Connecting Graduate Students Across the World With Research Web-Conferences
Keywords:web-conferences, online training, synchronous online training, electronic searching web-conferences, graduate training, online training workshops
AbstractThis article describes a series of training web-conferences in which graduate students majoring in linguistics in Australia, UK, USA and Saudi Arabia participated. The web-conferences aimed at developing graduate studentsâ€™ electronic searching skills in linguistics, to introduce them to latest trends and developments in linguistic research, and to communicate with expert linguists worldwide. They were initiated, organized and hosted by the Saudi Linguistsâ€™ Society (SAL) created a Saudi graduate student studying in the U.K. Since SAL has a limited budget, free web-conferencing software, such as PalTalk, Skype, How-to Geek and WEbex, were tried out. Â Graduate students could register in the web-conferences for free. SALâ€™s web-conferencing coordinator who was a graduate student in Australia invited the speakers, selected the web-conferencing theme, prepared the web-conference poster, announced them in the SAL website and on its Facebook page, scheduled them, and registered the participants. Steps in preparing for and conducting the training web-conferences are given. Participantsâ€™ views on the benefits and shortcomings of training web-conferences are reporte,and recommendations for conducting effective training web-conferences and for extending free web-conferencing and webinar tools to other educational settings in Saudi Arabia are given. In general, the participants found the training web-conferences cost-effective and beneficial.
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