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Presentation by international researcher as open webinar 

Short description

An external speaker, e.g. a researcher colleague, can provide new input for the teaching. By holding the presentation online and open for anyone interested, it is possible to be more flexible with time and resources.


International collaboration might initially sound like an expensive affair, but a relatively easy and economically sound solution is to invite a good researcher colleague to do an online presentation. This also gives the students a chance to put a face on the author and to take part in a relevant discussion with a first-rate academic speaker through a flexible solution. Zoom can normally host 500 people, so this is a great opportunity to extend the invitation to other classes or even the entire year group.

Learning objectives

Students learn how to listen to international researchers, comprehend, reflect and thereby ask relevant questions about their research.  



Before the presentation   

  • The students might profitably read one or more articles by the researcher colleague as supplementary material or as the starting point for a Q&A part of the presentation.  

  • Activities where the students have to ask relevant questions or voice their opinion can also precede the presentation and ensure more participation.   

  • It is also an advantage to meet online 15 minutes before the class starts to go through the technical and pedagogic setup with the researcher colleague. Any potential problems with audio and video can be prevented here. It is also a chance to explain the students’ academic level, qualifications, etc., which gives the guest speaker a good starting point. Consider using the ‘Waiting Room’ function, so the students won’t be let into the meeting room before the speaker is ready.  

The programme before the presentation was as follows:    

Introduction (10 min.)

  • At the agreed meeting time, the meeting room opens and the local teacher bids the participants welcome and introduces the guest speaker. The teacher also explains any other activities, e.g. feedback and discussion options, which were curated by one of the teachers in this case. 

  • You can consider whether you want to use the chat function, which can also be used for comments and links during the lecture. 

Academic presentation (45 min.)

  • The guest speaker speaks directly to the participants and can share their screen with pictures, relevant websites or slides. There is also an option to play video or audio material. During online presentations, it might be useful to keep an eye on the length of the presentation. Breaking it up with activities and audience participation can help keep the students focused. 

  • Alternatively, you can include a shorter ‘bio-break’ at the halfway point and then continue the presentation afterwards.  

Comments from researcher (10 min.)

  • A researcher who knows the guest speaker’s work (and the students’ interests) comments on the speaker’s presentation and starts a discussion involving the students.  

Audience questions (20 min.)

  • The students can be involved in different ways depending on how many they are and the desired type of interaction. 

  • If there are more than 30 participants, it is a clear advantage to use written questions via Zoom’s own Q&A function, chat or an external tool. In this example, the Q&A function was chosen. 

  • Afterwards, the teacher functions as a moderator who can choose to read the question aloud or ask the author of it to do so with their microphone. This creates a dialogic and respectful form for everyone in the online room. 

Wrap-up (10 min.)

  • The local teacher wraps up and puts the lecture in context of academic competences, specific courses or assignments that the students have worked on.   

After the presentation: 

A recording is downloaded locally by users that pressed the record button (it might take a while before the file is downloaded).   



  1. Relevant texts.   

  1. Subsequent recording of the presentation.  

  1. Zoom link via AU Studypedia.



A webinar like this supports the student’s identification with the course. This is a rich opportunity to bring a first-rate researcher into the class, if only for a short while, who functions as the face of a theory or an entry point into the literature to make it more accessible.   

In addition, this is a chance to show off the international aspect of a subject area and its global connections. 


It is a good idea to consider several technical elements that were discussed during a coordination meeting before the start of the Anthusia course:   

  • Will the presentation be recorded? If so, you might need permission from all participants in order to distribute it.  

  • Where should the participating audience be able to ask questions and comment?  

  • How long is the presentation and which breaks are included?  

Advices for other educators

  • The external speaker might want to answer questions asynchronously after the presentation, or respond to assignments or something similar from groups depending on the form of collaboration.   

  • On a smaller scale, a normal Zoom meeting room is able to host up to 500 participants. You can use the Zoom chat for questions or external tools like Padlet or Mentimeter to ask questions or write comments. The local teacher can choose to use the chat function actively by commenting on the presentation, answer straightforward questions or refer to relevant links and texts from previous classes that relate to the speaker’s presentation.  

  • Consider which researcher colleagues or experts could be relevant to contact to test this format.   

  • Are there any linguistic barriers worth considering before the presentation?   

  • Consider whether you’re able to return the favour.  

Basic information

Educator Lotte Meinert
Faculty and department Arts, IKS 
Degree programme Interdisciplinary
Level of study PhD
Course/subject PhD Summer School for Anthropology (ANTHUSIA)  
Number of students 16 PhD students (in DK) – 200 other students and other participants in the course 
Extent Short course 
Teaching format Lecture, conference format, summer school 


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