Concordia University

http://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/offices/ctl/digital-learning/tools/web-conferencing.html

Web Conferencing (Adobe Connect)

Web conferencing technology is web-based software for holding virtual classes, presentations and meetings.  It provides two-way communications between the instructor and the participants through video, audio and text chat. In addition, the instructor can share anything on their computer screen with participants. There is also a whiteboard that the instructor and participants can draw on or add text to. Additional features are available that make this tool more interactive than a recorded video lecture or text-based activities in a Learning Management System (i.e. Moodle) including polling, text chat and break out rooms for groups.

Instructors can use web-conferencing software as a virtual classroom for a single session, or for an ongoing class.  For example, one instructor might schedule a session to include a guest speaker from outside of the greater Montreal area in the class.  Another instructor might schedule a session each week because class is scheduled at 8:00 on Friday night in winter, a time when traveling to campus might be inconvenient.

Concordia University currently supports Adobe Connect as its web conferencing tool.

Benefits of Web Conferencing
  • allows instructors to hold live class sessions from anywhere
  • is an engaging alternative to a video lecture in Online or Blended learning
  • allows instructors to keep class meeting times in inclement weather, when the instructor is out-of-town or any other case where holding a class on-campus is inconvenient

Getting Set up with Adobe Connect

Instructors or administrators need to submit a virtual classroom request to the Centre for Teaching and Learning (teaching@concordia.ca). The coordinator responds with a link to the virtual classroom, as well as information about scheduling training to use the system, which is required for all first-time users.

First-time and occasional users can also request the presence of a support specialist during the scheduled class from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, subject to the specialist’s availability. 

How to use Web Conferencing Software in your Class

These are only some of the ways you can take advantage of web conferencing software:

  1. Teach your regularly-scheduled class when you're attending a conference in another city
  2. Make an Online or Blended learning lecture more interactive than video
  3. Have a renowned expert from Europe speak to your class live - but without the travel
  4. Have students present group projects in an otherwise all online course
  5. Meet with a group of students without anyone going on campus
  6. Host Student presentations in an online/blended course
In addition, you can use the Live Virtual Classroom for non-classroom purposes. Concordia faculty and staff have used the Live Virtual Classroom for online recruiting sessions for prospective students, enrichment sessions with the Co-op students, guest lectures, and research team meetings.

 

Tips for Using Web Conferencing Software

This section is adapted from McKinnie’s (2008) Best Practices for Delivering Virtual Classroom Training.


References

McKinnie, R. (2008). Best Practices for Delivering Virtual Classroom Training. San Jose, CA:  Adobe Systems Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.elearningguild.com/showFile.cfm?id=3159.

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