Board Meetings via Videoconference

The TWICE board has been meeting over videoconference since we started in 2001. The “Jazz workshop” leadership have always met over videoconferencing since it started in 2005.

So it’s a little amusing to me to read articles like this one from the Wall Street Journal. (Unfortunately I’m a little slow in blogging this 4/25/11 article, so you can only read the full article with a subscription now.)

As videoconferencing technology becomes more sophisticated, it is slowly moving up the corporate ladder to the boardroom.

In the article, board of director concerns with videoconferencing were listed while also describing the growing use of VC:

  • people feeling “at a distance”
  • people getting less involved over VC than they would face to face
  • lack of ability to have side conversations

You may think of additional issues from your experience.

On the TWICE board, we have tried to bridge the distance in a variety of ways:

  • Side conversations with a back channel chat tool such as Skype
  • A “roundtable” section at the end of the agenda for people to share their projects, programs, ideas, questions, issues
  • People make appointments with each other after the meeting for further conversation or switch to the phone after the VC
  • The chair of the meeting with call specifically on people who haven’t commented recently
  • We use the split screen to have everyone seen
  • We use thumbs up or similar gestures for voting or getting attention or requesting the floor
  • We meet TWICE a year face to face
  • We try to be deliberate about collaborating and connecting with each other outside of the official board meetings

What tips would you add for making videoconference board meetings more effective?


About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
This entry was posted in VC Community. Bookmark the permalink.