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Adobe Connect

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eSync Adobe Connect Training

Jacqui, the eSync Adobe Connect trainer, was kind enough to share with Pepperdine faculty some of the finer points of Adobe Connect. This was a 2-part webinar held over two days. If you missed it, you can watch the recordings below:

Basic Agenda

Session 1: Thursday 7/21 1-3p Pacific (watch session recording)

Lesson 1: Introducing Connect (Quick overview – 2-3mins)

Lesson 3: Managing a Connect Meeting Room – Attendee Pod and Menu Options

Lesson 4: Sharing Presentations

Lesson 5: Break out rooms


Session 2: Friday 7/22 10a-12 Pacific (watch session recording)

Lesson 6: Screen Sharing, Whiteboards, Images, Dig Video & Transitioning Content (this part was not recorded, so Jacqui has provided Job Aides for anyone interested.

Lesson 6a: Layouts, using them to prep multiple files for quick transitions during class

Lesson 8: Sharing Files, Polls, and Web Links

Lesson 7: Sharing Static Text  (If time remains)


Additional items:

(a) ODL will be scheduling all VSIs

(b) Show where the schedule is and how to “launch” their meeting rooms in sakai 11e

(c) Show where to get their recordings (and where students can go to get their recordings) via the VSI tool



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VSI: Your Time to Interact with Students

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Virtual Synchronous Interaction sessions — those mandatory blocks of time that need to be filled with something.

Many times the VSIs are filled with lecture sessions where the professor talks at the students and asks for any questions at the end. These sessions are boring. There is low student participation, lukewarm group discussions and a decrease in attendance due to the dragging experience. This can make a VSI seem like a waste of time to not only the students, but the professor. Why have these sessions if students are not getting anything out of them?

Well, the words “student engagement” get thrown around a lot in conversations about online learning. Everyone wants it to be interactive and fun for students, but not every lesson can be fun. Sometimes students have to learn the boring basics. So, here are these mandatory sessions no one seems to know what to do with, just to make the course more appealing for the sake of student engagement. Now what?

VSIs is your opportunity to interact with your students similarly to an in-person classroom setting. Here are some things to consider when planning your next VSI:

Flip the Classroom – Instead of doing a lecture, have the students read the material and prepare for a group discussion before the VSI. Then, when you have all your students online it is the perfect time to do knowledge checks and go more in-depth with real-life scenarios.

Use Polls – To gauge student understanding of the week’s material, use a quick poll to find out which topics the students feel they have mastered before starting the new discussion session. The topics that receive the lowest rating can now be covered in the VSI.
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Host a Q&A Session – Have students submit questions in the Adobe Connect meeting room Q&A pod throughout the week. When you login, you will be able to see all the questions, but the students will only see the questions he/she submitted. As you answer questions, you can delete them from your list. This will not affect the student’s pod view.
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Make It Personal – Being an online student is an isolated experience. Make the most of your time with students. Greet them as they enter the meeting room, answer the dumb questions to encourage conversation, and hang around a few minutes after the meeting in case people linger to ask questions like they do in on-campus classrooms. Showing that you care about your students increases student engagement without all the bells and whistles. Even if you do not change a thing with your VSI style (if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right?) then showing that you care about your students will make all the difference.

Making small changes to your teaching style could have a bigger impact on the way your students retain information and improve the overall experience of a live online session. You do not have to use all the tips in this post, but try one out and see how it goes. It doesn’t hurt to experiment a little.

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The Benefits of Lecture Capture

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High schools all over the country are hosting lectures to prepare the 2016 Senior Class for the “college experience”. Maybe you have attended one or even spoke at one of these events. There is a lot of useful and not-so-useful information provided at these lectures; and one bit that may be repeated over and over again is to “record your lectures.” This is helpful advice more students should take advantage of, but they don’t. As part of our Student Support, recorded lectures allows flexibility in a student’s education for a better learning experience.

For the student who can’t be physically in the classroom or present at the live lecture, having the ability to watch or listen to a lecture on a mobile device or home computer helps to keep that student on track. Other students have the option to revisit lectures during revision time or to take better notes. They also have the ability to pause or rewind the lecture to get a better grasp of tough concepts and this adds value to the course.

Lecture capture is useful for the professor as well. Viewer analytics can provide information on which topics students find most interesting and the recordings can be used to improve lecture content and delivery. A professor can see which lectures had the least amount of student engagement and can revise that lecture for future presentations to spark more interest.

If you haven’t recorded your lectures before, you should consider the benefits for your students. You can start capturing your lectures with TechSmith Relay now or learn how to access your Adobe Connect Recordings here.

Don’t have a TechSmith Relay account? Learn how to register for one here.

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Adobe Connect Presenter Only Area

If you have taught or are currently teaching an online or flex course, then you are probably familiar with Adobe Connect. For those who don’t know, Adobe Connect is used for live online meetings, specifically the virtual synchronous instruction sessions. It allows you to share your screen, video chat, and interact with your students from pretty much anywhere; but I’m here to tell you about one of the recent updates called the Presenter Only Area. It’s a handy little feature that keeps some things private during sessions.


What is the Presenter Only Area?

It is a second display in your Adobe Connect meeting room that can only be viewed by the host or presenter roles. Attendees cannot see this area.


Why Use the Presenter Only area?

Let’s say you have guest speakers presenting at one of your VSIs. You want everything to run smoothly for the students, so you can use the Presenter Only Area as a backstage function. By adding a chat pod to the Presenter Only Area, you can chat with the presenters without the students knowing. So comments like, “I’m  having trouble with my mic. Give me a few minutes.” Or “How do I share my powerpoint?” won’t be viewed by your attendees and problems can be solved quickly and quietly behind the scenes. Your session looks more professional and no one is embarrassed.


The Presenter Only Area is customizable, so you aren’t restricted in the kinds of pods you can add to it. Just be careful not to build your whole meeting room in the Presenter Only Area because your students will login and see only a blank gray screen.


Watch this video to find out how to setup a Presenter Only Area in your Adobe Connect meeting room.

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Tips to Handle Online Student Feedback

Think of it as Social Media 

Teaching an online class is similar to building a social media presence. You have an audience, a platform that requires frequently updated content, and an influx of comments and questions. All of this can be overwhelming as any famous Youtuber can attest, but with a few tips you can handle everything on your plate.

“I feel like I have to answer everyone’s questions all the time.”

No, you don’t. As the questions come in, choose a time for you that’s best to sit down and answer them. Take an hour out of your day every day to scroll through emails, discussion boards, yammer posts, and/or tweets and gather up the common questions. Unique questions can be answered directly to the student, but make use of Sakai’s announcements page to post one answer to all students for the common theme questions.

OR… Post a daily digest answering all the questions you received in the past 24 hours. That way, students can browse the post and see answers to questions they may not have had the nerve to ask.


Address Questions in Your VSI

If you have a quiet class during your virtual synchronous interaction session and you find that you don’t have enough content for the full hour, you can spend some time answering questions received throughout the week. Maybe students have been struggling with a specific concept or theory and it showed in the latest assignment. You can give further instruction during this face time session. This shows that you are paying attention to students’ needs and encourages in-class discussion.

So the next time you find yourself with an inbox full of student questions, you can take a minute to figure out the most efficient way of dealing with it. If you would like to know how to make an announcement post on Sakai, watch the video here.