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Adobe Connect Uses and Scenarios

Adobe Acrobat Connect is a powerful on‐line collaboration, training and teaching tool.

Penn State ITS Training Services has developed a list of scenarios for using Adobe Connect. These scenarios range from creating a virtual office for meeting and consulting with students, to providing remote support to a user, to using small groups as part of instruction. Each scenario looks at the problem, the Connect solution, what pods and other features could be used, and any recommendations to make the solution work easier and more efficiently. Adobe Connect Uses and Scenarios.

Scenario 1 – Virtual Office Hours

Scenario: Professor Susan Kauffmann wants to provide her students access to materials for her classes, as well as an opportunity to meet with her to discuss anything related to instruction or advising. She wants to be able to meet with students, but does not want to have to spend time with routine tasks such as dispensing documents when she would much rather talk and interact with the students. To compound her situation, she will have times when she is not in her physical office, yet still wants to be able to meet students.

Connect Pro solution: Professor Kauffmann created a virtual office/meeting room for her students to visit. From here, she can meet with students, either collectively or individually, and at the same time provide them with the necessary forms and other information that they most commonly request.

Students can enter the virtual office and ask questions that Professor Kauffmann can answer directly via audio. To do this, she instructs any student that would like to actually speak with her to give her a “agree” status, using the My Status feature of the attendee pod. Professor Kauffmann can then select the participant and grant them audio rights. The student and Professor Kauffman can then talk in real.

A student that does not, or cannot, wait for a live conversation can leave a note for Dr. Kauffmann in the chat pod. They can make it private or public and can then leave the meeting.

A student who may need to obtain a copy of a form, syllabus or other handout, can retrieve this from the file share pod where Dr. Kauffmann has loaded them.

Pods to be used: file share; chat; attendee

Other features: open meeting; enable participant audio

Recommendations: Professor Kauffmann could make this a closed meeting, and only accept participants in to the meeting one at a time. However, this would preclude other students from having free access to the file share pod to download files, and the chat pod for leaving Professor Kauffmann a message.

The open meeting allows students free access to the file share and chat pods. Since the conversations between Professor Kauffmann and the student should be private, Professor Kauffmann can grant each student audio permissions so that they can talk, or she can promote them within the sesison to a presenter. At the end of the conversation, she removes the audio rights. If the student has bee promoted to presenter within the session, they will revert back to being a participant when they leave the meeting.

Protocol:

  • Establish the virtual office hours meeting space
    • Decide if the office will be “open” or “closed”
  • Add the following pods:
    • Attendee
    • File share
    • Chat
  • If the meeting is open . . .
    • you can load any type(s) of file(s) into the file share pod for students to download as their leisure
    • anyone who has the virtual office URL can enter the room at any time
  • If the meeting is closed . . .
    • Students must “knock” and be accepted into the “virtual office”
    • More than one student can be admitted at a time
    • Any students in the room will appear in the attendee pod
    • Any student who is not accepted into the room, and not declined, will be waiting for acceptance
    • the file share pod will not be available unless you allow the student into the meeting room
  • Students/visitors can interact with the instructor via the chat pod if they do not have a microphone
  • If the student has a microphone, grant them audio rights so that you can converse with them via audio
    • Only that student will have access to speak
    • You can change the rights once you are done talking with them
  • When finished with virtual office hours
    • Change the meeting status to “open”
    • Leave the meeting in a layout where students can leave messages (chat pod) and/or download files (file share pod) such as a syllabus
    • Add a share pod if you want the visitors to have access to a PowerPoint

Scenario 2 – Breakout Rooms

Scenario: Jan Williams is instructing a class in counselor education. As part of the class for 25 students, she wants to be able to provide them with time, during class, to meet in small groups to discuss a problem and then report back to the full group. Since this is a Master’s class, her students commute to campus twice each week. She would like to be able to provide them with a means for meeting prior to coming to campus, and also to allow them to participate in class without having to always travel to campus. Some of her students are currently driving up to 3 hours one way for class.

Connect Pro solution: Ms. Williams created six (6) separate meeting rooms: one for the class as a whole (her main instructional space), and one for each of the five groups that she created. For each of the breakout rooms, she created a group list and uploaded it through bulk upload. She then enabled the auto‐promote feature so that each participant in the breakout group is a presenter. This allows them access to some preset pods (created by Ms. Williams), in order to collaborate and add/edit content.

She added a share pod in each breakout room and uploaded a PowerPoint file that describes the problem to discuss. She also included a note pod for the groups to collaborate on and devise a solution to the problem. They can enter their solution into the note pod and then copy its content into a word processing document.

In the main class meeting space, she created a note pod for each of the breakout rooms. Using the pod options, she labeled each note pod for each of the groups. To provide access to the pods, she requested that each group select a reporter for their group. In the attendee pod, they are asked to indicate their status by giving a “thumbs up”.

Ms. Williams then selects each of the spokesmen and grants them enhanced participant rights to the note pods. Each spokesman then copies their response into the corresponding note pod in the general meeting space. When completed, Ms. Williams rescinds the right.

With all of the information collected, she can then discuss each solution, or permits the participants of each group audio access to defend their solution. In addition, by using a question and answer pod, students from other groups can pose questions to the reporting group or the instructor.

Pods to be used: share; note; attendee; chat; question and answer

Other features: auto‐promote to presenter; enhanced participant rights to the notes pods; open meeting (general class space) and closed meeting (breakout rooms)

Recommendations: Since the smaller groups will be coming back to the main meeting space to report, Ms. Williams should rename the pods that they will be copying their information into. This way, there will be little confusion about which note pod each group is to use, and which information is from which group.

Protocol:

  • Create the central meeting space.
    • Use of the course number may be most effective, i.e. COMM465
      • This will be a closed meeting, open only to registered users.
  • Add the class list to the central meeting space using the bulk upload feature.
  • Add the following pods:
    • Note pods – a total of 5
      • Label each note pod to correspond to a group
    • Attendee
      • Needed to identify the “reporter” for each group
    • Chat/Q and A
      • To allow for questions/answers after each group has given their report
  • Create the breakout rooms.
    • Label each so that it is clear that they are breakout rooms for the central class.
      • If the class name is COMM465, name the breakout rooms COMM465_1, COMM465_2, etc.
    • Make each room an open session (does not require a participant list).
    • Enable the auto‐promote to presenter feature
    • Add the following pods:
      • Share
        • Upload the PowerPoint or other information that you want the groups to consider/respond to
      • Note
        • For recording the group’s report
  • When groups return to the central meeting space:
    • Have each group signify who their spokesman is by giving a “agree” status in the attendee pod
    • Grant enhanced participant rights to each “reporter” to the note pods.
    • Reporters place content in their respective notes pod.
    • After completing upload, rescind enhanced rights.
    • Have participants clear their status.
    • Ask/choose which group will go first. Have their reporter indicate by “agree” status in the attendee pod.
    • Grant (and when completed, rescind) audio rights to each reporter (in turn).
    • Allow for/encourage questions through the chat/Q and A pod for reporter, or other group members, to respond to.

Scenario 2A – Breakout Rooms

There can be another solution for Jan. Connect now provides the option to create breakout rooms within the same meeting room. Jan could create up to 5 separate breakout rooms that are directly connected to the main meeting room, be able to access them, and display any pods from the breakout rooms back in the main meeting space.

The protocol for this remains essentially the same. However, there are some limitations to using the breakout rooms feature in version 7.

When using breakout rooms that are off‐shoots of the main room, the main room must be open. In other words, the main room acts as a portal to the breakout rooms. If the host has closed the main meeting room, then participants cannot directly access the breakout spaces.

Another limitation is that a host must start the breakout rooms. If a host initiates the breakout rooms and then closes the meeting, the breakout rooms will remain in place, and participants will return to their previous breakout rooms when the meeting resumes. If a host discontinues the breakout rooms, all participants will be returned to the main meeting space, and the breakout rooms will be unavailable.

If the meeting is being recorded, only the main meeting space will be recorded. Any activity in the breakout rooms, unless those pods have been “mirrored” back into the main meeting space, will not be recorded.

Scenario 3 – Remote Desktop Support

Scenario: Bob Davis works for the ITS Help Desk. He routinely answers calls that deal with help issues, and attempts to correct the problem or resolve the issue through talking the caller through a series of steps via phone. This works, but is not always the best way to explain something. It also limits him in that he can’t actually “see” what the problem is, nor can he see if the person on the other end is actually following the correct procedures. He wants to make his help more effective, and more efficient.

Connect Pro solution: Bob creates a support room in Connect Pro. When he receives a support call, he directs the caller to this support room. Since Bob is already in the meeting space, he can see when the caller enters. Bob has already activated the auto‐promote feature so that when the caller enters, they are already in the presenter role.

Bob asks the remote user to click on “Share My Screen” in the share pod that is on the screen, and then on the Desktop button. The caller is now sharing their desktop in the meeting.

Since the caller has a specific question/problem that they want help with, Bob can now request control of their desktop. So long as the caller agrees and allows Bob to have control, he can then demonstrate or diagnose the problem on the caller’s machine.

When he has corrected or examined the problem, he can then either make changes directly, or advise the caller on the correct course of action. He then releases control of the callers machine and ends the meeting.

Pods to be used: share

Other features: closed meeting

Recommendations: When Bob creates his support room, he should set it up as a closed meeting. He is, by default, a host since he is the meeting creator; he is automatically added to the user list for this meeting. Since only registered participants and invited guests can enter the room, he will accept the caller as a guest when they authenticate.

Since this is a closed meeting, the caller cannot reenter later unless Bob is in the room and accepts them into the meeting. It also allows Bob to work with one client at a time, in a secure environment without anyone else interrupting the session.

In a help desk situation, each help desk staffer would create their own support room for their use.

Protocol:

  • Create the “help” meeting space
    • Using the help desk assistant’s name may be most effective
      • This will be a closed meeting, open only to registered users and accepted guests
      • Enable the auto‐promote to presenter feature
    • Add the following pods:
      • Share
        • For sharing/accessing the desktop and/or application
  • Give the caller the URL for the help space
  • When the caller authenticates, they will appear as a request to enter the meeting space.
    • The help desk person can accept or decline
  • The caller will enter the meeting as a presenter.
  • Instruct the caller in how to share their desktop or application
    • In the share pod, select “My Computer”
      • Have them choose the desktop or the application
    • The application must be open to be viewable
  • View/review the problem with the caller
  • If necessary, request control of the desktop or application.
  • Ask the caller to grant control.
  • Demonstrate, assist or instruct the caller using their machine.
  • When finished, release control back to the caller.
  • If this is the end of the help session, end the meeting.

Scenario 4 – “Once‐in‐a lifetime” Guest Lecturer

Scenario: Renowned author Michael Jacobson has agreed to talk to a communications class of Nancy Riley’s. At the last moment, his schedule suddenly changes, and he cannot make the flight in from Colorado. He is still very interested in speaking to the class and presenting his thoughts, but he can’t physically be there, and make another appearance in the Far East the following day.

Connect Pro solution: Nancy Riley creates a meeting room for her class. The class will be meeting in a computer lab, using a projector to display the meeting space.

With all of the students in the same lab, they can pose questions directly to Mr. Jacobson via a single microphone. This allows Mr. Jacobson to answer the questions to the full class so that everyone can hear the question and the response.

Since this is a “once‐in‐a‐lifetime” experience for both Prof. Riley and her class, she will record the meeting. This way, she can replay the meeting for future classes, or refer to it in the future for information that she wants to use in class.

Pods to be used: chat; question and answer

Other features: recording the meeting

Recommendations: Nancy has a couple of options here. She could have the students in a classroom with a computer, projector, sound and video capability. This would allow her to control the interaction with the guest better than if they were connecting from their own computers. It would also mean that there would be less “side chatter” going on in the room while the guest is presenting.

She could also allow the students to connect to the meeting from their own machine. This may allow for freer discourse, since students may feel less inhibited about contributing, knowing that they don’t have peers seated next to them. It may make for a more difficult interaction, in that students will need to pose their question via the chat/question and answer pod, and that either Nancy will read the question to Mr. Jacobson, or he will need to read the question and then respond to it.

The bigger problem with the second case is that the student may not have audio capability in their machine, preventing them from being able to hear the answer to the question. It would be unlikely that Mr. Jacobson would want to reply to questions and comments via the chat pod.

Students may also have an issue with their connection speed. Since they may be connecting from various locations at various speeds, they should also be able to toggle their connection speed to the meeting. This is done through the meeting menu under connection speed.

Protocol:

  • Etablish the meeting room
  • Add the following pods:
    • Chat
    • Question and answer
  • Create a Friends of Penn State account for the guest lecturer
    • Send the account information to the quest lecturer, along with the URL of the meeting space
  • Establish with the guest speaker who and how any questions will be asked
  • Record the meeting
  • During the meeting, maximize the camera and voice pod
  • At the end of the meeting, stop the recording

Scenario 5 – Training with both In‐person and Distributed Participants

Scenario: ITS Training Services is expanding their outreach through their IT Professional Program. As part of this expansion, they are going to conduct a series of “roundtable discussions” about hot topics in the information technology professional arena. While several of the IT professionals are located at their campus, they know that there are many more at other campuses, who may not be able to attend in person for various reasons. Training Services wants to include them, and with more than a telephone conference. Video conferencing via Picture Tel is not available at all locations.

Connect Pro solution: Training Services created an IT Professional meeting space to host their roundtable meetings. The IT pro trainers are the hosts for the meetings. Each meeting has a different subject, so they will use the same meeting space each time for continuity.

The trainers decide to use two wireless microphones – one for the presenter and one for the moderator. The presenter will not be “in” the meeting, but rather will be presenting the content. The moderator (one of the trainers) will monitor the chat pod to field questions, reply if he/she can, and/or pose questions to the presenter.

Since the presenter has a microphone, the moderator will ask the question out loud (so that all in the room and at the distributed locations can hear it), and then the presenter will answer. Likewise, if a question comes from a participant at the live site, the moderator will restate the question, and the presenter will answer.

Any materials that the presenter wants to use during the course of their presentation, whether it be a PowerPoint presentation or a web‐based presentation, will be shared in the share pod by the moderator.

During the presentation, the presenter may want to know some demographic data about the participants, in order to tailor or focus a part of the presentation. By using the poll pod, distributed participants can replay to certain questions to give the presenter an idea of what the trends in the room are.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the trainers can also use the poll pod(s) to determine future topics, future dates, or any other information that relates to this meeting or future meetings.

Pods to be used: share; file share; chat; question and answer; poll

Other features: recording the meeting

Recommendations: This meeting could also have an additional moderator that monitors the status of the meeting, as well as controlling the arrangement of pods. This second moderator could also use the preparing mode to arrange other layouts for use later in themeeting.

Protocol:

  • Establish the meeting space
  • Add the following pods:
    • Share
    • File share (for sharing a PowerPoint or other documents)
    • Chat (for use with the Q and A pod)
    • Question and Answer
    • Poll
  • Create the following layouts:
    • Main
    • Polls
      • Prepare any polls in advance and put them in either the presenter area orin the polls layout
  • The main presenter and the moderator will have host rights
  • The moderator will monitor and answer/present questions
  • When the meeting begins, the moderator will establish the protocol for asking questions
  • Record the meeting
  • When a question is posed during the meeting, the moderator will ask the question of the presenter
    • This is true whether the question comes from the local or distant participants
  • Switch to the poll layout to use any poll questions
  • When the meeting is over, stop the recording

Scenario 6 – While the Instructor Is Away . . .

Scenario: Silfredo Hernandez has been selected to present a paper at an international conference in Argentina during the spring semester. He is a devoted teacher, and would rather not have to cancel class. In addition, he has no teaching assistant, and missing a class will set his course back. During the time that the class normally meets, he will be presenting at the conference, so a live session is not possible.

Connect Pro solution: Professor Hernandez has a unique problem. He wants to hold class, yet he can’t do it in a live setting. He decides to mix both a recorded session and an open meeting room to achieve his goal.

Silfredo creates a meeting room for his class. Prior to leaving for the conference, he conducts a class that is essentially lecture based. First, he uploads a PowerPoint into the share pod. Next, using the recording option, he will record this meeting, even though he is the only person in the meeting. He uses the camera and voice pod to record his narration of the PowerPoint as he is presenting it – just the way he would do it if he were teaching the material in a live setting.

After he has recorded the meeting and has the recording URL, he puts the URL into the web links pod. Using the note pod, he includes instructions for the class on using the PowerPoint, downloading the handout, and answering the poll questions.

In the share pod, he uploads the PowerPoint that he used in the recorded session. Using the file share pod, he uploads a handout for the class to use while watching the recorded session. Lastly, he uses a number of polls to check student attendance by asking questions that are relevant to the content of the class. This way he can (to some degree) verify that the student attended the class at some point, and that they reviewed the content.

Pods to be used: share; file share; poll; web links; note

Other features: recorded session

Recommendations: Prof. Hernandez may also want to make this a closed meeting. If he does, he can load his class list in using the bulk upload feature. This way, only his class can enter the meeting room to review and download materials, and find the URL for the recorded session. While it is possible that a student in the class could have another student “attend” for them, they would need to give up their user id and password – a violation of University policy.

Protocol:

  • Establish the meeting space
  • Add the following pods:
    • Share
    • File share (for sharing a PowerPoint or other documents)
    • Web links (for listing a link to a related website)
    • Note
    • Poll
  • Upload the PowerPoint into the share pod
  • Begin recording the meeting
  • Record the narration of the PowerPoint, the same as if it were being done live
  • When finished, end the recording
  • Return to the Connect Pro management interface
    • Under recordings, copy the URL of the meeting just recorded
  • Return to the meeting space
    • In the web links pod, add the URL of the recorded meeting
    • In the note pod, enter instructions for the students about what to do in the meeting
    • In the share pod, make sure that the presentation is unsynced so that students can navigate it at their leisure
    • In the file share pod, add any documents to supplement the class, or a copy of the original PowerPoint that is loaded into the share pod
    • Create any polls to check for comprehension and include them
  • Leave the meeting in the layout that contains the share, file share, web links, note and poll pods. This will be the layout that students will see when they enter the meeting
  • Distribute the URL for the class website, if students do not already have it

Scenario 7 – Panel presentation and Discussion

Scenario: As part of a summer National Science Foundation program, five noted scientists are visiting campus. The director of the program, Professor Harrison Ryan, wants to convene a panel discussion for the students in the program. After sharing the idea with a colleague, they decide that it would be great if they could share the panel discussion with their science colleagues at the various campuses.

Each of the panelists will make a brief presentation on their area of expertise or current interest, followed by a question and answer period.

Connect Pro solution: Professor Ryan creates a meeting space that has a share pod for uploading PowerPoint or Flash based presentation materials. The chat pod will be a convenient way for any participant to ask a question of the panel, without interrupting the flow of the panel presentation.

Pods to be used: chat; share

Other features: recorded meeting

Recommendations: None

Protocol:

  • Establish the meeting space
  • Add the following pods:
    • Share
    • Chat
  • Upload any content that the panelist will be using into the share pod so that they will have access to it as they present
    • Create a new share pod for panelist, storing those not currently being used in the Presenter area
  • When the meeting begins, enable recording
  • The first panelist makes their presentation
  • Put the meeting on hold while the next panelist moves into position
    • Drag their share pod from the Presenter area into the meeting layout
  • Resume the meeting
  • Continue this process for each presentation
  • When ready for the discussion, allow distributed participants to use the chat pod to pose questions to the panelists.
    • Have a moderator repeat the question, whether if comes from the live audience or the distributed audience
    • Panelists can answer verbally so that everyone can hear the response
  • If you choose to allow the use of voice from others at distributed locations, grant them audio rights to the meeting

Scenario 8 ‐ A “Chaptered” Training

Scenario: Bill Davis is an information technology trainer who wants to find a workable alternative to face‐to‐face training. There are times when he can’t physically visit a distant location to provide training, and he wants to have a means for creating a training module that can be reused.

The problem that he faces is that the training needs to be organized in such a way that the end user has the option of jumping to a particular section of the training. If they don’t need a particular segment, they shouldn’t have to sit through that section to get to another section. Of particular interest to him is the training of the Curriculum Submission and Approval System tool that has been developed.

Faculty at each of the campuses needs to be trained in the use of the tool to submit curriculum proposals. However, Bill can’t go to each campus because of their wide geographical spread, and the faculty can’t attend a training seminar at a central location during the active teaching semester.

Connect Pro solution: Bill decides to create a meeting space for his training seminar with a share pod to share the application from his desktop, and a notes pod for adding additional information.

First, Bill creates several different layouts that will correspond to the major sections of the tool that he will be providing training on. He names each layout to correspond to the section of the training, and arranges them from left to right in the tabs at the bottom of the screen.

Next, he includes a share pod and a note pod, giving them all the same dimensions and locations. In the note pod he adds any supplemental content or instructions that go with that part of the training.

As he begins the training session, he records the meeting. He starts in the introductory layout with some general information about the training. This includes how to use the transcript feature that is available in recorded meetings. He then proceeds through the training, with each new topic being presented in the appropriate layout.

At the end of the training, he returns to the introductory layout for some closing thoughts. Bill stops the recording and ends the meeting.

Bill then creates another layout for use in live training. In this layout, he includes a chat pod and Share pod. Once he as the URL for the recorded session, he distributes it to perspective trainees to have them review and view it prior to meeting with him in a meeting.

At the live meeting, Bill can now answer questions, share the application from his desktop to review or answer specific questions, and converse, either by voice or through the chat pod, with the others in the room.

Pods to be used: share; chat; note

Other features: recorded meeting; multiple layouts

Recommendations: By segmenting the training into different layouts, Bill can take advantage of Connect Pro’s ability to index and “chapter” his recording. Through the use of the archive transcript, the user can jump to any section that they want to view (using the layout names as a guide), review any content that they want to review, and prepare any questions that they may have.

In the live meeting, Bill can then demonstrate or answer any questions that participants may have after viewing the recorded meeting.

Protocol:

  • Establish the meeting room
  • Create the layouts that you want to use during the meeting
  • Add the pods to each layout, dependent on what you want to demonstrate or what information you want to provide in each layout
  • Prepare all of the content in advance, and load it into the appropriate pod
    • Name the pods and the layouts for easier, semantically meaningful progression through the training
  • Start recording the meeting
  • At the conclusion of the meeting, stop the recording
  •