Also called “virtual meetings,” this type of online interaction is conducted in real time and requires participants to access a special application either online or through a course management system. Web conferences include live audio and video; a screen area for displaying text, graphics and PowerPoint presentations; an electronic chalkboard (called a “whiteboard”) for annotating an online presentation; a polling feature to conduct live surveys; a text box for asking questions or making comments; and the ability to have participants talk to each other if they have a sound card, speakers and a microphone or a headset hooked up to their computer. Some web conferences also can include seeing all of the participants in real time if they all have working, Internet-connected video cameras hooked up to their computers.
Another type of "virtual meeting" can occur inside a virtual world. These may be used for a syncrhonous course session or more informally as a way for dispersed classmates to meet online.
More information about these can be found in Educause ELI's "7 Things you should know about virtual meetings."