Remote Participation in PhD Defences

Currently, the preferred method of remote participation is Adobe Connect, a web-conference tool that requires no software installation for the remote participant and can be accessed from their home or office (no need for a video-conference boardroom, etc). The remote participant will require access to a computer with a webcam, as well as a land-line telephone (one that is plugged into the wall). Should computer/Internet access be a problem, the remote examiner can participate over the telephone.

Remote participation is typically approved for only one member of the examining committee.

Remote participation will not be coordinated by Faculty of Graduate Studies for family/audience members.  Any other computers or audio or video feeds brought to the examination must be approved by all members of the examining committee and candidate.  These devices must be removed when the audience leaves prior to the start of the in camera session.

Department Responsibilities

  • Request permission in writing from the Faculty of Graduate Studies to have a remote participant, including reason for remote participation (cost, scheduling, etc). This written request must be received a MINIMUM of 2 weeks prior to the scheduled defence. This will be approved by the Associate Dean.
  • When scheduling the date/time for the defence, take time zone of remote participant into consideration.

Faculty of Graduate Studies Responsibilities

  • Senior Thesis Clerk will communicate with remote participant in advance of defence to coordinate (typically about two weeks before the defence).
  • Senior Thesis Clerk will make all arrangements with the remote participant, perform a test run if necessary, ensure remote participant has a copy of the candidates defence presentation in case of technical issues, and set everything up the day of defence.
  • Senior Thesis Clerk will arrange a mutually convenient time with the candidate, at least a few days in advance of the defence where possible, to meet in the defence room and provide a brief tutorial. The supervisor will be invited and is welcome to attend, if possible. The candidate will be allotted sufficient time, privately in the defence room, to do a test run of the presentation if they so desire.

PhD Defence Chair Responsibilities

  • The chair will be provided with a brief troubleshooting document prior to the start of the defence. Should technical difficulties arise during the defence, the chair is advised to forego troubleshooting Adobe Connect and continue the defence with the remote participant on the phone only. The chair will be provided with the remote participant’s telephone number and dialing-out instructions should the phone connection be lost.