University of Malta

Videoconferencing Basics
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IT Services Student Guide
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What is Videoconferencing?

Videoconferencing is the simultaneous transmission of video and audio between two or more geographically remote sites. Through this technology, geographically distant users are able to see and talk to each other in real-time. Videoconferencing is not only limited to audio-visual links. It also incorporates the real-time sharing of data from computer based presentations and videos.

IP Videoconferencing

During an IP (Internet Protocol) videoconference, the audio and video as captured through Videoconferencing equipment, are compressed and transmitted over the same networking infrastructure used by email & web pages.

IT Services offers high quality IP videoconferencing services through the GÉANT high-speed research and education network. The GÉANT network connects the research networks in 40 European countries and is also interconnected with other research networks across the world.

More information about charges involved in organising a videoconference is available.

Benefits & Uses

There are several applications and benefits of videoconferencing. The main benefits derived from the use of this technology are financial and time savings. In addition, videoconferencing is a green technology since it reduces the need to travel. In the educational context, videoconferencing can be used for:

  • Lectures, meetings & conferences - Staff and students at remote sites can participate in interactive lectures, meetings & conferences saving on travel costs and time.
  • Research reviews & assessment - Videoconferencing enables local tutors and students to interact with external examiners in the assessment of a dissertation/thesis.
  • Expert sessions - Staff and students are able to interact with experts or guest speakers at remote locations. Similarly, local experts can conduct interactive sessions with students situated at remote locations.
  • Collaborative working - Staff and students can discuss projects with persons located at remote sites.
  • Interactions with people at 'inaccessible' sites - Students can interact with people located at venues (e.g. an engineering workshop or an operating theatre) which are logistically inaccessible to groups of students.
  • Vendor communications - Staff can interact with international vendors before purchasing equipment for their department. They can follow product demonstrations and clarify any issues they have about any aspect of the equipment.
  • Staff recruitment - Videoconferencing can be used to conduct interviews with prospective staff located at a geographical distance.

Last Updated: 22 June 2015

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