How to use the Adobe Connect service
Adobe Connect is a video conferencing and collaboration tool. It runs as a Flash application in any web browser and so if completely platform-independent. It will run on any OS in any web browser, as long as you have a Flash plugin-in installed, and can use common video and audio peripherals for your computer. You don't need additional fancy hardware. Any USB webcam and microphone will do. It should be noted, however, that since it is Flash-based, depending on the content of your meeting, you may need to run it on a computer that has sufficient capability to run high-bandwidth applications.
The software is very flexible and relatively easy to use. Features include:
- streamed audio and video for all participants
- desktop sharing
- application sharing
- document sharing
- text chat
- custom instant polling
... and many more.
There is also an optional desktop application that allows you to connect to a meeting outside of a web browser. It requires the Adobe AIR platform to be installed first. If you don't have AIR, you can get it here: http://get.adobe.com/air/. You can download the desktop application here: http://www.connectusers.com/downloads/ConnectDesktop.air.
The following sections outline common tasks for system users.
Host server URL: https://connect.cis.ksu.edu
NOTE: this site uses self-signed SSL certificate for security, go ahead and allow it in your web browser
Login using credentials provided in email if one was sent to you.
Upon first login, you will be prompted to change your password.
If you are a member of the Meeting Hosts group, you can:
- create meetings
- create content (upload files for sharing)
- view Meeting and Saved Queries reports
If you are a member of Administrators, you can:
- manage users and groups
- manage all content, even if it was not created by you
- access private meetings created by any user
- manage and configure system-wide settings
If you are a Participant (not a Host or Presenter), you can
- only have access to meetings and content you have been invited to or are public
- cannot create meetings or content
Connecting to a meeting
If you receive an email invitation, click on the link provided in the email.
Alternatively, you can login to the server first and look at meetings you are allow to participate in.
- look at the My Meetings tab on the Home page
- click on Meetings in the menu bar at the top and look in My Meetings or Shared meetings
- click on the meeting you wold like to join
click on the Enter Meeting Room button to join the meeting
A meeting won't start until the host connects, you will sit at a waiting screen until they do.
If you will want to use your webcam or microphone in the meeting, you need to configure Flash to be able to use it.
- right-click anywhere on the meeting window and select Settings
- click on the Privacy tab (2nd, monitor with eye)
- select Allow
- check Remember
- click Microphone tab (4th, microphone icon)
- select mic you want to use and adjust volume if desired
- click Camera tab (5th, webcam icon)
- select camera you want to use
- click Close button
You will need to do this each time you connect to a meeting from a new computer. The settings are stored with Flash on the local machine, not on the Connect server.
Creating a meeting
This is a fairly simple wizard-based process. There are two ways to start the wizard:
click on New Meeting button on the Home page
click on Meetings in the menu bar at the top and then the New Meeting button
The only only required field when setting up the meeting is the Name, which can be any text you choose.
The custom URL is optional. If you don't fill it in, it will be a random string. You can set to specific text to help attendees find it more easily.
Set access limits as desired.
Add invitees if you like. These are users who already have accounts on the Connect server. This is completely optional as all you need to do is publish the URL for the meeting.
If you want to send an invitation from Connect, you can edit the message message text and limit its scope if desired.
All meetings and related content, including uploaded content and records, will remain available on the server until they are removed by the host or an administrator. There is no automated process for removing meetings.
Hosting a meeting
Windows on the meeting desktop are called "Pods".
If you will be using a webcam for video meeting, it won't start until you click on the Start My Webcam button in the Video pod.
Hosts have an extensive set of controls on their menu bar at the top of the screen which are used to control the look and features of the meeting. The following are explanations for each of these controls.
Record Meeting: If you want to record a meeting so that it can be accessed later by participants, start recording by clicking on this recording does not start automatically, you need to click on this manually when the meeting starts.
Switch to Prepare Mode: This freezes the screen for all other participants so that you can modify the various layouts without them seeing you do it click End Prepare Mode when done and your layout will revet to the current one now you can select your new layout from the Layouts menu.
Enable Presenter-Only Area: This opens a new pod that only the presenter can see, useful for keeping notes. Hide this by clicking Disable Presenter Only Area.
Use this to create, manage (delete, rename), and select the layout you want to use for this meeting. layouts you create and save can be used in later meetings.
Use this menu to show, hide, and configure pods as desired. These are the standard pods available.
Share: select or add another document or application to share with the meeting
Notes: quick notes on the screen, can only be edited by presenters, but seen by all
Files: upload files for participants to download directly from meeting
Web Links: list of URLs for participants to click on
Poll: can add as many as you like throughout the meeting
Q&A: allows participants to send questions to presenters, like a PM
The following menu items control how the host can interact with pods.
Move and Resize: if enabled, host can adjust layout for all participants as desired
Manage Pods: rename and delete pods currently in use ore created during this meeting
Single Speaker Mode: mutes all other mics except for the Presenter
Enable Audio for Participants: let others talk if approved by Presenter
Controls for all users
There are some buttons/menus with icons at the top which control actions you can take during the meeting. Availability of these icons is dependent on your status in the meeting. If the icon is green, this means that the device is active. If it is white, then the device is inactive. Select the drop-down menu
Used to adjust your speaker volume or mute. This is available to everyone in the meeting.
To enable your microphone, click Connect My Audio. The default action for this button is to enable/disable your microphone. Once enabled, you can mute or adjust the volume. This in only available to Hosts, Presenters, or Participants who have been granted access by the host.
Used to start your own webcam or enable for Participants. This in only available to Hosts, Presenters, or Participants who have been granted access by the host.
Raise Hand to ask host for your video/audio to be added
Other selections give feedback to presenter
Participating in a meeting
If a Presenter you
- only get Meeting menu, but you can
- change own audio/video settings
- enable/disable Chat pod
show/hide names in Q&A pod
- can start your own webcam without permission from host or another presenter
If a Participant you
- cannot change Meeting configuration, can only setup your own audio
- only get Speaker and Status buttons
- supported native file types: jpg, png, swf /flv (flash), ppt/pptx, pdf, mp3, zip
- Requires additional download: Connect Add-In
- installers for Windows, Mac, Linux
- so far, works best in Windows
- Can share full desktop, single window, or a single application
- Allows other participants to see your screen, but not interact with it - they watch you use it
- Administrator can limit applications to be shared (for security purposes)
- Host can request/enable a participant to share their screen
- Click red Stop Sharing button in title bar of shared app/window to stop
- only Presenters can write
In general, the more audio and video streams that are active at once, the slower the client will run. If you don't need live video streams for all participants, you can get a headshot and keep that as a still image. Participants who are not talking should mute their audio at all times. It's very simple to mute/un-mute as necessary, so this is pretty easy to do.
- official main support site
- online tutorials
- full official docs
- official forums
- user community: contributed tutorials, forums, user groups meetings