I missed the live induction as I don't have Adobe Connect at work (tried again today - also noted today that Adobe's free trial period is only a month, so...).
(1) At UNISA it's a question of context/semantics: an induction is held annually by HR, each of the seven Colleges academic orientation for its respective teaching staff. The new Centre for Professional Development (CPD - yes, it's ambiguous) has shifted from the "old" induction of academics into an online short-course called "Socialisation into ODL" to be launched next semester.
The open source learning management system (LMS) is sometimes slow because of our numbers (370,000 across SA) and bandwidth issues. So, instead of attempting an online icebreaker during an introduction to the LMS, late 2013 when I joined UNISA, I used thought pieces (a single powerpoint slide - a new one each month) that spoke to broad challenges in teaching, learning and assessment. I would ask small groups to read this then respond to three key questions on the piece's content in the context of UNISA. They would form their own groups, confer then report back: first introducing themselves, then providing their insight. The bonding was important during the ice-breaker as we always had a mixed bag of 15 people from three or four Colleges. Once bonded, preparing a storyboard then a prototype of a part of a course on the LMS was smooth for the group.
Some in this TOOC group said that the shorter and sharper the MOOC introduction, the more likely they would stay. A similar principle applies to f-2-f groups of people with mobile and tablet access who can keep themselves occupied - so if you have nothing interesting to offer will be ignored. So, yes, I think some first principles used in a teaching environment can and could transfer into an online environment. The difference online, is that we cannot make grouping choices based on the same criteria or gut instinct...