Web conferencing is an affordable technology that uses the Internet to allow one or more individuals located anywhere to interact live from their own networked computers.
The University of Cincinnati has a site license for Elluminate Live!, a leading Web conferencing application, which we run on a dedicated server. Currently, the software is available to 50 concurrent connections. There is no charge to the UC community for its use.
Over the past few years, use of this technology has increased steadily for online teaching and other academic applications. There is also a noticeable shift from video conferencing to Web conferencing for practical reasons. The top ten reasons for using Elluminate Web conferencing as an alternative to video conferencing are because Elluminate:
- Is More Cost Effective: It requires low budget technologies, specifically a networked computer, a headset with a microphone, an optional webcam, and a browser with a free Java plug-in.
- Is Platform Independent: The user can employ a PC, a Mac, or a Linux/Unix system to join an online session.
- Is Greener than Videoconferencing: Rather than having to commute to gather at various sites, users can join sessions from their own computers, located wherever it is convenient for them as individuals.
- Offers a Greater Variety of Features: Text messaging, audio and video transmission over IP (Internet Protocol), polling, whiteboard for presentation and drawing, web tour and web push, file transfer, multimedia player, desktop sharing, closed captioning, recording for archive - and more - are available.
- Promotes Collaborative and Active Online Learning through synchronous or live online discussions, polling, group work in breakout sessions, and brainstorming in whiteboard.
- Accommodates Multiple Learning Styles: A variety of features create a rich and engaging learning environment. The closed caption option makes it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
- Is integrated with the Blackboard Learning Management System, which allows users to set up class meetings within the course content area.
- Is useful for Multiple Teaching Purposes, such as online synchronous teaching and learning, virtual office hours, tutoring, remote guest speaker presentations, class presentations, lecture recording for asynchronous delivery, and student group work.
- Is useful for Other Academic Purposes, such as student recruiting, student orientation, university help desk consulting, professional development, research collaboration, and demonstrations.
To get started with this technology, contact UCIT staff at Elluminate@uc.edu for a demo and training.