Online Rooms can be used to facilitate interactive presentations in which students are not simple listening to information, but actively engaged in the material. This strategy should not be used to replace a face-to-face lecture; rather it can be used to conduct online exam reviews, library database tours, or guest speakers. Below is a list of steps and strategies for implementing virtual office hours using Online Rooms. Please review the information below and contact Amy Mangrich (amangric@uwm.edu) with questions or additional needs.

 

Navigation bar:

In order to use Online Rooms, you will only need to add [Online Rooms] to your course navigation bar. You may have already done this step, but here are a set of instructions that will walk you through the process: Adding Online Rooms to your Navigation Bar

 

Room Setup:

You will need to setup an Online Room before you or your students can enter.  Here are a set of instruction that will walk through these steps: Creating an Online Room in your D2L course site

There are several ways you could setup your Online Rooms for virtual office hours:

Option 1: You could create *one* room that is *always* available.  To create this type of room, in Step #6 of the above helpsheet (Creating an Online Room in your D2L course site), set the [End Date] for the room at the end of the semester.  In this type of setup, it is possible for students to enter the room at any time.  You should make sure your students understand that you will not be available in this room unless they make an appointment with you.

Option 2: You could create *one* room that is available *only* when you turn it on.  To create a room that can be turned on and off once a student makes an appointment, refer to Steps #5 and #6 of the above helpsheet (Creating an Online Room in your D2L course site).  Set the [Start Date] and the [End Date] for the meeting date and set the [Time] for the duration of the meeting.  Again, you should tell your students that you will not be available in this room unless they make an appointment with you.  In this configuration, the room will be visible on the students’ list of Online Rooms, but will not be a clickable link.

Option 3: You could create a *separate* room for *each* virtual office hour meeting.  In this configuration, you would create a room once you have scheduled the meeting with the student.  In Step #5 of the above helpsheet (Creating an Online Room in your D2L course site), you would set the [Start Date] and in Step #6 the [End Date] for the schedule meeting and set the [Time] for the duration of the meeting.  In Step #9, you will select *only* the student whom you are meeting, rather than all the students in the class.

A note on recording the meeting:  In Step #7, under [Advanced Properties], you will have the option to record the meeting under [Archive Mode:].  If you are using Setup Option 1 or 2 (above) and you choose to choose to record the session, either [Automatic] or [Manual], the session recording will be accessible to all the students in the class.  If you decide to record virtual office hours as a matter of course, I recommend that you chose Option 3 since only the student who attended the meeting can view the archive recording.

If you want students to be able to use audio and application share, select [Participants have unrestricted access to resources].

 

Online Room Tools:

In virtual office hours, instructors usually use two tools primarily, the Audio feature and the Application Share feature.  Below are links to online versions of these tutorials:

Online Rooms/Elluminate Audio Setup Wizard: http://uwmltc.org/?p=883

Online Rooms/Elluminate Application Sharing: http://uwmltc.org/?p=889

In addition, if you wish to broadcast video via a webcam, here are some pointers for using video communication in Online Rooms: http://uwmltc.org/?p=884

 

Preparing to access Online Rooms:

Please inform your students that they will need high-speed internet connection and may need to be connected to the internet using an Ethernet cable, especially if you are using Application Sharing.

It is recommended that users access Online Rooms using the Mozilla Firefox browser.  This can be downloaded, free of charge, at: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

Also, inform your students that many companies do not allow employees to download software, so if they plan to access Online Rooms while at work, please have students visit the following website to ensure that they have the necessary permission to download and install Online Rooms/Elluminate software plug-ins and updates: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&task=knowledge&questionID=1473

Students can make sure their computer is setup correctly by accessing the following site: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&task=knowledge&questionID=1473

Students should check System Requirements in Step 1.  Then test their connection, settings, and configure audio (if using) in the Configuration Room in Step 2.

 

Tips for preventing technical issues during meetings:

Additional tips for accessing Online Rooms can be found here: http://uwmltc.org/?p=851

The most common issues associated with Collaborate/Online Rooms relate to Audio Communication.  Tips for using Audio Communication in Online Rooms can be found here: http://uwmltc.org/?p=852

If you (or your students) use the audio feature, you MUST use a microphone headset -or- if using the microphone in a laptop, you MUST use a pair of headphone to listen to the session.

 

Practice facilitating Online Room meetings:

If you would like to practice using Online Rooms before you begin using them in your own course, you can add a fake user to your D2L course site using these instructions: http://uwmltc.org/?p=845

Once the fake student is enrolled in your course, setup a sample Online Room in your D2L course site.  You may want to refer back to these instructions: Creating an Online Room in your D2L course site

After adding your fake student to your D2L course site, you can use a different computer to log in to D2L using your new fake student account, then enter the Online Room to see how multiple accounts access the online room at once.

 

D2L 10.3–August 2015