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Video Conferencing via Adobe Connect
We receive more and more questions about
- Video or web conferencing,
- online meetings and
- online research meetings / working group meetings.
We offer you the Adobe Connect solution for this purpose, which has established itself as a standard in the university environment and is used successfully at almost all German universities.
It is offered as a service of the DFN (German Research Network) and has been set up and provided by the BIT for use at Witten/Herdecke University. The use is free of charge for you.
Please understand that we can only offer other solutions for web conferencing to a limited extent, as we are unable to estimate either the details relevant to data protection or the support effort for the individual products.
What can Adobe be used for?
Adobe Connect can be used to host online lectures and seminars. In addition to the transmission of audio and video via webcam and headset, the distribution of files to the individual participants and the classic text-based chat are also possible.
The following functions are possible during an event via this solution:
- Audio/video multipoint conferences
- Shared Whiteboard
- Archive for PowerPoint presentations
- Application and desktop sharing (desktop sharing not under Linux)
- Polling (voting tool)
- Recording of conferences
Videos about working with Adobe Connect
To help you get started, here are professional videos from OWL University on how to work with Adobe Connect:
The login is not done via name and password as described in the videos, but via AAI.To do so, go to the login page for the web conference:https://webconf.vc.dfn.de and select the option "Login via DFN-AAI". If necessary, select Witten/Herdecke University as the organization and then log in as usual with your user name and password. (Username and password are identical to your account at the university).
If you want to use this service, you should follow some tips that we have summarized here:
- If you do not want to limit yourself to text-based chat (all communication must then be "typed"), you will need at least a headset for audio transmission. If you also want to use video transmission, you will also need a webcam.
- Using a notebook with a built-in microphone and loudspeaker is possible, but not recommended because of the relatively poor sound quality. For video transmission, the webcam integrated in some notebooks is sufficient.
Alternative audio transmission: Telephone
- As an alternative to audio transmission via the computer, you can also use the telephone. Further instructions on how to include participants who use the telephone can be found below in the section "Setting up a meeting".
- If you are using a computer without a connection to the UW/H LAN (i.e. you are not using a wired internet connection), please test the internet connection via WLAN early on, in the room that you intend to use for the actual meeting.
- After you have ensured that you have a functioning internet connection in the room intended for the event, please test the connection to the Adobe Connect server: https://webconf.vc.dfn.de/common/help/de/support/meeting_test.htm.
You may be asked to install the Adobe Connect Add-In. This is possible without administrator rights.
If the necessary hardware equipment is not yet available to you or if you encounter problems during the tests described above, please contact the BIT. We will then check how we can best provide you with suitable equipment or solve the connection problems.
As soon as the technical requirements are met, you can create a "Meeting Room" on the server where the participants of an event can then meet. If you are planning a series of events (e.g. as part of a specific degree programme), you do not have to create a new meeting room for each meeting, but can use the meeting room you created once again and again.
Please proceed as follows (registration via DFN-AAI):
- Go to the registration page for the web conference: webconf.vc.dfn.de and select the option "Registration via DFN-AAI". If necessary, select Witten/Herdecke University as the organisation and then log in as usual with your user name and password. (User name and password are identical to your account at the university).
- Click on the "Meeting" button at the top.
- Enter a name for the event or series of events.
- Enter a suffix for the URL, which you can then give to all participants as the address for the meeting.
- Set the start time and duration to suit the participants' initial tests, i.e. you should choose a start time a few hours before the actual event so that the participants have a chance to sort out any technical difficulties beforehand.
- Confidentiality: If the contents of the event are of a confidential nature or you want to ensure for other reasons that only the invited participants can enter the meeting room, select here "Only registered users and approved guests may enter the room." However, you must then manually grant access to each individual "knocking" participant when the meeting starts.
- Alternatively, you can select "All persons who have the URL for the meeting may enter the room", in which case you should specify a password that participants must enter to enter the room. If "uninvited guests" are not a problem for your event(s), you can also dispense with the password option.
- If you also want to allow participants to participate by telephone and have created an audio profile for this purpose (see above), please activate "Include this audio conference in this meeting" under "Settings for audio conference" and select the audio profile you have created.
- Click "Next".
- You have now reached the "Send invitations" page and only need to click "Finish" to send yourself an e-mail containing all the relevant data for the meeting. You can then forward this information to the participants.
Tips for a successful web conference
Before the actual event date:
- Announce the event to all attendees as early as possible so that attendees have enough time to organize the required technical equipment, if necessary.
- Together with the announcement, provide the attendees with the address (URL) and any password required for the meeting so that they have the opportunity to test the technology before the event begins.
- Also test your equipment yourself! (see above "Technical requirements")
When you (and the participants) have entered the meeting room:
- Click anywhere with the right mouse button and then on "Settings". This will launch the Adobe Flash Player settings dialog. Then click on the microphone icon and check "Reduce echo". This should also be done by any participant who is not participating by phone.
- Use the "Audio" menu to start the meeting audio broadcast. If you have also set participation via telephone for this meeting (see "Setting up a meeting"), you can now select whether the audio transmission should be possible only via computer, only via telephone or via both ways.
- At the top of the screen you will see - from left to right - icons for the speaker, microphone and camera. The corresponding devices are only active if they are displayed in green. You can activate and deactivate these devices simply by clicking on the icons.
For a more comprehensive guide to the many features of this software and how to successfully run an eLearning event with Adobe Connect, see this guide from Heidelberg University:
DFN's guide to this service: