How do I use the Conference interface?

This lesson shows you how to use the Conferences interface. Conferences uses web real-time communications (WebRTC) audio for users of Firefox and Chrome.

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Open Conferences

Open Conferences

In Course Navigation, click the Conferences link.

Start Conference

Click the Start button next to your desired conference.

Join the Audio

Join the Audio

Before joining a conference, you will be asked how you want to join the conference audio: via microphone or listen only. Listen Only allows users to quickly join the conference as a listener only (no microphone check). You will be able to change your audio preference once you've joined the conference.

Learn more about how to set up your audio.

Chrome Microphone Permissions

If you are using Chrome, you will have to accept a Chrome-specific permission for access to your microphone. This prompt is just below the address bar. Click the Allow button [1].

Firefox Microphone Permissions

If you are using Firefox, you will have to accept a Firefox-specific permission to access your microphone. Choose your microphone from the Microphone to share drop-drown menu [1] and click the Share Selected Device button [2].

Note: If you don't see the list of microphones, click the microphone icon [3] to the left of the address bar.

Audio Test

Audio Test

It is recommended that you use a headset with a microphone for best audio experience. To ensure your audio is working correctly, complete the private audio echo test. Speak a few words and if you hear audio, click the Yes button [1]. To choose a different microphone and repeat the audio test, click the No button [2]. If you need help with your hardware, click the Question Mark icon [3].

Accept Adobe Flash Player Settings

Accept Adobe Flash Player Settings

To use Conferences, you must give Adobe Flash Player access to your camera and microphone settings. Click the Allow button.

Note: Users of Internet Explorer and Safari will continue to participate with existing Flash-based audio.

Use Conference Interface

The conference interface contains a variety of tools to help you moderate your presentation. Each area of the interface is created within its own window and can be resized.

Record Conference

Record Conference

Moderators have improved functionality and control for recording conferences. Instead of starting the recording immediately after the first user has joined, conferences includes a start/stop button so moderators can control the length of the recording. After the conference session is over, the recorded segments will be published as one recording.

After joining the conference and setting up your microphone, moderators receive a reminder notifying them that they can record the meeting, but they must click the recording button [1] to start the recording.

Note: You must select the record option when creating your conference in order to see the recording button.

View Participants

View Participants

The Users panel [1] displays the users in the conference. To locate the presenter/moderator, look for the presentation icon next to their name. When you are the presenter/moderator, you can switch the Presenter by highlighting the name of a user in the User list and clicking the Change Presenter button [2].

You can mute or unmute yourself, and if you are the moderator/presenter, you can mute everyone [3]. You can also kick a listener out of the conference by hovering over the listener's name and selecting the x that appears to the right [4]. The lock icon [5] indicates the moderator has locked viewers from accessing certain features.

User Settings

User Settings

At the bottom of the Users panel, click the user settings icon [1] to Lower All Hands, Mute All Users, Mute All Users Except Presenter, or Lock Viewers.

Lock Viewers

Lock Viewers

Moderators have the ability to lock (restrict) viewers from having the following features:

  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Public Chat
  • Private Chat
  • Layout

This functionality helps moderators control the conference environment, such as locking private chat to prevent students from collaborating during a test.

Sharing Media Tools

Sharing Media Tools

In the upper left-hand corner of the title bar, you will see buttons to share your desktop [1], join/leave audio [2], share your video (webcam) [3], record conference [4], and mute or unmute yourself [5].

Note: Desktop sharing is not currently supported on Chrome running under Mac OS X. It is recommended you use Firefox to share your desktop.

Sharing Presentation Tools

Sharing Presentation Tools

At the bottom of the viewing window, you have several options for your presentation.

  • To add files to your presentation, click the Upload Presentation icon [1].
  • To advance or back up your presentation, click the arrow keys [2]. The number between the keys indicates the number of slides in your presentation.
  • To increase the viewing size of your presentation, use your mouse to drag the triangle along the percentage scale [3].
  • To make your presentation fit to the width of the viewing window (height will remain proportionate), click the fit to width icon [4].
  • To make your presentation fit the entire page within the viewing window, click the fit to page icon [5].
  • To show the whiteboard tools, hover your mouse over the various annotation icons [6].

Chat Window

Chat Window

The Chat window contains the welcome message [1] for the conference and contains all the chat messages throughout the conference.

You can chat with all of the participants in the conference by typing text in the Chat window [2]. To start a private chat with another participant, click the Options tab [3].

Languages

Languages

To change the language of the interface, click the language drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen.

Choose Layout

Choose Layout

To choose from a number of preset layouts, click the Default Layout drop-down menu [1] to select the layout you want to use.

Resize Conference Windows

Each window within the interface is independent of the others. You can resize the windows to personalize your viewing experience. To change the size of a window, hover over the edge of a window until the cursor becomes a double arrow [1], then click and drag to your desired size.

Log Out

Log Out

To leave the conference, click the log out button or close your browser tab or window.

Note: Unless you set up a long-running conference, the conference will conclude automatically once the last user has logged out of the conference. It may take a few minutes for the Conferences page to reflect that the conference has ended.

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