Frequently Asked Questions

The Online Business Exchange is an opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow students and alumni, other leading business schools and practising global business managers, through live events and discussion forums. The events offer the opportunity to engage in live chat and ask questions of expert panellists, and asynchronous forum discussions are hosted on Yammer. When you register for an event you will be invited to join these platforms. You can participate in as much of the event as you like – the ideal is to engage in some live discussion and some Yammer forums.

The Online Business Exchange is open to everyone. The primary audience is postgraduate alumni (those with management-level qualifications), SMEs, corporate connections, other business schools and educational institutions. Its main aim is to enable and facilitate discussions with fellow students and alumni, other leading business schools and practising global business managers. Therefore, whilst the content relates to four key themes, participation from a variety of perspectives is encouraged.

We also welcome participation from a global audience, and we have scheduled the programme to accommodate international time zones.

Registration is very straightforward. Follow the instructions below or watch our How to Register video.

Click on the 'Register now' button on the right hand of the screen and fill in the registration form. You will then receive an email telling you how to generate an Open University online account if you do not already have one. You will also be given access to the Yammer groups, which will enable you to participate in live chat and forums. Your registration details will not be passed on to any third parties. 

To join in with the Online Business Exchange you will need an Open University online account. If you don't already have one of these, or you're not sure what it is, click on this link and follow the on-screen instructions to create an OU account.

First, click the right-hand button to go to the 'Watch now' page. Then, to really get the most from the Online Business Exchange, the best option is to click on the green 'Watch and engage' button. To use the event interface to best effect, watch this short guide.

Once you have clicked on the 'Watch and engage' button and signed in with your Open University online account, the Online Business Exchange event interface is straightforward to use. To find out more watch this short guide.

Clicking the 'Watch now' button on the right-hand side of the screen takes you to the live sessions page, where you have a choice.

Choosing the 'Watch and engage' button allows you to access the live sessions, talk to other viewers using the chat screen, and join in using the interactive widgets. If you choose the 'Watch only' button you will be able to see and hear the live sessions, but will not be able to join in with the additional activities such as chat.

If you miss the event, or want to re-watch it, you can access all of the sessions by clicking on the 'Catch up' button on the right-hand side of the screen. The Catch up feature is only available after the live event. 

There are lots of ways for you to join in. The fantastic live chat feature allows you to talk to other people watching, and you can join our Yammer network for further discussion in our chat forums. You can email us at and connect with us on Twitter using the hashtag #OU_Exchange.

There are two ways to engage in discussions: in real time live chat (synchronous) and on the Yammer forums (asynchronous). The live chat will be fed into the Yammer discussions that will build over the two-day event. 

To participate in live chat you will need an Open University online account, and to take part in asychronous discussions you will need to join the Yammer platform. You will receive information about these by email when you register for the event.

We have a 'live chat' feed that runs throughout the event, where you can talk with others, and put your thoughts, questions and comments to the people in the studio. You can access this by clicking on the right-hand ‘Watch now’ button and then choosing the 'Watch and engage' button.

Type your message in the text box below the chat screen and press the ‘enter’ key to send your message.

When messages are added, the chat box will automatically scroll to show you the latest message. To pause the scrolling, select the ‘pin’ button above the chat box; to restart automatic scrolling, select the ‘pin’ button again.


When you register for the event, you will receive an email invitation to join the asynchronous discussions which are hosted on Yammer. You can access these at any time and add your contributions. The live discussions from the event will also be fed into Yammer.


When messages are added, the chat box will automatically scroll to show you the latest message. To pause the scrolling, select the ‘pin’ button above the chat box; to restart automatic scrolling, select the ‘pin’ button again.

There are lots of options to adjust the screen settings including layout, screen size and widgets.

Most web browsers will let you expand or reduce the size of any page by holding the ‘ctrl’ key and pressing the ‘+’ or ‘-’ key; to return to the original page size hold down the ‘ctrl’ key and press the ‘0’ (zero) key. You can also use screen magnifiers, colour contrasts and screen readers.

If you are using the ‘Watch and engage’ site there is a ‘change the layout’ button in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Pressing the button will switch between two layout options. Hovering over a button will display a tool tip.

To view the video full screen select the ‘Full screen’ button that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the video; to return to the standard layout on a computer press the escape (‘esc’) key. 

The interactive widgets are used in the ‘Watch and engage’ option. They collate and present your responses to questions and activities during the event. Widgets are added and removed by the presenters during an event, and once completed they display the collated responses from the audience.

When more than one widget is available in the widget area, clicking on a small widget will display that particular widget full-size. The 'down' and 'up' arrows at the top right-hand corner of a full-size widget are used to reduce or increase the size of the widget.

When asked by a presenter to use a widget: select the widget; read the question or prompt; and (depending on the question) select one or more applicable responses.

Yes, you are free to attend any sessions that interest you.

If you’re having problems with the video, you can usually sort this out by refreshing the page: hit the reload button, press F5 or close the page and open it again.

If you’re having persistent problems you can email us for help at We want to make sure you can join the event and we will try to help resolve any problems that may be preventing you from taking part.