To conduct a webinar, online meeting software is required that allows participants to both communicate and work together. This second requirement in particular rules out the usage of typical online communication tools such as Skype. One may instead use AdobeConnect free of charge due to JMU’s membership in the German National Research and Education Network (DFN). Find out how to create an account and open an online meeting room here.
To ensure a strong and stable connection when conducting a webinar, a bandwidth of at least 10Mbps over Wi-Fi or 5Mbps over LAN is recommended. As connection bitrates tend to fluctuate, lower than recommended bandwidths present the risk that the instructor may become disconnected from the online meeting room.
In addition, you must have access to at least a medium quality (USB) microphone or headset. As a general rule, participants will only experience your instruction via your voice. Insufficient audio quality can quickly turn into frustration, leading to particpants’ mental disconnection as well as literal logging off.
A webcam, meanwhile, is not absolutely necessary and often not recommended, since video streams require additional bandwidth which may sometimes lead to disruptions in the connection. In extreme cases this may cause participants’ connection to the course room to break down entirely, at which point they are forced to log in again.