University Tips Blog
Image of a hybrid university event - on campus and delivered online too.
A headshot image of the author, Andrew Cooper

by Andrew Cooper

Hybrid Delivery Co-ordinator at the University of Liverpool

posted on 12 Apr '22

A guide to the different types of online university events

Our understanding of technology and the benefits this can bring to university events has increased dramatically over the last two years.

I expect online events will continue to be offered in the future – alongside on-campus and in-school provision, with three broad options of online events being offered by universities: university virtual, university hybrid and school virtual. I will outline these below.

What are university virtual events?

Since the start of the pandemic, most university events have been completely virtual. We would much rather show facilities in person, but running virtual events has meant they can be more accessible geographically and include a wider range of speakers.

Moving forward, most of these events will take place on standard video platforms (such as Zoom, Teams, Google etc.) Some universities will run events to replace traditional on-campus events which would need teacher involvement, whilst others will arrange events in the evening outside of school timetable commitments. These events will range from traditional talks to full outreach schemes such as summer schools.

What are university hybrid events?

With on-campus events returning there is a new opportunity to stream events live, so if you or your students can’t travel to the university, you can still participate in them. These hybrid events may not be able to fully replicate the day itinerary, such as tours, but can enable students to see guest lectures and participate in Q&As from school or home - alongside those joining the event on campus.

What are school virtual events?

Virtual talks into classrooms have been the norm for many as a result of the pandemic. Like with university virtual events, schools hosting virtual events will mean you can access a broader range of speakers and providers to support your event.

Universities from across the country may be able to deliver a short virtual talk, or a virtual careers fair can include more institutions able to offer advice to your students.

Image of a teacher planning a school timetable

Getting buy-in from universities

Virtual events can be problematic when it comes to engagement, so it is good to get buy- in from students in advance to ensure sessions run smoothly. Due to safeguarding restrictions, we know why students don’t always have cameras on, however using microphones or chat functions is a great way for them to participate and give feedback to the higher education speaker.

The increase in online events means that universities can now support a far wider range of students - and be even more accessible. When speaking to higher education providers, ask for details of what to expect, such as interactive quizzes and if breakout rooms will be used, so you can plan your school or college resource.

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