The students I have previously had conferences with are graduate students (mostly music teachers) throughout the world. I have found that the conference activities are very valuable because of the intensive scrutiny we develop as visible persons sharing emotions, in addition to words, and knowledge as we talk about the course content and assignments. I have found that the questions asked and opinions voiced are intensive and more meaningful because of the personality interaction of the communications. We work more as a team because of the video interface as we note unspoken facial expressions and respond with nonverbal interaction.
A disadvantage of working globally, with obvious time-zone limitations, has been the problem of scheduling online classes when all can meet for seminars and conferences. Mid-evening times have been utilized as well as mid-afternoon meetings on Saturday/Sunday. These latter times seems to be better accessed as teachers have busy schedules with rehearsals and concerts that limit their availability to access the sessions in the evening. Fortunately, the sessions can be archived and the information session can be disseminated/shared. However, even with possibility of archiving sessions if limited participation from all members occurs , the overall communication dialogue with the entire class can be lost. This can be a hindrance, as many students may have questions that are not entered into the more limited exchange of ideas.
Colleague Meetings Online