MAD encourages thesis supervisors who feel comfortable to host the defences on their own. For those that feel they still need support, MAD can assist in this regard.
For the purpose of this document, we will refer to comprehensive exam and thesis defence as "defence".
Install Cisco Webex app
- On https://uwaterloo.webex.com/, sign in and click on "Downloads" on the left-pane.
- Click on "Download" and save the installation file (.dmg for macOS and .msi for Windows 10).
- Once downloaded, locate the file in your "Downloads" folder and double-click on the "webexapp" (.dmg for macOS and .msi for Windows 10).
- Follow the instructions on the installation wizard to install the app on your computer.
- Open the "Cisco Webex Meetings" app and enter your UWaterloo email address then click "Next".
- It will ask "Which Webex site do you want to use?" Enter: uwaterloo.webex.com
- Click "Next".
- Re-enter your WatIAM credentials and click "Next".
The following are roles within Webex:
- Host: The supervisor
- Presenter: The candidate (i.e. student) defending the thesis
- Attendee: The chair, committee members, external examiner, and guests
Here's a couple of basic functions you may need for defence:
- How to share your screen (for presenter only)
- How to "Move to Lobby" and "Admit" (for host only) - remember to take the presenter ball from the candidate before you move them to the lobby
Note: This instruction is for supervisor who is hosting a Webex meeting for the first time. If you have configured your Webex preferences once before, skip to the next section.
- Go to https://uwaterloo.webex.com/, sign in and click on "Preferences" on the left-pane.
- On the "General" tab, set to the following:
- Scroll down and "Save".
- On the "Audio and Video" tab, set to the following:
- Scroll down and "Save".
- On the "Scheduling" tab, set to the following:
- Scroll down and "Save".
You should set up a total of two Webex meetings for each defence: one for testing and another for the actual defence. The test meeting should occur a few days prior to the defence in order to provide time to resolve any technical issues.
- Go to https://uwaterloo.webex.com/ and sign in.
- Click on "Schedule".
- Ensure the "Meeting type" field is set to "Webex Meetings Pro 1000" and enter the appropriate meeting topic and password.
- For the "Date and time", enter the date and time of the defence (be sure to check "am" or "pm"), and set the duration. It is recommended to set the meeting to 30 minutes longer than normal as the defence may run overtime.
- On the "Attendees" field, enter the email addresses of the candidate, chair, and committee members.
- You can also assign someone as a cohost in case of technical issues. To do so, click on the human icon next to the person's name.
- Click on "Show advanced options".
- Under "Audio connection options", ensure that they are set to the following:
- Under "Scheduling options", ensure that they are set to the following:
- Click on the "Schedule" button to email out the calendar invites.
- If you have guests attending the defence, you can forward the email from Webex with the subject line "(Forward to others) Webex meeting invitation".
- To schedule a test meeting, repeat steps 1 to 10 but with with the date scheduled a few days prior to the defence, and 15 or 30 minutes in duration.
It would be prudent to review and implement the recommendations listed below to ensure the defence can happen without a hitch.
Before the defence:
- Use the Cisco Webex Meetings Desktop App (i.e. not using Webex via browser).
- Using a wired headset, headphone or earbuds (with mic) will significantly improve the audio quality.
- Test a few days prior to the defence, and be as prepared as you can for the test meeting.
- When performing audio check, pay attention to: volume, clarity, echo, lag/latency, and continuity (i.e. is the person’s voice cutting in and out?).
- Review and implement tips on improving your bandwidth.
For the candidate (in addition to the above):
- Prior to your defence, send your PowerPoint to all the attendees. Consider converting your PowerPoint into PDF format before sending it.
- Print out your presentation notes, if any. Do not rely on Presenter Mode.
- Have water in a closeable lid and other essentials (e.g., pen and paper) within reach in case you need them.
- Please have your support system (e.g., family and friends, fur babies, etc.) readily available to provide support if the decision is unfavourable or to celebrate if the decision is favourable.
During the defence:
- Join 10 minutes early to settle down and do a quick test.
- When the candidate begins their defence, mute your mic and unmute only when speaking. You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily unmute.
- If the bandwidth permits, keep the camera on so the candidate can get some visual cues as to how the presentation is going. Otherwise, turn off camera except for the candidate.
- At the end of the presentation, stop sharing the screen and change the layout to “Grid View”.
- Be sure the camera is on and mic is unmuted before announcing the decision to the candidate.
If you are having technical issues, make sure you are using the Webex client app. If you can't, then use the latest version of Chrome or Firefox. Alternatively, you may wish to join via mobile app.
|No audio (i.e. can't hear you)||
|No video (i.e. can't see you)||
|No meeting controls||
|Unable to share screen on macOS Catalina||
|Attendee is on participant lists but no audio or video||
|Unable to assign a person as a cohost||
|Unable to schedule a meeting on the client app||
|Unable to sign in using WatIAM credentials||
|Poor connection (i.e. low bandwidth)||
Check the latest on Cisco Webex Global Service Status. For other troubleshooting tips, please consult Troubleshoot Your Cisco Webex Meeting. If all else fails, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regular Phone Call
This is considered as a last resort (e.g,. no internet). To join the meeting, call:
- Canada Toll Free: 1-844-426-4405
- U.S. Toll Free: 1-844-621-3956
- United Kingdom Toll Free: 08000315372
After calling the toll-free number, choose your language, enter the meeting room number (123 456 789) followed by “#”, and then proceed without an attendee number by pressing “#”.
If the phone numbers do not work or for other countries, consult "How do I find the global dail-in number for my meeting?".
- Webex Help Center
- Global Service Status
- Get started with Cisco Webex Meetings for hosts
- Troubleshoot your Cisco Webex Meeting
- Web app supported operating systems and browsers
*If you are receiving Webex support from MAD, ignore section 2 on technology support for remote defences.