Preparations for an online defence of doctoral thesis
Chairperson and host
Make sure that a person can participate to chair and host the meeting in the online service chosen.
Technician on site
The Campus Services Office will always supply a technician onsite who can make sure the technology is functioning throughout the meeting.
It is beneficial if you have checked out the room and the technology a couple of days before the meeting to make sure that all equipment is present and working properly.
Decide what online service is to be used
In Triple Helix, you have three online services available that are suitable for online defences of doctoral theses: Zoom, Teams and Starleaf. Browse through the list of functionalities to decide which service best suits you.
Functionalities in Zoom, Teams and Starleaf
|Hold an audio and video meeting||x||x||x|
|Show a presentation/share a screen||x||x||x|
|Share documents during a meeting||x||x|
|Manage participants during an ongoing meeting||x||x||x|
|Allow active participation||x||x|
|Control who accesses the meeting||x||x|
|Maximum number of participants||300||250||100|
|Maximum number of streamed videos||49||9||25|
Book your defence of the doctoral thesis in two services
We recommend that you book the defence of your doctoral thesis through two of these services to make sure the meeting can be carried out even if one of the services for some reason malfunctions.
A StarLeaf meeting is booked when making the room booking through Infocenter.
Provide information about the defence of the doctoral thesis and share links
Wherever you publish information about your public defence of the doctoral thesis, you must also include the links to the meeting. This because defences of theses are public events that must be open to the public, even if they take place online.
You must state which online service, and hence link, is the primary service and which one is the backup to be used only if the first one fails.
Give your audience a few advices in your invitation
Everyone is not used to participating in online meetings. Therefore, it can be helpful to pass on some tips when you publish your invitation to the online defence of your doctoral thesis.
- Ask your participants to download the software necessary for participation in the meeting.
- Ask your participants to join the meeting through the assigned services no later than 10–15 minutes prior to the start of the defence so that everyone has time to check their internet connection and technology before the event starts.
- Ask all participants to turn off their microphones and video streams when they join. Video and sound can be turned on later in the event of questions or other interactions.
Preparations for the online defence of the doctoral thesis
Schedule an hour before the meeting to make sure that everything is working as intended in the virtual room you are in. Use a local area network, i.e. a network cable, instead of Wi-Fi.
Start the online defence of the doctoral thesis about 15 minutes before the set time so that the audience can join the Waiting Room and test their technology.
During the online defence of the doctoral thesis
It is beneficial if the meeting has one designated person to keep track of the participants during the meeting – a host. It has occurred that members of the audience have participated only to disrupt the meeting. There are measures to avoid this in the various services.
Zoom offers a waiting room and Teams offers a lobby where the audience can be placed while waiting for the public defence of the doctoral thesis to start. This is a recommended method in order to make sure technology will cope but also to keep track of who is allowed to join. As a host, you can manually allow participants to join the meeting one by one or let everyone in at once. You can also post a personal note to all participants in the waiting room containing for instance a description of the agenda for the defence of the thesis or guidelines for audience participation.
Set up a Zoom meeting
When booking your Zoom meeting, you get to chose whether to require a meeting password or not. You are not recommended to use a password, instead please use a waiting room. These settings are found under Advanced options. You can choose “Enable join before host”, which could be beneficial for people to test their technology in good time. If you have enabled a waiting room, participants will only get so far before they are admitted to the meeting.
You can also choose to mute participants upon entry. This is particularly beneficial for participants who may join late so they do not disturb the ongoing meeting.
When someone has joined your waiting room and want to join, a pop-up box will appear at the bottom of the screen. You can choose to view the waiting room or let the participant join. To view the waiting room can be necessary if several people wish to join simultaneously. You can reach the waiting room via the icon labelled Participants.
Set up a Teams meeting
Go to your Outlook booking, double-click the calendar event to see details of the meeting. Below the link to join the meeting you will find a link labelled “Meeting options” (Mötesalternativ). Click the link.
You will be shown a view with further settings:
- “Who can bypass the lobby?” (Vilka kan gå förbi lobbyn?) There are three options: Everyone; everyone in your organisation and federated organisations; or everyone in your organisation. “In my organisation” refers to Umeå University as a whole.
- Allowing dial-in users to bypass the lobby should always be set to “No”.
- Notify the host when a dial-in user leaves the meeting – tick “Yes” if you want to hear a signal each time a participant leaves or joins the meeting.
Who can share their screen? Here are four options: Everyone; everyone in my organisation; some individuals or only me. A recommendation is to allow at least a chairperson or host to share their screen beside you. Choose by inviting people into the meeting and choose their names in the list.
When someone outside of the organisation wants to join the meeting, a pop-up box will appear at the bottom of the screen through which you can choose to show the lobby or admit a participant to join the meeting. To view the lobby can be necessary if several people wish to join simultaneously. You reach the lobby by viewing the list of participants.
In all three online services, Zoom, Teams and Starleaf, the host can manage participants. This means that the host can turn both microphones and videos off for participants who have not done so (if this disrupts the meeting). The host can also remove a participant if necessary. This option is found under Security in Zoom.
Depending on what setup you have for the online defence of the thesis, the host may need to keep an eye on the chat in case the audience wants to ask questions. Zoom also offers an option to raise your hand, or to ask the presenter to slow down if speaking too fast.
Support and education
The Centre for Educational Development and ITS offer webinars as introductions to Zoom and Teams if you want to learn more about the service prior to the online defence of your doctoral thesis. The dates of these webinars can be found in the calendar of events on Aurora.
Please contact Servicedesk or Infocenter so we can help you with the online solutions.Formulärets nederkant