Using Google Hangouts for Flash Meetings

Description: Our team began using Google Hangout flash meetings in January 2014, and it has been an extremely successful and popular solution to our team meeting challenges. Using Google Calendar (available on the Boulder campus), we created a repeating event using Google’s built in Google Hangout video conference link. Each Monday everyone visits gcalendar.colorado.edu and clicks on the link to join the video conference. The meeting reserves 5 minutes for personal check-ins, 3 minutes for supervisor announcements, and then 2 minutes for each team member to report on their weekly project priorities. The remainder of the time is reserved for team members to suggest opportunities for collaboration. Since we’ve deployed this we’ve seen an increase in both communication and collaboration on the team, and a reduction in group-wide emails requesting help or asking questions. Best of all, we’ve never exceeded the 30 minutes allocated, and occasionally end the meeting early. Efficient and effective!

The Academic Technology Design Team includes:  Mark Werner (Manager), Viktoriya Oliynyk, Brad Grabham, Doris Cheung, Courtney Fell, Tim Riggs, Dave Underwood, and Kate Allison. 

How does this impact the University?  Our group is geographically distributed across the Boulder campus, making team meetings expensive and time consuming (and also, infrequent). By having easy, well-structured virtual meetings we have increased collaboration without requiring significant work time and travel investments. 

Google Hangouts is provided for free as an addition to the Google Apps for Education package used by the Boulder campus. Google Apps manages all of the student and retiree email, while providing collaboration software to all campus affiliates. Google Apps for Education is a free service provided by Google to educational institutions, and is used by two-thirds of the US News and World Report’s top 100 colleges and Universities, and nearly 100% of Denver-area K-12 school districts.

 Implementation status:  The use of Google Hangout Flash Meetings is a fully implemented and ongoing work process within the Academic Technology Design Team within the Boulder Office of Information Technology.

Submitted by: Cory Pavicich, Academic Technology Consultant, Office of Information Technology, University of Colorado Boulder

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