an event, you may wish to visit the Online Meeting Planning Checklist page.

What is an Online Meeting? When should I use one?

An online meeting is where two or more people use internet or telephone based tools to do something together. Just like offline, what happens depends on the purpose of the meeting. Some examples are:

  • An informational meeting where information is presented or disseminated, typically with one or more people presenting and everyone else watching and listening. If not done well, these can be even more boring than when we do this face to face! (F2F) These can scale out to very large numbers and are useful when you have to quickly get information out With good design, you can build in interaction in the form of questions and answers, polls for feedback, etc.

  • A team meeting where a small group of people work through an agenda of business items which may include informational items, brainstorming, decision making or other team processes. These are generally meetings of 10 people or less if there is to be true interaction of all members.

  • A training or workshop where skills are presented and participants practice and learn together.

  • Online meetings are useful when you have a distributed group of participants and there is insufficient time and/or resources to travel to get together. Face to face is wonderful, but we can do a lot of good work online as well. It takes some time to get used to, but people have demonstrated both successful web meetings and cost savings.

What about longer form online events?

While we typically think about 60-90 minute online meetings (about the maximum attention span) people are creating entire online conferences that run over multiple days, have many synchronous sessions as well as asynchronous web based discussions and sharing of resources.

How do I plan and facilitate an online meeting?

Check out the Online Meeting Planning ChecklistOnline Meeting Checklist

What tools should I consider for an online meeting?

The most important consideration in choosing a tool is to know what sorts of activities you need to support in your meetings. Then you can look for tools that support those activities. For example, sometimes talking on the telephone or web based voice tools like Skype (http://www.skype.comhttp://www.skype.com) is all you need! Keep it simple if small group conversation is the main activity.

If you determine you need a full fledged web meeting tool, check out this page which gives an example list of web meeting tools (free and paid) http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2009/05/15/online-meeting-tools/


ScrewTurn Wiki version Some of the icons created by FamFamFam.