Thank you for registering for the 2018 Educational Developers Caucus (EDC) Conference 2019! The EDC conference 2019 features both Concurrent Sessions and an EDC Showcase, which will both be hosted in an online platform called Big Blue Button. Read on for information about the platform, accessing sessions, and participation tips.
Orientation to BigBlueButton
You recommend you watch video that provides a basic overview of using Big Blue Button as a participant (viewer). To access the video, click here.
Your session facilitator(s) may also provide you with additional information during the session about the features they may want you to use to engage with them and the information they will be sharing.
All sessions will be hosted in individual rooms in the BigBlueButton webinar platform. Click here to access the links to each session.
As with a traditional keynote, these sessions are an opportunity for all conference participants to gather in one space to learn and share about a topic significant to the conference theme. The online format allows for more opportunities for audience engagement than a traditional face-to-face keynote, so we hope you will contribute to lively discussion during these sessions!
Also mimicking the structure of a traditional conference, the concurrent sessions span a full hour and will invite participants to engage in a variety of discussions and activities. Consult the guidance below in ‘Participating in Sessions’ for more information about what you can expect to experience in the sessions.
Showcase sessions are set up as a drop-in structure – similar to poster sessions in a traditional conference. The items that the facilitators will be discussing during the showcase sessions are available publicly – you can check them out in advance and go to the session prepared with thoughts, or check it out when you enter the facilitator’s room. We encourage you to pop into several sessions over the course of the hour, and take part in the discussion of the Showcase item for 10 or so minutes before moving on to a different room. The items can be viewed under the Showcase menu on the conference site homepage.
Participating in Sessions
As you prepare to attend EDC conference 2019, make sure you:
- Block off time for the sessions in your calendar
- Set up your physical environment (close the door, post a sign if you’re in the office so colleagues don’t interrupt, shut down email/other notifications)
Being a participant in an online workshop or discussion session can look and feel different than attending a session in person. How you engage and share your thoughts, ideas, and questions may require some changes or a different approach. Below are suggestions and tips for getting the most from your EDC conference 2019 experience.
- Consider that the facilitator(s) and your fellow participants may only see what you say (if you type) or only hear what you say
- Make sure your equipment (computer, headset, headphones, microphone, etc.) are compatible with our online platform (Big Blue Button).
- Take advantage of the multiple options available to interact and ask questions.
- Depending on how your facilitator(s) structure the session, you may type your questions and comments in a chat window and/or speak verbally with others in the session.
- Your facilitators will provide information as to what they may prefer for how to best interact with them and your fellow participants at the beginning of or at various points throughout the session.
- Be mindful of using humour, sarcasm, etc. If you are typing your comments or speaking them with your webcam off, it may are often easier to misinterpret your message without visible social cues.
- Don’t be afraid to let the facilitator(s) know if you can’t hear them well or if you can’t see the slides or other information they are sharing on the screen.
- Chances are, if you are having difficulty, others may be as well and our facilitator(s) will want to fix the problem so everyone can engage in the session.
- The best way to ask a question is by clicking on the “Raise Your Hand” button in the session platform.
- The facilitator(s) can then acknowledge and invite your question much in the same way they would in a physical classroom.
Participating as a Group
You may be attending one or all of the sessions as part of a group. Typically, this involves someone in your office arranging for a conference or meeting room to be set up so a large group can view the session at the same time. If this is how you will be attending the conference, below are some important tips to consider:
- When signing into the session as a group, it is helpful to identify yourself by your institution (e.g. OCAD University)
- Ensure at least one person in your group has access to a laptop/computer and the chat feature in Big Blue Button. It is typically easier for one person to ask questions and provide comments on behalf of the group using the chat function.
- Make sure the screen in your room is large enough so everyone can see comfortably
- Where possible, use a hard wired (Ethernet) connection rather than WiFi. WiFi can sometimes be problematic or unstable in larger meeting rooms and we don’t want you to miss a moment of any of our sessions!
- Take advantage of the opportunity to be all together. You may want to schedule additional time for a pre- and/or post session discussion with your team to delve deeper into the questions, insights, and topics shared by our facilitators.