Using Adobe Connect
Adobe Connect is used all the time for summer online
Comp 150. It is also available (not required) to suppliment
office hours in regular face-to-face classes. An alternative for
small groups is Google Hangouts or Skype. The main features we will use are audio and screen sharing.
case you need
For online synchronous classes a large screen or dual screens will
be handy, so you can both see and read a good sized copy of a what I am
distributing from my machine and work in your own environment at the
same time. My personal setup is a laptop, using its screen
and also attached to an external monitor. Such a setup is
not required at all, but it can definitely be handy.
- Fast, reliable Internet access, best
ensured with a wired, not wireless connection
- A generally quiet place!
- Earphones on the whole time you are in the meeting unless your seup satisfies the exception below under Sound and Noise
- Microphone either built-in to the computer or plugged
- Preferably the Firefox browser and not Google Chrome. On a Mac Safari likely works, too.
- For Comp 150, go to the class URL: http://connect.luc.edu/comp150
Details on Adobe Connect
all the way through, starting with the connection test and make
sure you have the add-in needed to share your screen (which we will use
Actually, you will have more rights, since I make everyone a presenter,
so you can easily share your screen or make entries in the notes
section (or pod as they call it). If you have microphone issues,
be sure to say hi upon entering the "room" through the chat window.
If you still are having problems starting or inside Adobe Connect, look through
Sharing Your Screen
We will use this feature extensively. You can only start to
share your screen when nobody else is sharing. When you click on
Share Your Screen, you get a window where you select what to
display: The easiest is the whole screen. If you happen to
have two screens, you get to choose which one. After your
selection, click Share.
To quickly switch into
showing your screen, you should have the application you want to show
already running in the state you want to show.
The main Adobe Connect window will disappear if you are showing that
screen. In a small part of its place will be a mini-window used
to control your sharing. Though you can see the mini-window on your machine, the screen sharing software is
smart enough so it is totally transparent in sharers' view.
Briefly, initially, the mini-window will show a small image of what you
are sharing. Then the mini-window collapses further. You
can toggle between these two sizes clicking the green monitor icon in
the bottom left of the mini-screen. In the larger version you can
choose the Stop Sharing button when done.
If you do not want to be distracted by the mini-window at all, you can
click on the small minimize icon, near its top right corner, and it
disappears. In this case your manipulate the sharing by clicking
on the Adobe Connect icon in the Task Bar (Windows) or tool bar
(Mac). There you can select Stop Sharing when you are done, or it is somebody else's turn.
If you have a large screen and are displaying text, try to make the
font large, so someone with a smaller
screen, seeing a compressed image, will still be able to read easily.
Sound and Noise
You disrupt the meeting if you supply much
background noise. This can be from being in a noisy place. Another big issue is feedback from your speakers.
You will need a microphone and and
speakers by the first class and a place to use your computer where you
can talk freely. It is also essential that your speakers do not
feed back into your microphone. This can always be avoided with
decent earphones. The earphones are less important on a computer that
has an excellent feedback cancellation circuit: so most of what comes out of
the speakers does not get fed back into the microphone. Modern
Macs have such a circuit. Many Windows machines do not and then earphones are required. Have
the proper equipment ready for your first class. If you have two
computers in the same location, be sure at most one has its speakers on
or you get terrible feedback.
Finding a quiet place is very
important. It is most convenient to leave audio on for all
participants. If you are forced to be in a frequently noisy place,
then you can turn your audio off, but then it is annoying to switch
it every time you want to speak, and if you forget, we can’t hear
you or we get disrupted by a racket!
As soon as you enter a meeting, you see
the Meeting drop-down menu in the top left. Select the drop-down
option Audio Setup Wizard and follow it all the way though and
make sure your speakers and
microphone are functioning at a decent volume.
You get to control the overall speaker
volume on your machine. If everyone sounds loud, adjust your system
speaker volume. If one isolated participant sounds loud (or soft), ask that
person to adjust her or his microphone volume.
Adobe Connect has bugs. It freezes or
crashes occasionally. If that happens, quickly close the meeting window
reenter the meeting URL in your browser. It should not take long, and
you should not
miss much. Unfortunately this can also happen with the instructor, too.
patient. This has extra repercussions if we are set up in
breakout sessions (often after a main online class). When you
reenter, you are in the main meeting room, not the breakout room you
came from. I could easily miss this. A chat comment may be
The Notes Pod for Passing Code
I plan to have you all as presenters in my meetings,
which means we can all write in the same Notes pod. We could use
a Notes Pod for coding. Maybe we will occasionally, but the
editor is not designed for code, and you cannot directly execute the
code. A more likely use for one Notes pod is this:
Someone who has been coding and maybe running code while others watched
their shared screen and commented, can quickly trade off, by select all the code, copying
and then pasting into the Notes pod. Others can then select
all in the notes, copy, and paste into their own program editor.
Then another person can let everyone else watch as s/he adds the next
steps, with oral help from the rest of the class.... This
approach is certainly a possible one for pair programming in a meeting
of your own.
- Take the steps discusssed above under noise to minimize
background noise. Background noise is cumulative. With a
full class it can be a real obstacle!
- Make a comment in the chat when you
- join the meeting
- leave the meeting
- step away from the meeting
- return to the meeting (after stepping away or after a crash)
- Get used to the sequence for showing your screen, so if we want
to switch and see your screen, the transition to what you want to show us
- Though a meeting with audio can convey more than pure
text/IM/Chat, still remember that without full visual feedback, you can
be more easily misinterpreted than in a face to face meeting.
Think about what you say and how to be constructive. But don't be shy!
Working in Pairs/Teams
working with a partner remotely, Google Hangouts or Skype also work in general.
This allows audio, chat, and screen sharing. Both apps require accounts and login.
For summer online class,
Comp 150 has had
special deal: You can use the same software used in class, Adobe
Connect. When you log into connect.luc.edu, you are all hosts for
a number of "rooms". Pick one not occupied by another pair, and
can work with your partner. If you put anything into the chat or
notes, be sure to clear it before leaving the "room". Remind me
to go over accessing these rooms
in the first night's class.
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