The main cause of technical issues in live online sessions is typically when it is accessed from an unsupported browser. This can manifest in various ways, such as attendees not hearing presenters, not being able to see shared content or being prevented from joining entirely. Ensure that your attendees know which browsers they can use to join your webinar.
- Google Chrome – the recommended browser and most stable, but is not available in China
- Mozilla Firefox – a viable alternative for Google Chrome
- Safari – typically supported but may require enabling of cookies
- Microsoft Edge (Chromium) – latest versions are typically supported but older versions are not. It is usually safer to recommend attendees to use Google Chrome or Firefox.
Other browsers such as Internet Explorer and older versions of Microsoft Edge are not supported and should not be used. Platforms like Microsoft Teams use dedicated applications that attendees need to install.
- Attendees should check their devices in the settings of the platform to make sure they are functioning properly. Let them know that they need to make sure that they “Allow” their browser to access the microphone and webcam when prompted.
- Headsets/earphones should be plugged into their computers before joining a session or opening their browser, as plugging in a headset after joining will sometimes result in the platform not recognising the device. If attendees do this then ask them to leave, close their browser and join the session again.
- Headsets/earphones sometimes have mute buttons on the device itself that attendees may not realise has been activated. Ask them (in chat) to double check their headsets/earphones are not muted if they cannot hear the session.
Opportunity to test equipment
If you’re interacting online with your students for the first time online, consider encouraging your students to attend a “practice” or induction session with you before proper teaching commences. This will give them time to familiarise themselves with the environment and ensure that their equipment works.
Create a practice session within your module and invite students to take the opportunity to test out the functionality.