Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate) TeleConference System
You need headphones and a microphone to participate in the online sessions, no way around it. If your computer or laptop has a mic built-in, then you can get away with just headphones. A headset is nice, but any mic and headphone combination should work. Rule Number One: do not play the audio out of your speakers, or when you want to talk it will feed through your mic and create a nasty echo for everybody. NO SPEAKERS.
- We have had cases of USB headsets, Linux OS and BB Collaborate resulting in really choppy audio. Plugging into dedicated audio ports seems to work just fine in these instances. If you have discovered a fix for this, please let us know.
- Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to each session so you can get all your equipment up and running properly.
- In your web browser connect to the link that was distributed via the group email list.
- Accept running the download - it is a Java application. (If you see something about Blackboard Collaborate, this is fine - it is the same application.)
If you see an error message about being unable to start the application, it is probably that your Java cache needs to be cleared due to an update or something. See this BB Collaborate support article for more information.
- You should see the whole BB Collaborate application once it downloads. If not, your Java could be to blame, especially if you are on Linux.
- In the case of Linux, be sure you have Sun's Java installed - in Ubuntu (Debian, too) pre-10.04 installing sun-java6-plugin may do everything you need.
For Ubuntu 10.04 read here: http://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/java
- When asked for a screen name, provide a real name, first and last, plus a short version of your institution - this is what everybody will see you as when in the session.
If audio does not work properly, try the audio setup icon (a small microphone at the upper right of the "Audio and Video" subwindow), or the menu choice: Tools > Audio > Audio Setup Wizard. This will allow you to test your setup, set volume levels, select devices. It may not be necessary, but go here first if you think your audio is not working or you want to test your setup.
- Setup problems? Try asking for help through the chat window, it should work no matter what.
These will be opportunities to test out your gear and learn the system. Proper etiquette (as described below) will not be a feature of these sessions. Please use whichever computer and internet connection you plan to use during the sessions.
Times are as follows:
- Wednesday, June 20th (hosted by Karl-Dieter)
- 1-2 PM EDT, 10-11 AM PDT
- Thursday, June 21st (hosted by Karl-Dieter)
- 10-11 AM EDT, 7-8 AM PDT
- Friday, June 22nd (hosted by Dan)
- 3-4 PM EDT, 11-12 PM PDT
- Monday, June 25th (hosted by Dan)
- 1-2 PM EDT, 10-11 AM PDT
- We will typically have one person presenting, while another organizer watches the chat window, the participant list, etc.
- Use the chat window if you have a question that can wait a bit, or if you want to post a URL, or want to have a side conversation with another participant, but realize that moderators see all posts here. To send a private message to the moderators, click the "Moderators" tab.
To be recognized during a Q & A session, you can "put up your hand" - this button should be just above the participant list. Please wait to be invited to speak so we don't have folks talking on top of each other.
- To speak to the group, hit the "Talk" button, and if the volume meter on the left of that window is active as you talk, then you are transmitting. Once done with a question or conversation, please turn off your mic using the talk button.
- There is a polling feature (the check mark) above the participant list that we may use to have you tell us when you have completed some short exercise or when checking if everybody is ready to go. Similarly, there is a drop-down menu with an emoticon, which you can use to ask us to slow down or speed up, or express other forms of (dis)approval.
- Presenters may send video part of the time, but we will generally not require, or ask, participants to send video - so having a camera is completely optional.
- Generally, only presenters will share applications (the Sage notebook), though we could have participants share out their worksheets if they are having difficulty, especially during office hours.
Sharing Your Worksheet
During office hours, and perhaps during the sessions, there may be occasions where you will want to share a worksheet with the group. Here are the steps in Elluminate.
- Open your worksheet in your web browser.
From the menu select Tools > Application Sharing > Start Sharing, or find an icon that looks like two screens overlapping each other in the 'content' window (usually on the right).
- Possibly after a screen asking you to share, you'll get a list of applications to share - choose the web browser running the worksheet.
- Now, everybody in the session should see your worksheet. Try to keep other windows (BB Collaborate, or otherwise) from obscuring it, as they just show up as grey blobs on everybody else's screen. Also, keep scrolling and window-resizing to a minimum, as it can take a few seconds to refresh the window for everybody else.
- Moderators: right-click on the name of the person hosting the application and you can "Request Control of Shared Applications." The participant will get a dialog box asking them to OK this, and once they confirm, you will see pink trim on the application window and will have control of the mouse and keyboard. You will be able to edit cells in their worksheeet to correct problems or demo a new approach.
- If the window is too busy for you or takes up too much screen real estate, you should be able to resize and move various windows. Also consider going to the menu: View and unclick "Show Side Bar" if you are not planning to chat or raise your hand.
There is also a "Web Tour" option (the icon that looks like the Earth on the main window) which we can use to share static websites. It is not appropriate for sharing things with logins, like Sage worksheets! But it will do well if you know of a resource you'd like everyone to be aware of, and we may use it for that purpose.
- We will have recordings of each session available afterwards through the BB Collaborate system, so you can go back and replay portions at your leisure, or re-live the whole course all over again. Links to these will posted to the mailing list.