"Live" conversational tools are intended to assist the direct and immediate communication between parties in separate locations. These can be a small group of individuals communicating together, one person presenting to a number of people, or groups of many people sharing an experience.
To ensure that the experience is as pleasant and productive as possible, a number of recommendations have been collected here.
The WestGrid Collaboration and Visualisation Facility has resources to connect to the AccessGrid conferencing network, to join conferences that include a large number of other sites. It also has a high definition (720p) camera and projection system for conferencing a smaller number of sites (up to 2 external sites) with superb video and audio quality.
Web Conferencing allows virtual meetings or lectures on the Internet. Meeting tools are available to assist with collaboration.
Audio Conferencing allows real-time two-way communication from a distance using a telephone. Video Conferencing allows two-way communication using video (including computer based presentations) in addition to audio.
There is also a requirement to share information between people, so that they can work collaboratively. This could be research data to be analysed independently, or documents to be edited jointly.
The MicroSoft SharePoint utility permits the sharing of documents and incorporates workflows into the document management. (This is not scientific workflow, though those processes can be documented in SharePoint). SharePoint access is available as an ICT service. Read more.
Blogs are frequently updated websites used for online journals or newsletters. Multiple authors can collaborate on the same blog.
Wikis are a mass collaborative authoring tool. They can be used for variety of tasks such as taking personal notes, collaborating with others online, creating an internal knowledge base or forming an online community.
PAWS Groups allow interaction with other members of the U of S community using a number of collaboration tools such as file sharing, announcements, online chats and a message board.