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Students | How to use EIT Online

How to use EIT Online

In this guide you will be introduced to the basics of using EIT Online, EIT Hawke's Bay learning management system which runs on Moodle, an Open Source Learning Management System. For this reason staff at EIT may sometimes refer to EIT Online as Moodle.

Site: EIT Hawke's Bay - EIT Online
Course: EIT Hawke's Bay - EIT Online
Book: Students | How to use EIT Online
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Date: Monday, 23 October 2017, 1:22 PM

EITOnline - Introduction

  • Welcome to EITOnline (Moodle)
  • About EITOnline
  • Help with using EITOnline

Help using Online Books

Welcome to EITOnline (Moodle)

Welcome to EITOnline (also known as Moodle). EITOnline is EIT's learning management system. This is where you will find the online components of your course. EITOnline consists of courses used to deliver content to enrolled students via the internet so it is available 24 hours a day. EITOnline has different levels of use throughout the various EIT programmes. Many courses will use EITOnline alongside face to face lectures whilst other courses are fully online and all communications and course content are delivered via EITOnline. Not every course run at EIT will have a presence in EITOnline so check with your lecturer if you are unsure. In this guide you will be introduced to the basics of accessing course resources and activities available in EIT Online.

About EITOnline

Here you can find;

  • The online components of courses you have officially enrolled in
  • Student Services courses relating to different services available for students (most of these you can self enrol into or view without enrolment keys)
  • Student help information about using EITOnline
  • Plus much more

Help with using EITOnline

Watch Video

There are several Student Help pages available for basic instruction on the use of EITOnline. They are presented into logical groupings in an online 'book' format. All the Student Help books are available throughout the site by hovering over (and selecting one of the topics) from the Student Help dropdown list in the dark grey menu bar at the top of every page.  The different books available via the menu bar are as follows:

Make sure you familiarise yourself with all the information in these Student Help books. If you cannot find answers to your questions in the online books then you can ask for advice from your course coordinator or the EIT Library Learning Hub staff. The Library Learning Hub staff are the central point for all student support for on campus and off campus students and if they cannot help they will endeavour to find someone who can. The following is a general guide for who you should contact in the first instance for help.

  • Course related issues such as incorrect enrolment keys, not being able to access resources in your course or problems with group access in your course must be directed to your course coordinator
  • General issues such as help with creating and uploading assignments, using Adobe Connect virtual classrooms, editing your profile, resetting your password, downloading/opening resources or advice about using EITOnline can be supported by the Library Learning Hub staff
  • Computer related issues and ongoing login issues should be directed to the IT Services Helpdesk

 


Adobe Connect

  • What is Adobe Connect?
  • How is Adobe Connect used at EIT?
  • What is needed to access Adobe Connect?

What is Adobe Connect?

Adobe Connect is software used to deliver web conferencing, web meetings and virtual classrooms in the online environment. Here at EIT some individual courses (papers) will use a virtual classroom but not all. Adobe Connect virtual classrooms allow participants to attend from anywhere in the world as long as they have an Internet connection and a link to the virtual classroom they need to connect to. Course coordinators may schedule a virtual classroom session time to talk with students out on placement or located at a different campus from the lecturer. Blended or fully online courses may have regular lectures delivered to all students via a virtual classroom. Students studying degree level papers are sometimes required as part of the course to deliver powerpoint presentations to a wider audience in a virtual classroom so participants off-site can attend.

How is Adobe Connect used at EIT?

Each course using Adobe Connect would have a different weblink that links to its own virtual classroom area or page. The course coordinator would provide session times when students should be attending a virtual classroom and generally the same weblink will be used for all of the sessions scheduled for that particular course. Looking at EIT's test classroom weblink (below) the first part of the address (underlined in black) is the same as all other EIT virtual classrooms but the second part (in orange) will be different for every course. The /'testsession' part of the weblink below is the part that ensures you will be taken (in this case) to our testsession virtual classroom area.

 

What is needed to access Adobe Connect Virtual Classrooms?

You will need:

  • A computer with internet access. Wired connections (rather than using a wireless network) generally provide better connection speeds.
  • A headset with headphones & a mic (using an internal/inbuilt microphone and the computer speakers can work but often leads to sound interference which disturbs everyone else in the classroom)
  • A link to the specific virtual classroom you need to attend.

Tablets, iPads and smart phones do allow very limited functionality with Adobe Connect (if they have a fast internet connection). Adobe Connect Apps are available for some devices through their associated App Stores but its up to the individual to manage this and any connection issues. A laptop or PC is recommended. The information in these help pages relates to laptops and PC's only.

Read the other Adobe Connect pages in this book to find out how to Preparing for a VC, Connectivity issues and Presentations: How to share your screen. 


Preparing for a Virtual Classroom

  • Testing procedure
  • Your specific classroom

Testing procedure

This information is provided using Windows operating systems

Its very important to test your connection well before the scheduled classroom start time. This allows time to troubleshoot any problems. Our test classroom (available below) has elevated permissions allowing you to enable audio and adjust microphone settings for testing purposes.

Your specific classroom

Your course coordinator will need to grant speaking rights so the microphone icon may not be visible once you enter your course specific classroom. Often there is no need for participants to talk until the end of the class during Q&A time. You'll find the chat pod is the most common way to communicate with your course coordinator by typing in questions.

There will be a specific link that you will need to use to enter the virtual classroom for your course. Typically the specific link will be supplied to you by your course coordinator (or listed in your EITOnline course). You should at this time make sure you know where your course specific link is found and click on the link to make sure it works (the Adobe Connect login page should come up).

Contact your course coordinator or programme secretary if you are not sure where the specific classroom link is for your course well beforehand. Trying to get hold of your course coordinator by phone once the classroom has started will not be possible. 


Virtual Classroom connectivity issues

  • Known issues
  • Classroom not connecting
  • No sound
  • Intermittent sound
  • Classroom keeps stopping or disconnects

Known issues with Internet Browsers or Operating Systems

We recommend connecting from a laptop or desktop PC rather than tablets or smart-phones. Internet Explorer 9 or Mozilla Firefox browsers are recommended for use with Adobe Connect.

Google Chrome

Currently the Google Chrome browser will connect to Adobe Connect classrooms but the Adobe Connect Add-In will not install properly when running through the Audio Setup Wizard. The Adobe Connect Add-In adds functionality needed to share your screen. If you are only listening to a course coordinator, watching a presentation, using the Chat pod or connecting your microphone you could still use Google Chrome for these basic functions.

Internet Explorer 10  

Sometimes IE10 installed on Windows 7 machines (see below if using Windows 8) states that it needs Flash Player 10.1 or newer when trying to login to a classroom. It prompts you to download the latest version of Flash Player. Once the new version is installed successfully the classroom still comes up with the same message that Flash Player is out of date. In this case its best to use a different browser like Mozilla FireFox instead.

Windows RT

Windows RT operating system currently does not work well if at all with Adobe Connect 8. Windows RT is a new Windows-based operating system that's optimized for thin and light PCs that have extended battery life. Windows RT only runs built-in apps or apps that you download from the Windows Store. From what Microsoft have said you might be able to connect to the classroom but the Adobe Connect Add-In will not install and microphones and web-cams will not work. If you have a Windows RT device you may need to use a different computer to connect from.

Windows 8

Windows 8 operating system has connection issues with Adobe Connect. Adobe Connect will connect if it is run in Classic Desktop mode. To run in desktop mode click on this link to view an article on how to swap between the two different modes available.

Classroom not connecting

Sometimes people connecting from a business network or their place of work have trouble getting a classroom to open. This is because firewall restrictions are in place within their network that prevent the classroom from connecting properly. Symptoms are that the classroom login page displays just fine but once the login details are entered the window stays on a page that says Connecting..... but the classroom never opens. IT support person/people for that business would need to check/open ports on their firewall to fix the issue. 

No sound

Always connect your headset or sound devices before you enter the classroom.

If you are required to use a microphone in the classroom to talk then you need to get your audio working. If the usual process of connecting your audio (outlined in the 'Preparing for a virtual classroom' page) doesn't work one of the best options is to make sure your headset is plugged in (check the plugs are all the way in) then restart your computer and connect back up again. Often people plug headsets in after they enter the classroom and this often is the reason for sound problems. This sound troubleshooting link might help. 

Intermittent sound

One of the first signs that your connection speed is too slow is the audio will be intermittent and may start to cut out completely. Often it is reported as sounding like running water. Always ask in the chat pod if others think the sound is cutting out. If the sound is intermittent for everyone it will probably be the connection speed of the current speaker that is affecting the sound. If it is just you that is having trouble hearing a constant stream of audio then it will most likely be your connection. If its your connection then look at the bullet point suggestions under the next heading below for ideas to improve your connection stability and/or speed.

Classroom keeps stopping or disconnects

If your classroom stops working during a presentation this can be caused by poor bandwidth (slow connection speed).

If the classroom closes down and a message states you have been disconnected you should refresh your browser page and the classroom should connect back up again. If you get disconnected several times this is a clear sign there is a connectivity speed or consistency issue. If its only you that is being disconnected then your computer is not able to maintain a good reliable connection speed so you need to investigate the steps outlined below or wait for your course coordinator to post a recording of the session (if it was being recorded). If everyone is being disconnected at the same time it is network issues in EIT's network. Most often everyone will be commenting in the chat pod about the event once they reconnect if its EIT's network. Although this doesn't happen very often there is little you can do if EIT's network is experiencing issues. Contact the EIT helpdesk ITSupport@eit.ac.nz if everyone is being disconnected from a classroom.

Things that you can do to try and help improve your connection speed:

  • If you have your web-cam displaying in the classroom then disconnect it
  • Mute your microphone (if you are not the presenter)
  • Close any other applications open on your computer (Email, Word etc)
  • Pause any background tasks such as backups, downloads or applications that are syncing (such as Dropbox or Windows Update etc)
  • Close all Internet browser pages you are not using as part of the classroom

Other things you can try if you still have trouble:

  • Turn off other unused devices using your Internet connection like other computers or smart-phones
  • Move closer to your wireless router if using wireless to get the best signal strength possible
  • Connect to your router via a network cable if using wireless (often a network cable will give you a more reliable connection speed)

Remember that many sessions are recorded so if you have trouble connecting its often not the end of the world as you can watch the recording afterwards (if you course coordinator records the sessions)


Presentations - How to share your screen

  • How do you become a Presenter in Adobe Connect?
  • How to share a presentation

 

How do you become a Presenter in Adobe Connect?

To deliver a presentation in a virtual classroom and have the ability to transition through slides, or share their computer desktop with others, students need to be given 'Presenter' status in the classroom. Course coordinators have two options when it comes to managing student presentations. Course coordinators can either ask for all PowerPoint or PDF files to be emailed through to them, then they can manage the process of uploading them into Adobe Connect on behalf of the students or, students can manage the whole process themselves. Either way the student will need to have elevated permissions in Adobe Connect so they can transition through the slides or pages as they speak to their presentation. Students normally have 'Participants' status in Adobe Connect but will need to be temporarily elevated to 'Presenter' status during their presentation. Only the course coordinator (or other Presenters/Hosts) can give students the 'Presenter' status. 

How to share a presentation

Most often students will be speaking to a PowerPoint or a PDF file they have prepared earlier but it is also possible to share you whole computer so that anything you do on your PC is displayed to others in the classroom. Before deciding which mode to use have a look at these...

Support Materials:

Additional Considerations:

  • Adobe Connect Add-in - This must be installed if you are going to start sharing. Make sure you are using a Internet browser that will allow the Adobe Connect Add-In to install. See VC connectivity issues help page for more information and Preparing for a Virtual Classroom on how to install the Add-In.
  • Share Document - Adobe Connect will only allow certain file types (like PDF's or PowerPoint's) to be uploaded. Microsoft Word files will not upload. If you have trouble using the Share Document option then share your monitor instead
  • Share My Screen - It's good to remember that sharing your whole desktop or monitor will use more bandwidth than using the 'Share document' option

Export to Portfolio

  • What does Export to Portfolio function do?
  • What types of information can I export?
  • What types of Portfolios can I use?

What does Export to Portfolio function do?

The Export to Portfolios function allows students to export their work to an external portfolio such as Google Docs or to download their work to a file on their computer. This may be handy if wanting to download several forum posts or Glossary entries in one go. Using this feature may be quicker than manually sorting then capturing content from your course but it doesn't offer anything you couldn't do already using other methods such as copy and paste, screen capture/print screen or opening and saving a file. This functionality will only export Forum posts and Chat session content to an HTML file. Often this type of content will need to be converted or copied into Microsoft Word afterwards to make it more useful. 

In Internet Explorer (IE) if you get a yellow menu bar appearing when trying to download/export to a HTML file and, the Download File option from within the menu doesn't seem to work you may need to change IE settings or otherwise use another Internet browser such as Google Chrome to complete the task. If you want to change settings in IE then select on the Information bar Help option from the yellow menu bar and try one of options listed under Can I turn off the Information bar?

IE Settings

What types of information can I export?

You can only export your own entries or contributions added to a course via one of the following activities:

  • Assignment submissions
  • Chat sessions
  • Database activity entries
  • Fourm Posts
  • Glossary entries

If you see this option Export button in one of the activities mentioned above, click on Export to portfolio button to save the content to your computer or to Google Docs (if you have a Google account). In forums the Export to portfolio option shows in the bottom right of each post.

Export forum

Export formats are limited to:

  • HTML
  • LEAP2A (a specification for e-portfolio portability)
  • Images
  • Text
  • CSV (Spreadsheets)

What export formats are available to you when you use the Export to Portfolio feature will depend on what type of activity you are in, you may only have an option to export your work to one or two of the above formats. HTML format content can be copied and pasted into Microsoft Word to allow formating and editing.

What types of Portfolios can I use?

Contributions or submissions can only be exported to:

  • Google Docs
  • File Download (saves to the PC)


Other Supported Technologies

  • Other technologies used alongside EITOnline

The remaining sub pages in this online book contain support information relating to using some of the additional technologies integrated into EITOnline (Google Docs) or teaching technologies provided by EIT (Adobe Connect).