I had a question from my department about holding Dissertation Defenses using Zoom and more specifically using Zoom Breakout rooms. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions or even better – something your department is going to try or has tried? I have directed them to the Zoom Breakout trainings today.
I’d be curious what the requirements are for this situation. Depending on the nature/timing of specific dissertation defenses, it may be easier to set up individual Zoom meetings with the committee chair or the candidate as the host and the rest of the committee in attendance. Using breakout rooms is certainly an option, but it may be over-complicating things depending on the need. Do you have a sense what the requirements are they are attempting to accomodate with breakout rooms as opposed to separate meetings?
I have used Zoom extensively for dissertation defenses for my students. We just open a session inviting the committee and the student who defends. The student is has “host” privileges in the “settings” and he/she can share his/her screen. When the presentation and questions are done we ask the student to leave the session while we discuss the presentation. He/she is invited back to the zoom session after a set number of minutes.
Jumping into this a bit late. Gillings does plan to do dissertations over Zoom. We also have chat support available and recommend using guidelines from the faculty and student emails to help keep everyone on-board. Feel free to reach out for support with this!