Conference time: -
Tips for Delegates

Make a commitment
While an online conference is designed to free you from the constraints of face-to-face conferencing you still have to make a commitment to participate in the discussions. In setting up this conference we have endeavoured to implement an array of awareness mechanisms (RSS Feeds, email push) which should help you keep track of the conference discussions but we would still recommend that you set aside some time not only review and participate in discussions but also review the conference papers so that you may participate effectively.

Be prepared
Before the conference familiarise yourself with the conference environment. Take a note of contact details for the conference support staff and location of the ‘helpdesk’. Check the conference timetable and take a note of the key dates and times (Note: All times and dates are in BST unless otherwise stated).

Be realistic with your time
We want participants to gain the most out of the online conference but be realistic with your time. It might not be possible for you to read every paper and participate in every discussion. Weigh up your time and focus on the topics you are most interested in or the ones to which you feel you can make the greatest contribution. Remember all the discussions will be archived so there is an opportunity to review the other topics at a later date.

Keep other participants in mind
Being removed from the physical contact of a traditional face-to-face conference it is easy to forget about the other participants. Please respect the views and opinions of other participants.

Adapted from Wang, Y.M., 1999, Online Conference: A Participant's Perspective, T.H.E. Journal, v26 n8 p70-76.


Chat Tips and Etiquette

Use a new window or tab
Every time you enter or leave the chat page, a message is sent to the chat room telling everyone you have come in/gone out (plus you will find all previous messages are deleted if you leave the page). Therefore, please use a second window or tab in your browser if you wish to view other pages on the conference site at the same time as the chat. 

Enter chat sessions early
We recommend that participants enter the live chat earlier than the scheduled start time to check they can access it and to introduce themselves to the other delegates before the chat starts. The chat window will be visible 15 minutes before the scheduled start time to aid with any problems members may be experiencing.  Please do not enter a session page (as this joins you to the chat) once a chat session has started unless you intend to participate in the chat.

Introduce yourself
Please introduce yourself, especially if your username is not very obvious (unfortunately this cannot be changed, but your real name will be visible everywhere else on the site). This is a nice way of opening a live chat session and provides an opportunity for your fellow participants to find out your areas of interest and say hello.

Try not to interrupt
Try to be patient when awaiting a response to a question. In the live chat situation many questions can be asked simultaneously and it may take the author or moderator a moment or two to acknowledge your query or point. This is especially true of conferences, where large numbers of delegates may be participating. If your query is not answered, or you would like to discuss it in more detail, then post it on the forum discussion board afterwards.

Keep it short

The chat will move quickly, so try to keep your messages as short as possible, a line or two at the most.

Listen to the authors, facilitators and moderators
Please be considerate and give time for the authors and facilitators to give their input, and also pay attention to the moderator’s instructions – he/she is there to make it a more enjoyable experience for all.

Address specific points to individuals
In some chat sessions a large volume of queries or points can be raised in quick succession. It can be useful to specify which point you are responding to by naming the individual who made the point. Similarly, if you are directing a query towards one chat participant in particular it is helpful to place their name before the comment or query. For example:

Susan: Could you tell me more about that class?

Be careful not to dominate discussion
It is easy to get carried away in a fast moving live chat, especially if it is a topic you feel strongly about. Please try to bear in mind that if you quickly send a series of comments others may find it hard to add their thoughts. It can also make it difficult to follow if the discussion jumps from one argument to another too quickly. If a large number of delegates attend a chat session, not everyone may have the opportunity to have particular questions answered. Please don’t be disappointed by this, and instead continue your discussion in the forum discussion board.

Contact the Conference Team
If you are unhappy with something that happened in the course of a live chat please contact the Conference Team using the contact option on the help page. We will be glad to look into the matter for you and take appropriate action to prevent a repeat occurrence. If you have technical problems, there is also a technical contact on this page.

Enjoy the experience
The most important tip - relax and enjoy yourself!