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Audio conferences

Some distance papers offered by the University of Otago are taught via the University’s national Audioconference network.

This functions as a single teaching room, in which teachers and students throughout New Zealand communicate directly with one another.

Audioconferencing brings people together in a learning community. Most students enjoy the Audioconference sessions and appreciate the chance to ask questions and get instant replies, and to meet other people with similar interests, both in their own region and elsewhere in the country.

Most lecturers will have indicated in the course materials what is on the agenda for each Audioconference session. Preparation for each session (doing the suggested reading, listening to the podcast supplied, or jotting down specific matters of concern which you wish to raise) will prove very worthwhile. The advantage of the “live” seminars can be fully exploited for learning only if they are interactive. If you are well prepared for the topic scheduled, you will know what you need to ask of, or share with, your fellow students and the teacher.

Using the Network

You will be connected to your class by telephone through an audioconference bridge. This will require a 10 digit PIN number. For comfort, it is recommended that you use a hands-free speaker telephone. You also need to arrange a quiet space from which to take part in your Audioconference session/s. Some papers may also include videoconference sessions for students who can participate from the University’s centres in Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington.

Instructions and advice on participating in Audioconference sessions are provided below.

Recording and Confidentiality of Audioconferences

Recording of live audioconference sessions is not permitted, except by the audioconference bridge controllers. This safeguards confidentiality, materials that could be covered by copyright, and the students’ participation. Breach of this policy will result in disciplinary action. If the session has been requested to be recorded, access to the recording will be made available by the department to students. Copies are also covered by copyright and are never supplied to persons other than members of the course.

It is important that students preserve the confidentiality of teaching session discussion, especially when sensitive matters such as case studies are discussed. Professional ethical standards must be maintained at all times.

General Instructions

To join your Audioconference by Telephone

  • Students will join their Audioconference sessions via the Spark Audioconference Bridge using a telephone.
  • We strongly advise you to use a “hands free” speaker phone.
  • The phone you are using must not have a toll bar on it.
  • Please ensure you know how to mute and un-mute your phone.
  • Sit in a place where you will not be interrupted.
  • The University of Otago pays for landline calls within New Zealand.
  • For mobiles, please check charges and access to the 0800 number with your mobile provider directly if you wish to dial into the conference on your mobile phone.
  • Mobiles and cordless phones are not recommended, due to reception and transmission interference. If you do use a cordless phone ensure:
    • the batteries are charged and the phone is well situated for good reception and transmission
    • you mute your phone when not talking

To dial in to your Audioconference (New Zealand students)

  • If you have a Call Waiting facility on your phone, please disconnect this by dialing *52. (It will be restored automatically when you hang up at the end of your Audioconference.)
  • Dial your Access Number: this will be 0800 633 866 unless advised otherwise. The correct access number will be provided to you by your course coordinator or course administrator.
  • After the voice prompt, dial your 10 digit Audioconference PIN and press the # key.
  • You must mute your phone when you are not talking.
    • To mute your phone, dial *6.
    • To unmute, dial #6.
    • Please take care to dial the correct number for muting and un-muting. Incorrect numbers can lock or disconnect the whole Audioconference.
  • Overseas students joining the Audioconference will be informed separately of their connection arrangements as the dial in number varies from country to country.