Educational Technology – Video Conferencing

 

Video Conferencing

Pacific University provides two online video conferencing technologies that anyone in the Pacific Community can adopt for their teaching:

  • Adobe Connect
  • Google Hangouts

For more information about these services, please click on the links above. CETCI can also provide guidance on how to best integrate these tools into your teaching. Please contact Al Weiss (alweiss@pacificu.edu, 503-352-1417) if you would like to discuss any of these services.

Equipment needed

To host or participate in a video conference you will need some basic equipment:

  • Video (Camera): In order to share a video of yourself, you will need a computer that is equipped with a functioning video camera. Basic cameras that come built-in with most laptops should be sufficient for most video conferencing applications. If you are using a desktop computer without a webcam, there is a number of affordable portable webcams available on the market, like Logitech HD Webcam C310.
  • Audio (Speakers/Microphone): Just as for video, the built-in notebook or computer speakers are usually sufficient. We also recommend using a USB microphone headset, like Logitech USB Mic, which would contribute to sound and voice quality and keep the external sounds in the room out of the conference audio stream.

Some Video Conferencing programs have specific computer specifications and other requirements. Please review them at these links:

Please contact the Technology Help Desk (help@pacificu.edu) and/or CETCI (edtech@pacificu.edu) for the availability of equipment to check out and for help with setting up equipment and your classroom for your meeting sessions.

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a video conferencing service hosted by Adobe Systems, Inc. (meaning that the software and servers are located with Adobe). Pacific University has a finite number of hosting licenses available for instructors who wish to host meetings for their courses. Please contact CETCI to request the hosting license:


Adobe Connect Documentation:

Adobe Connect Computer Requirements
Hosting a Meeting
Create a Meeting
Sharing Documents
Sharing YouTube videos
Participating in a Meeting
Troubleshooting:


Adobe Connect Computer Requirements

Windows

  • 1.4GHz Intel© Pentium© 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft© Windows© XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 2GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows Vista©
  • Windows 8 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows Vista, Windows XP
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended) for Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
  • Adobe© Flash© Player 10.3+ (11.2+ recommended) — Check your Flash version

Mac OS

  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7.4, 10.8
  • No Adobe Connect Add-in support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Users on Leopard can attend meetings in the browser.*
  • Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ (11.2+ recommended) — Check your Flash version

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Hosting a Meeting
  1. Watch Adobe Connect Overview video from Adobe.com
  2. Download, read and print one page reference for Adobe Connect Hosts (Download PDF)
  3. Review Best Practices for Adobe Connect events (includes very useful Event Checklist).

Create a Meeting:

  1. Install Adobe Connect Add-in for Windows or Macintosh. The Add-in will allow you to share your screen and upload files to your meeting. You only have to do it once.
  2. Test your connection http://pacific.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm to make sure your computer can handle the meeting and that Flash is up to date.
  3. Login to Pacific University's Adobe Connect (http://pacific.adobeconnect.com) and click on the New Meeting link on the home page.AC Create Meeting 1
  4. Go through step-by-step Meeting Creation wizard to create the meeting.
    NOTE: Adobe Connect meetings are persistent – they don’t have to be scheduled each time you want to use them.
  5. Enter the meeting room by clicking the Enter Meeting Room button.
  6. Invite participants by clicking Meeting button on upper left corner, then selecting Manage Access & Entry -> Invite Participants...AC Create Meeting 2

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Sharing Documents:

If you have or have been given the rights of Presenter or Host during an Adobe Connect session, you can share various content with the rest of the participants in the session. Adobe Connect supports the following formats: PPT, PPTX, PNG, GIF, MP4, F4V, Adobe PDF, SWF, FLV, JPEG, and MP3 file types loaded from either the Content library or your computer. However, if you try to share a recorded PowerPoint presentation, Adobe Connect will not display it correctly. TIP: save your PowerPoints as a video, then upload it to YouTube and share the YouTube video instead. Instructions on how to do so from the Microsoft site: Turn your presentation into a video.

To start sharing content in Adobe Connect:

  1. Find the share pod. Click on Share -> Document:AC Share Doc 1Note: If it is not automatically displayed in the middle of Adobe Connect session click on Pods on top menu then Share -> Add New Share:AC Share Doc 2
  2. In the newly opened window click on Browse My Computer, navigate to the file you would like to share and click OK:AC Share Doc 3
  3. The file will load in the middle pod of Adobe Connect session. If it is a PowerPoint presentation, you will see navigation options on the left and at the bottom of your presentation:AC Share Doc 4
  4. After you are done presenting, click on the Stop Sharing button in the upper right corner of your presentation window:AC Share Doc 5

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Sharing YouTube videos:

There are couple of methods to share YouTube videos during the Adobe Connect session.

Method I:

The simplest way would be to share the URL to the YouTube video through "Pods" -> "Web Links":

AC Share Video 1

After you click on "Add New Web Links" a new pop-up window will open up with a field where you can paste YouTube video's URL:

AC Share Video 2

After you paste the link click on "Browse To" button and it will open the video in all participants internet browsers.
Downside: if you are recording the session, the video won't show up in the recording.

Method II:

A bit more involved but will play inside Adobe Connect session and will be a part of the recording. This method of sharing YouTube videos is very similar to sharing a document. It has one additional step: in order to share YouTube video you need to download the video to your computer first and then upload in to Adobe Connect.

  1. You can use a free add-on to Firefox browser which provides a button for downloading YouTube videos on the top shelf of Firefox browser:AC Share Video 3
  2. Here is one of the add-ons that had been successful in the past: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/download-youtube/?src=ss (Links to an external site.)
  3. When you find video you would like to share simply click on that button. From the pull-down options select "Quick Download."AC Share Video 4
  4. This will start the downloading process to your desktop:AC Share Video 5
  5. After downloading the movie file to your desktop, upload that file into Adobe Connect meeting by clicking on "Share Document" in the Share pod and browsing your computer for the file. You will then be able to play the video in your meeting.AC Share Video 6

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Participating in a Meeting:

To participate in the meeting you will need

  • a URL (link to the meeting room) sent to you by your instructor (meeting host)
  • a laptop computer, a desktop computer, or an Android or iOS tablet or phone (Adobe Connect Mobile). Keep in mind, mobile app for tablets or phones do not have all features of a meeting.
  • an Internet connection (ethernet connect is the most reliable, but good wireless connection will work as well)
  • a browser (Internet Explorer and Firefox work best)
  • headphones, a microphone and a webcam
  1. Read and print one page reference for Adobe Connect Participants (download PDF)
  2. Receive an email with the link to the meeting. The URL will look something like this: pacific.adobeconnect.com/course_number.
  3. Test your connection http://pacific.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
  4. Enter the room by clicking the URL you have received in the email. As a participant you chose the option of logging in as Guest unless notified otherwise by your instructor:AC Participate 1
  5. Enable your audio and video. Once you log in you might only see two icons on top menu shelf: a Speaker and Set Status icon:
    AC Participate 2
    Once your instructor enables microphone and video for all participants you will be able to see additional icons for microphone and video:
    AC Participate 3
    Click on the drop down arrow next to the microphone icon, click Connect My Audio:
    AC Participate 4
    Do the same for video:
    AC Participate 5
    Once your audio and video is set up correctly the icons will become green:
    AC Participate 6
    If you are experiencing trouble with audio, please watch this PowerPoint presentation that will take you through step-by-step tutorial of Audio Wizard: http://pacific.adobeconnect.com/p89spsrdw0e/

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Troubleshooting:

I forgot my password

If you forget your password you can reset it by clicking on "Forgot you password?" link under login field on Adobe Connect login page:

AC Trouble 1

Enter your email and click "Submit."

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My microphone isn’t working

  • Make sure you plug microphone in before you log in to Adobe Connect.
  • Quit Adobe Connect, plug in your microphone, and log in again.
  • Make sure you click “Allow” when you get a popup window from Flash asking for Adobe Connect to access your microphone and camera:
    AC Trouble 2
  • Make sure when you go through the Audio Setup Wizard (‘Meeting’->‘Audio setup Wizard’). In Step 2 of the Setup Wizard, pick a microphone from a list. Make sure you select the right microphone for your computer. If your mic is not listed, restart your computer with the mic connected. If it is still not listed after computer restart, you might need to re-install drivers for your microphone.
  • If your mic is showing and you selected the correct one, but the mic is still not working switch your Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Explore, etc.). It is generally a good idea to have a couple of browers installed on your computer anyway.

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My microphone is working but sound cuts in and out

  1. This is usually an indication of Internet connection speed problem. If you have a capability for a wired connection, switch to that. If not, try to get as close as possible to the wireless router.
  2. The bandwidth consumed by a meeting room is goverened by the video quality set in the meeting preferences by the Hosts. Go to Meeting > Preferences, click Video, and set the Video Quality using the slider. Also, Hosts can set the quality for screen sharing to optimize bandwidth usage. Go to Meeting > Preferences, click Screen Share, and set the Quality using the slider.
    Choose a room video and audio quality that matches the connection speed used by attendees. If attendees are using various connection speeds, choose the lowest quality to ensure that all participants have a good connection.

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I am experiencing loud feedback/echo

  1. It usually happens when someone in the session has their microphone and speakers. Wearing headsets instead fixes this problem. If you don't have a headset, keeping your microphone mute and lowering your speaker's volume when you are not speaking will reduce the feedback.
  2. If headphones did not fix the problem, make sure you only have one Adobe Connect window open on your computer. Find yourself on the Participants/Presenters/Hosts list and make sure there is no number 2 listed by your name. If there is, locate the second window on your computer and close it.

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Presentation slides are too small to see

Click "Full Screen" button on upper right corner of the slides:

AC Trouble 3

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Can I access Adobe Connect from a Mobile device?

Yes! Adobe Connect has an app for iOS, Blackberry and Android devices. You can download apps at http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect/feature-details/adobe-connectmobile.html

Getting Started for Participants Guide (Tablets) - PDF Download
Getting Started for Participants Guide (Smart Phones) - PDF Download
Getting Started for Hosts and Presenters (Tablets) - PDF Download
Getting Started for Hosts and Presenters (Smart Phones) - PDF Download

Please keep in mind not all Connect features will be active in mobile version.

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I can't see all documents on my computer when I try to use "Share Document" feature...

Check the format of the document/file you are trying to share. Here is a list of supported formats: PPT, PPTX, PNG, GIF, MP4, F4V, Adobe PDF, SWF, FLV, JPEG, and MP3 file types from the Content library or your computer.
NOTE: If you absolutely must share a file that is not supported such as MS Word document, you can open that file on your computer first and then use "Share my Screen" option instead.

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I get "Change Safari Settings" message with the instructions that don't work...

Adobe's instructions are for an outdated Safari version. Here is the correct path to take:

  1. While in Adobe Connect, go to Safari -> Preferences:
    AC Trouble 4
  2. Click on Security tab and then on Plug-in Settings.. button by Internet plug-ins:
    AC Trouble 5
  3. In the Plug-in settings window click on “Allow” pull-down menu:
    AC Trouble 6
  4. Select “Run in Unsafe Mode”:
    AC Trouble 6
  5. And then “Trust” from a pop-up menu:
    AC Trouble 8
  6. IMPORTANT: Quit and restart Safari, then login to Adobe Connect again.

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Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a group video chat tool that comes as a part of Pacific's BoxerApps. It is a very versatile tool that can connect up to 15 people via video call and up to 100 people via chat at once. The center can also provide guidance on how to best integrate these tools into your teaching. Please contact Al Weiss (alweiss@pacificu.edu, 352-1417) if you would like to speak about any of these services.
Hangouts Documentation:

Hangouts Computer Requirements:
  • Mac OS X, Windows, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Chrome, Ubuntu and other Debian based Linux distributions
  • Any 2 GHz dual core processor or greater.
  • Bandwidth:
    • For 1 on 1 connection — a 1 mbps/1 mbps (up/down)
    • For group video connectivity — 1 mbps/2 mbps (up/down)
  • Download Google Hangout plugin
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Starting Google Hangout:
  1. In order to utilize Hangouts with your Pacific University Boxer apps, you must login with your PUnet ID to myAccount. Click on the Boxer Apps menu tab at the top, then select Talk/Hangouts from the list of applications. If you have never used Hangouts before, you might be asked you to activate your Google + with provided with step-by-step instructions. GH Start 1
  2. You will be taken to Hangouts dashboard where you can start a simple video call (like in Skype): GH Start 2
  3. After you click on VIDEO CALL you will be asked to Enter a Hangout name. After you name your Hangout, click on the arrow by the name to start: GH Start 3
  4. Note: by default the meetings are open to "Pacific University Only," but you can change it to accept people from other institutions as well. After you enter the meeting, click on blue "Invite People" button: GH Start 4
  5. A pop-up window will open up where you can "Allow" poeple from other than Pacific to join or enter specific people from Pacific University. IMPORTANT: if you inviting specific people you NEED to use PUnetID email (such as yuan3029@pacificu.edu) and NOT aliased email (such as john.doe@pacificu.edu): GH Start 5
  6. If you click "Allow" the next pop-up window will give you the URL address which you can post in Moodle for your students or share via email with others (must have a Google Account): GH Start 6 You can reuse the link for the session as many times as you need to instead of creating a different hangout every time you need a meeting.
  7. Note: There are a few specifications and limitations of video calls to keep in mind!
    • If you originated the Hangout you have to be in that hangout first to "Allow" people to enter (they might be asked to login into their google account first): GH Start 7
    • Video calls can have a maximum of 15 participants.
    • You need to have a broadband connection to the Internet.
    Once the participants join your call you will be able to see them in your hangout: GH Start 8 The hangout control panel at the top allows you to:
    • invite participants while in the hangout
    • mute/un-mute your microphone during the hangout
    • turn your camera on and off during the hangout
    • control bandwidth usage of the hangout session
    • set your computer's audio and video devices for the hangout
    • leave the hangout.
    The hangout tools on the left (put your cursor over to the left in order to see them) allow you to:
    • open Chat window to the right
    • share your computer screen with others
    • share YouTube video
    • have some fun with special effects
    GH Start 9 You can also share documents from your GoogleDrive by clicking on the GoogleDrive icon at the bottom of the chat panel: GH Start 10 The icon will open a new pop-up window where you can select which document to share: GH Start 11 After you select the document the link to the document and the preview of the document will be displayed in chat window: GH Start 12 The participants will only see the link and not the preview. Do not forget to set proper permissions for Share in GoogleDrive (we recommend "Anyone with the link can view (edit)" depending on what you want to achieve).
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Participating in a Hangout:
If you received an invitation to participate in a Google Hangout or your instructor posts a link to a Hangout in Moodle simply click on the link to open the session. Hangout window will open. Click on "Join" blue button: GH Participate 1 IMPORTANT: You will be asked to give Hangouts permission to run plugins. Click "Allow" GH Participate 2 You might also be asked to login to your either PU account or personal Google account in order to access the meeting. Simply enter your login information in the fields provided: GH Participate 3 Refer to section above for tools, functions and abilities in Hangouts. -> back to top