Adobe Connect: Introductory Guide for Meeting Hosts

ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
Adobe Connect:
Introductory Guide for Meeting Hosts
ats@etsu.edu | 439-8611
www.etsu.edu/ats
Table of Contents:
Overview................................................................................................................ 1
Objectives .............................................................................................................. 1
What is Adobe Connect? ...................................................................................... 2
What is needed in Terms of Hardware and Devices? ........................................ 2
Accessing Adobe Connect ................................................................................... 4
Creating a Connect Meeting ................................................................................. 6
Using the Meeting Interface ................................................................................. 8
Create, View and Share Meeting Recordings .................................................... 12
Additional Training & Support .......................................................................... 13
Overview
Adobe Connect is web-based conferencing software used to share information and host meetings over the
internet. It can be used to collaborate via chat, microphone, or webcam. Applications such as Microsoft
PowerPoint can be easily shared, and entire meetings can be recorded for distribution at a later time.
Objectives
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Log into Connect and manage your account
Create a Connect meeting
Manage the various pods within Connect including: Chat, Notes, Attendees, and Sharing
Enable the audio and video functions of a Connect meeting
Make an archived recording of a meeting and share it with others
Support Contact: Daniel Gibson (gibsondv@etsu.edu; 439-8244)
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What is Adobe Connect?
Adobe Connect is a Flash-based web conferencing application used by ETSU in order to conduct synchronous
online meetings and presentations. Connect allows you to meet with others online and communicate through
audio and video. You can also share your desktop screen, PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations, audio,
video, and much more, all without requiring any expensive software. You can also record meetings in order to
share or review them later.
Adobe Connect = Macromedia Breeze
Connect was originally named Macromedia Breeze. When the Adobe Corporation
purchased Macromedia, they renamed Breeze to 'Connect.' It is essentially the same software, so
if you are familiar with Breeze, you are already familiar with Connect!
What is needed in Terms of Hardware and
Devices?
Adobe Connect is a hosted online service provided by ETSU. We have purchased a server for Connect and made
accounts available to all ETSU faculty and staff. Since the software is web-based, no software purchase is required,
but you may need to procure one or more devices to communicate effectively.
1. A computer with a high-speed connection to the internet.
2. A PC compatible microphone (Optional: only for those wishing to speak during the meeting.)
3. A web-cam (Optional: only for those wishing to be seen during the meeting.)
Once you have these items, you will want to make sure that they work prior to attending an Adobe Connect
meeting. This will be your responsibility to figure out—there is such a wide variety of devices that it is difficult to
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provide a step-by-step guide for every scenario. Generally, you should start by making sure that everything is
properly connected, then test out your microphone and camera using either the software that came with them or
your operating system’s device settings.
You Should Probably Use Headphones
Using headphones can be very important, because allowing your speakers to transmit sound into your microphone
can cause a variety of frustrations for everyone involved in your meeting. When someone speaks into their
microphone while using Adobe Connect, their voice gets transmitted to everyone else and is output either to
speakers or headphones (depending on what each person is using). If you are using speakers, then another person’s
voice may come out of your speakers and then right back into your microphone. This can cause echoes, or, at the
very worst, a horrible, high-pitched screeching noise (feedback). To avoid this problem, everyone should use
headphones, which will safely deliver sound to your ears without creating all of the unnecessary noise for the other
meeting participants.
Exceptions and Workarounds
Wimba Classrooms
Some rooms are equipped with special hardware that can handle using speakers and microphones simultaneously.
At ETSU, there are several multimedia classrooms, unofficially classified as “Wimba classrooms”, which have
microphones, cameras, and speakers built into the ceiling. These rooms are equipped with microphones that
should ignore most sound coming from the speakers.
No Headphones Available
If you don’t have headphones and you must use speakers, then do not leave your microphone on during your
meeting. Rather than using ‘Hands-free mode’, click and hold the talk button to transmit audio only when you are
speaking. This will help to avoid echoes and feedback. It’s a cumbersome solution, but it can give you decent
results.
Additionally, if your microphone and speakers are movable then you can try to position your microphone away
from your speakers. For example, you could place the microphone close to you and position the speakers further
away and point them away from the microphone. The microphone will likely still pickup sound as it bounces off
the wall(s), but you may get better overall results.
Support Contact: Daniel Gibson (gibsondv@etsu.edu; 439-8244)
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Accessing Adobe Connect
Preliminary Tests
Before doing anything in Connect, it is a good idea to make sure your browsers, Flash Player version, and any
needed add-ins are up to date. This is very easy to do by visiting this site:
https://admin.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm/
Figure 1
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As soon as the connection test page is loaded it will begin to perform four separate automated tests. First, it will
check to see if you have the Flash Player installed, and, if so, whether or not your version is supported by Adobe
Connect. Second, it will attempt to make a connection to the Adobe Connect server. Third, your internet
connection speed will be tested. And finally, it will check to see if the Adobe Connect Add-in is installed. If any of
these tests fail then you will be provided with troubleshooting tips, or links to download the Flash Player and/or
Adobe Connect add-in. Go ahead and address any of these if they appear. Once you have finished, repeat the test
until you have passed all four of them. If you continue to experience issues then feel free to contact the ATS office
(ats@etsu.edu).
Logging into Your Account
Before you can begin this step, you will need a username and password to log in to your account. To obtain this,
contact Academic Technology (ats@etsu.edu) in order to have a username and password created.
Your Adobe Connect Account
The Connect username and password is not linked to standard ETSU username and
passwords. If you lose your password or access to your account then contact the ATS office and
they can either reset your password or create a new account for you.
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Once Academic Technology has issued the username and password, Connect can be accessed at this site:
http://etsuac1.etsu.edu/. (Note the lack of ‘www’ in front of ‘etsuac1’—the page will not load if you attempt to use 'www' in the
address).
Which Web Browser is best?
Connect is not strictly run within a web browser, but in the Flash player. Therefore any
browser which supports the Flash player should work (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari,
Chrome, Opera, etc.). However, certain browsers have, at times, suffered compatibility issues due
to the way they handle the Flash player plugin. If you are experiencing issues logging into
Connect in one browser, then try another browser and see if it performs better.
Regardless of which browser you use on a regular basis, you generally ought to keep it
and the Flash player updated to the latest version.
Adobe Connect Login URL: http://etsuac1.etsu.edu/
Figure
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Enter the username and password provided to you by Academic Technology. Generally the username will match
your ETSU email address ('lastname@etsu.edu') OR your ETSU username ('lastname'). If this is your first time
logging in then you will likely be asked to change the default password to something specific to your account—go
ahead and do so.
Once logged in you will be taken to the account home page where you can set up meetings and manage your
account.
Changing Your Account Password
When you log in for the first time you will be prompted to create a unique password for your account. You can
retrieve this password if you lose it simply by clicking the ‘Forgot your password?’ link on the login page.
However, if you would like to change your account password then you can do so by completing the following
steps:
Support Contact: Daniel Gibson (gibsondv@etsu.edu; 439-8244)
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1.
2.
Select the ‘My Profile’ option at the top right of the screen.
Select ‘Change My Password’ and you will see fields to type in your old password as well as your new
password. (See Figure
If you ever experience trouble logging into the Adobe Connect system then please contact ATS (ats@etsu.edu |
439-8611) for assistance.
Figure 3
Creating a Connect Meeting
To create a Connect meeting, log in to your Adobe Connect account (URL: http://etsuac1.etsu.edu/) and select
the ‘Meetings’ tab at the top left of the account dashboard home screen.
This will bring up a list of meetings you have previously created (if any exist), as well as a button to create a ‘New
Meeting.’ Folders can also be created with the ‘New Folder’ button in order to organize your meetings.
1. Select ‘New Meeting’ to start creating your meeting.
This brings us to the Enter Meeting Information screen, with several fields which need your input:
Name:
The name of the meeting you are creating. This can be descriptive and include
spaces and punctuation. This name will appear to meeting participants.
Custom URL:
This is the link that you will send to your guests so they can join the meeting, so it
is important that it is simple and easy to understand. The custom URL you assign
will always be appended to the normal Adobe Connect login URL
('http://etsuac1.etsu.edu/THE_NAME_YOU_ENTERED_HERE'). So for my
example, the URL will be http://etsuac1.etsu.edu/smith. Since URL addresses do
not allow certain punctuation, avoid spaces and only use numbers and letters for
this field.
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Summary:
An optional description of the meeting. If you send out meeting invitations from
Connect then this summary will be included by default.
Start Time and Duration:
Optional time limits on the meeting. These bear no functional importance with
regard to your meeting; once a meeting is created it will exist unless you delete it.
These times will also be added to any Connect email invitations.
Select Template:
Different templates for the meeting. Templates define the default layout of a
meeting when you enter it for the first time. Select the Default Meeting Template
if it is not already selected. Feel free to experiment with new templates if you wish.
Language:
By default this is set to English. You can choose another option if the occasion
calls for it.
Access:
This is a very important tab. If left on the default option ("only registered users
and accepted guests may enter the room"), the meeting creator will have to
manage all incoming meeting participants. This can be difficult and frustrating in
the middle of managing a meeting. Since most users will not have a Connect
account set up, it is important to select the ‘Anyone who has the URL for the
meeting can enter the room’ option. This will insure that all students/faculty/staff
or guests will be able to access the meeting without needing explicit confirmation.
People without the URL will not be able to enter or search for the meeting, so it
remains very rare that someone not invited will stumble across it and enter without
authorization.
Audio Conference:
This has to do with providing information about third-party phone conference
lines. Adobe Connect does not include a conference land line by default. Keep the
default ‘Do not include any audio conference with this meeting.’ If you plan to use
a conference phone line then contact ATS to configure these settings. You may
also need to contact OIT if you do not already have a conference phone service
set up.
Once all these fields are complete, select ‘Next’.
2. Add Attendants and Set Their Role (Optional)
Figure 4
Support Contact: Daniel Gibson (gibsondv@etsu.edu; 439-8244)
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On this screen (Figure 4) you can set up other hosts or add participants from the list of registered users in the left
column. If you chose the ‘Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room’ option from the previous
screen then you do not have to make a list of registered meeting attendants. However, you can also determine user
roles from here before you even enter the meeting. This can be helpful if you would like to include a co-host or
presenter. To do this, simply find the person you want to include from the left column (the search button helps
out a lot with that), and then click on their name and then the "Add" button at the bottom of the left column.
Once someone has been added to your current participants list, you can click on their name and then assign a role
to them using the "Set User Role" button at the bottom of the right column.
Once you have finished selecting participants, select the ‘Next’ button.
3. Send Email Invitations (Optional)
This screen will assist you in sending out email invitations to meeting participants. If you click on the "Send
Invitations" button then your default email client (Microsoft Outlook) will load with a pre-loaded message
including the name, summary, host, time, time zone (very important in some scenarios!), meeting URL, and
connection test URL. Using this method can save you some time and include information you may not have
otherwise thought to include. You can still modify the body of the message to your liking and add any participants
you wish.
Select the ‘Finish’ button.
4. Join Your Meeting
The final screen gives you a summary of all the selections you have made, along with the URL for the meeting.
Select that URL or hit the ‘Enter Meeting Room’ button to enter the Connect meeting.
Figure 5
Using the Meeting Interface
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Adobe Connect meeting spaces are made up of individual windows, called ‘Pods’, which each have specific
features and functions. Most of what you do inside the meeting interface will have to do with these pods. Several
of these pods are easy to use and fairly self-explanatory. The host can rearrange the size and positioning of the
pods, and all guests in the meeting room will see those changes. For example, if a chat discussion was the focus of
a meeting, it would be prudent for the host to enlarge the chat pod to fill most of the screen.
The Attendee List Pod
The Attendee List Pod shows the names of all the users who have currently joined the
meeting. When users log in to a meeting, they are automatically assigned a role. If you log into
a meeting which you created then you are automatically given the ‘Host’ role, but all others,
unless otherwise indicated, will be considered ‘Participants’.
Meeting Roles
Figure 6
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Alongside the name of each user there is a small graphic on the left which designates that user’s current role. There
are three roles in Connect:
Participant
The participant role assumes that you are in the meeting to consume information, and
maybe throw in the occasional comment. By default, this role only has access to view
the content being shared and to offer some input in limited ways.
Presenter
This role gives you the ability to share more information, such as voice, video, and
media files, without restraint, and is most suitable for an individual presenter or for a
group of collaborators working and communicating together freely. Presenters can share
anything, but cannot control the higher level aspects of the meeting, such as participant
roles, meeting layouts, global settings, etc.
Host
The host role puts you in full control of the meeting, allowing you to access and change
all available settings, and even add or remove users from the meeting.
Changing a User’s Role
In the bottom left of the Attendee List pod is a button to change the role of any selected guests in the meeting. In
this way you can allow one (or several) users to become a presenter or host. Just click on a name, or names, in the
attendee list, and then click on the Change Role button to reassign them to another role.
Status Icons
In addition to the role icons on the left, you may also see an icon to the right of a user’s name; these are status
Icons. All users can change their current status with the ‘My Status’ pull down menu at the top of the Attendee List
Pod. (The same menu is also available at the bottom of the meeting window.) Most of these status icons merely
allow meeting participants to communicate quickly in a non-verbal way, however the ‘Raise Hand’ status actually
interacts with the host of the meeting, requesting the permission to utilize a microphone. If the host accepts a
raised hand request, the user who made the request will be granted microphone rights.
Other Options
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In the bottom right of the pod is a pod options menu (shown as a small cog with a downward arrow) available
only to the host. This menu allows you to manage user permissions, remove users, clear user statuses, invite other
participants, and more.
The Chat Pod
The Chat pod allows participants to communicate without a microphone by typing
messages which instantly appear in the chat pane. Even with a microphone available,
chatting can be a good way to keep a written record of questions and answers.
To use the Chat pod, type your comments into the bottom text field. Press [ENTER] on
your keyboard to display your comments in the chat pod. If you want to send a message
to a specific person in the meeting room, use the ‘To:’ drop down menu and choose a
name or group. The default is ‘Everyone’ meaning that all participants will see the chat.
Figure 7
Hosts have additional options which can be found in the bottom right of the Chat pod.
These options include changing the text size, clearing the chat panel, or emailing the chat history to yourself.
Changes that the host makes will be mirrored on every user’s screen.
The Note Pod
The Note pod works similarly to the Chat pod, except only hosts and presenters can type messages here. Do be
aware of the fact that the messages you post in the Note pod are broadcast to meeting participants as you type
them, therefore you do not want to type anything you wouldn’t want everyone to see.
The Share Pod
The Share Pod allows a host or presenter to share something that is on their computer screen. In the ‘Meeting
Template’ layout we chose, the Share pod is the large pod taking up most of the right hand side of the screen.
If nothing is being shared and you are a host or presenter with the ability to share something, the pod will ask
‘What do you want to share?’ and will offer three choices.
Sharing Your Screen
Choosing ‘My Computer Screen’ from the share pod will share whatever is on your
computer screen to the rest of the guests in the meeting. When you select this option, a
pop-up menu appears with three choices: ‘Desktop,’ ‘Windows,’ and ‘Application.’ This
gives you the option to choose how much you want to share. You can broadcast your
entire desktop, limit what they see to one open window, or simply share an application
such as Microsoft PowerPoint.
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The Adobe Connect Add-In
If you have not run Connect before, you may be required to download and install an
Adobe add–in to your internet browser. This is necessary for all computers which are going to
share something, and is both normal and safe. It should only take a few seconds to install. If you
already went through the preliminary test process then you likely already downloaded this add-in.
To stop sharing your screen, you can either 1) go back to your meeting window and
click ‘Stop Sharing’ from the Share Pod, or 2) you can click on the Adobe Connect icon from your
system tray and select ‘Stop Sharing’.
Sharing Documents
If you select to share a document, it gives you the option to select that document from
your computer, or from the content library. Images, PowerPoint slides, MP3 audio, and
PDF documents can be loaded in this manner.
Depending on what kind of document you load, you will be presented with different
navigation options. For example, loading a PDF document adds buttons similar to what
you would find in an Adobe PDF viewer. As you navigate documents, the rest of the
participants in the meeting will follow along and see what you see. You can allow everyone to navigate on their
own by toggling on and off the 'Sync' button in the bottom right.
The pointer arrow and whiteboard overlay tools, available when you share visual documents, allow you to point out
specific areas and make annotations atop any uploaded document.
Sharing Whiteboards
Selecting ‘Whiteboard’ from the Share Pod will open either the current whiteboard or a
new blank one. The whiteboard is a collaboration tool allowing users to draw and
sketch on the same white page in real time.
Sharing and Bandwidth
Sharing anything over the internet requires bandwidth, and users with slower internet
connections will receive the information slower than others. Even those with high- speed
internet connections will see a small delay in the host’s actions. This can mean that quick changes
do not get transmitted to the other viewers. For example, if you are sharing a PowerPoint
presentation and quickly jump over one slide to the next, the users could easily miss that
information. A good rule of thumb is to move more slowly than normal when sharing your
screen with others.
Support Contact: Daniel Gibson (gibsondv@etsu.edu; 439-8244)
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The Camera and Voice Pod
All of the abilities of Connect that we have discussed so far can be used without a microphone or web-camera.
However, audio and visual communication can help transmit information faster and more dynamically. If you have
access to a microphone and/or PC compatible “web cam”, you can activate the Camera and Voice pod.
To activate your microphone and/or camera, select the bottom left button in the Camera and Voice Pod. The button
looks like a little camera and mic, and if you hover over it then a tooltip will popup reading “Start my camera and
voice”.
Figure 8
As with the Share pod, a small add-on will be required to share audio and video information to others. Connect will
cue the user for add-in if it is not present. Simply select ‘yes’ to automatically download and install add-in.
Activating the Camera and Voice pod will expand the options in the bottom-left of the pod, while the pod itself
transforms into a small video screen.
Often users will use the microphone without a camera. If that is the case, the video screen will be replaced by a
small graphic representing that person, as shown in the example above.
The expanded options in the bottom right allow you to control when you transmit your camera and/or
microphone. If the button is depressed, then they are transmitting. The ‘Talk’ button has a small lock feature. If
the lock is off, then the microphone takes on a walkie-talkie ‘push-to-talk’ role. In this mode, the user will have to
select the ‘Talk’ button each time they wish to transmit audio. By default, the lock is depressed, meaning that
whenever a user speaks into the microphone, that information will automatically be sent.
Create, View and Share Meeting Recordings
Record a Meeting
Recording in Connect is a very simple task. To begin a recording, select ‘Meeting’ from the top menu bar and then
select ‘Record Meeting.’ This will bring up a small dialog box with the option of naming the recording and giving it
a short summary. Selecting ‘OK’ after this screen will begin recording the meeting.
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A small red icon will appear in the top right of the Connect screen to let you know that the meeting is being
recorded. To stop a recording simply place your mouse over this red icon and an option will appear to ‘Stop This
Recording.’
Recordings of Connect meetings are small videos compressed with the Adobe Flash codec. Once a recording is
closed, it is automatically sent to the ‘Recordings’ section of a meeting.
View or Share a Recorded Meeting
To view or share a previously recorded meeting, the host must return to the Connect menu system. In your
internet browser, go to http://etsuac1.etsu.edu and log into Connect. At the top of the screen go to ‘Meetings’ and
then select the meeting which held the recording.
Once in the ‘Meeting Information’ menu, a new option will have appeared in the top called ‘Recordings.’ Select
this to receive a list of recordings made of that meeting.
Figure 9
Recordings are marked as private by default, which means that only the host of the meeting (generally you) can see
the recording. To share the recording with others, you must make the meeting public.
To achieve this, check the small selection box next to the name of the recording you wish to make public (or that
you wish to make private again).
Once selected, choose the 'Make Public' button in the silver bar at the top of the list. (Select 'Make Private' to make
the video inaccessible by the public.)
Figure 10
Select the individual recording name to receive a link of that particular recording. Travel to that link to view it, or
share that link with others so they might do the same.
Additional Training & Support
Support Contact: Daniel Gibson (gibsondv@etsu.edu; 439-8244)
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Do you have a question or need assistance which is beyond the scope of this document? No problem! Contact the
ATS office. We can schedule a one-on-one training, register you for a workshop, send someone out to help you, or
just give you some over-the-phone support.
You can also check the Adobe Connect page of the ATS website, which has other training materials (documents,
links, videos) and resources that may help you.
ATS Office
Sherrod Library, First Floor #118
439-8611
ats@etsu.edu
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