Rules On Line Sessions

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Rules for the Participation in Online Sessions

The Web Science programme builds extensively on online sessions as a means for participation in lectures and as a means for cooperation with peers and lecturers. For successful sessions it is vital that all participants take care for the best possible technical and organizational prerequisites.

Organizational Prerequisites

When cooperating with others online, the video connection in addition to the audio connection is a indispensable means for communication. For the working atmosphere it is necessary that all participants are in quiet, undisturbed rooms. Please make sure, that you use such room for the online sessions.

Hardware Prerequisites

A headset with microphone and a video camera are absolutely necessary. Please make sure, that you only enter the online meeting rooms, if your computer has directed its audio input and output to your headset and your camera is connected. Speakers and microphone of the computer have to be deactivated. Otherwise the group will be disturbed by nasty feedback-loops and the sound of typing on the keyboard. Experiences from the past have shown, that USB connected headsets work best.

The camera is necessary to create an atmosphere of connectedness allowing for efficient and convenient working together.

Online conferencing tools like - in our case - Adobe Connect 8 tend to be quite resource consuming (processing power and main memory). Your computer should be on the performance level of the desktop or full-laptop series of approximately the last two years. So called 'netbooks' typically do not suffice.

The network connection to your service provider has to be DSL or LAN speed. Preferably the DSL package you subscribe to should not be on the lower side of the offerings. Inhouse it has proven to be preferable to use wire-connections instead of Wifi, which tends to show instabilities and results in an inconsistent system.

Adobe Connect 8: Prerequisites

It is highly recommended to take a look at the Visual quick start guide prior to attending your first meeting.

Please make sure, that you have installed the Adobe Add-in before the online session. The connection is much more stable then. You can install within an Adobe Connect room; in the menu bar go to the right to "Help" and then klick Install the Connect Pro Add-in. Or you can go here: [1].

Before participating in online sessions it is helpful to perform the connection test supplied by Adobe: Meeting Test

It is also very important to run the Audio Setup Wizard BEFORE every (!) session (you find it in the menu bar under "Manage My Settings"). Very crucial is Step 4 "Tune Silence Level", to reduce background noise.

On this site you will find a wealth of material from Adobe, tutorials, First Steps and forums with questions about Connect. A Complete Handbook for the current version there is available in German and English. There are also Troubleshoot pages by Adobe

In the Session

If you are asked to present material, it has proven to be workable to use pdf files. Screensharing and the use of Powerpoint presentations tend to result in annoying performance issues. Please make sure, that you have the possibility to create pdf files from your text- or presentation-editor.

Substantial Collaboration and Contentual Progress during Online Sessions

Communication in Online Meeting Rooms suffers from some of its properties especially in comparison to real world communication. It is necessary to use the communication facilities of Adobe connect to create a convenient learning scenario for all participants of the course as well as for the lecturer. In particular this at least includes to

  • constantly switch on the video camera (this is also important to support/promote a group-awareness) and to
  • use your microphone to communicate with other participants and the lecturer.

Lecturers usually try to create comfortable learning situation within the bounds of technical possibility. Please answer communication requests of the lecturer in the same way as during on site lectures. If the lecturer requests to provide results or to read some text as a preparation for the online session, please follow these instructions strictly. The lecturer has to rely on your preparation to ensure substantial progress during the online session. This is also true, if the results are not an immediate part of the examination. They at least will be supposed to be a good preparation for the examination.

If the degree of preparation is low, students will hardly be able to take advantage of their participation in online sessions. Simply attending the sessions is not sufficient for substantial learning success.