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Evaluation of the Suitability of Distributed Interactive Videoconferencing for use in Higher Education

3 Results

3.6 Presentation aspects

Not all of the speakers used presentation guidelines to write their slides (e.g. see 3.3.5). There is a requirement to incorporate strict guidelines for presenters next year. One of the presenters commented that the prerequisites for distributed events are fundamentally different:
" is harder to grab audiences, and this demands a larger effort in presentation techniques and more imagination in order to obtain more dynamic presentations"

Generally the local video showing the speaker was quite small for the main part of the talk, with the slides given prominent screen position. This worked well, especially because the local monitor was expanded on the screen at the beginning of talk for first 20/30 seconds, then reduced in window size for the most part of the talk. Only on a few occasions did the local monitor cover slides. During some presentations when technical staff knew that the end of presentation was coming up they enlarged the video of the speaker to full screen, this was successful, and follows broadcast standards.

3.7 Context of results

There were some limitations to the study; the structured interviews with speakers were all carried out with speakers based at the Brussels site due to constraints of time and budget. Therefore the results are to some extent dependent upon the end equipment, set-up and organisation at that site, and not fully representative of the speakers experiences across all sites during the Summer School.

The feedback from participants is equally a reflection on the make-up of the sample group, most of whom were students from Madrid, Aveiro and Berlin, with some participants from Brussels. Certain responses in the participants questionnaire were dependent upon end-equipment and the set-up at individual sites, such as perceptions of the quality of the audio and video, particular technical problems experienced during the Summer School, and the degree to which they felt they were involved in the entire Summer School. An analysis was not carried out on the technical equipment installed at each site as it was deemed outside of the scope of this study.

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