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The responsibilities of the chair of the committee during a completely digital defence

During a completely digital defence you largely have the same responsibilities as during a regular defence, but there are a few details you should know about. 

The defence will still follow regular procedure as far as the situation allows for it. In addition to your regular responsibilities during a defence, there are a few additional points that relate specifically to a digital defence.

  •  A completely digital defence is conducted entirely in Zoom, so before the defence you must familiarise yourself with Zoom
  • A technician will be there to help with the technical aspects of the defence, but will in general be a silent and nearly invisible participant. The technician is the host of the defence in order to manage it technically, but you will still lead the defence.
  • Two days before the defence you must take part in a practice session in Zoom, together with the candidate, a technician and, if possible, the opponents. The technician will set up the Zoom session. You should use the same equipment (camera, microphone) and location (office) for this test meeting as you will do during the defence. 
  • Keep in mind that using Zoom on a Remote Desktop does not work. You must have the Zoom desktop client installed on the laptop or computer you are using. Read more about installing and signing in on Zoom.
  • For the actual defence you must join the webinar using your personal link sent to you by the technician, no later than 30 minutes before the defence will start.
  • Make sure your microphone and camera work, and that you have a stable Internet connection.
  • The defence will be conducted as a webinar, which is somewhat different from a regular Zoom meeting. Read more about the differences here.
  • You will be a panelist in the defence. This means that you will be able to mute and unmute your own microphone, and share your screen if needed. 
  • During the defence your microphone should be muted when you are not speaking, to reduce background noise. Whenever you need to speak, you must unmute your microphone. 
  • When the defence is finished, you and the rest of the committee along with the chair of the defence will need to leave the webinar in order for the opponents to discuss and evaluate the candidate. The technician will invite you to a separate Zoom meeting where this will take place. Once you have reached a conclusion you must all return to the webinar, by leaving the separate Zoom meeting, and clicking your original (personal) link to the defence webinar that you received with the original defence invitation. Once you are back in the defence webinar the chair of the defence will announce the verdict of the committee to the candidate and the audience. (This does not apply if your faculty normally does not hold such a meeting before finishing the defence).
  • If the candidate decides to conduct the trial lecture live with the opponents in Zoom, you must be present for this.
  • If technical issues occur that simply cannot be resolved right away, the chair of the defence will pause the defence until the issues can be solved. If it still cannot be solved, the defence may be called off and rescheduled.
  • If you have any questions about digital defence, contact your faculty administration
Published Sep. 7, 2020 4:44 PM - Last modified Sep. 9, 2020 5:08 PM