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In Adobe Connect Essential Training, author Tim Plumer, Jr. explains how to deliver and host interactive web meetings, webinars, and e-learning tutorials using Adobe Connect. The course covers the software's many tools for streamlining communication and engaging participants, such as the screen sharing, full-screen, and whiteboard features. Also included are tutorials on recording presentations, video conferencing, and using Connect with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone. Exercise files accompany the course.
To this point I've skirted the issue of user roles and what they mean. So what I'd like to do is define them so that you can decide which attendees will play which role in your meeting, and how you can set your meeting up so that each type of attendee is given the access that they need for their participation. Plus, I am going to show you how you can jump into and out of a role easily to best see what your audience is seeing, because it differs for each type of attendee and it's really useful to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes. So to get started, we will take a look at the Attendee pod that I have here and you can see that I have myself in as a host. Kirk and Olivia are participants.
One of the very first things that I might want to do is convert someone from one role to another. So Kirk right now is a participant. I want to make Kirk a presenter. I can either hover over Kirk's name and select from the other two options to make him a presenter, then I can see that Kirk is a presenter or I'll go ahead and put Kirk back as a participant. I can simply drag-and-drop to give someone a different role in the meeting. So now I have myself as a host, Kirk as a presenter and Olivia as a participant.
To understand the limits or the capabilities of each role, what I am going to do first is create a pod here and I am going to act as the host by creating a new Notes pod, moving the pod, and then populating the pod. That's something that a host can do. In fact a host has full access to the room in many ways. However, as a participant the only thing that I can do is observe this information. So to experience that, what I am going to do is demote myself from being a host down to being a participant.
Now don't worry. I can always re-promote myself later because I entered the room as a host with the log-in. So this isn't a one-way street. But it's useful to be able to understand what Olivia is seeing, because all Olivia can see is this note. She can't do anything in the note. She can't type in the note. She can't try to move the note. In fact her Pod Options menu is only a little help information about what a Note pod is. And this can be troublesome in some cases because if Olivia wanted to see what was going on underneath this Note pod, in this now empty Share pod, there's nothing she can do.
She has to wait for someone who is a host to move the nod. Now she can do some things with the Note pod. For example, she could drag-select and in this case copy the information out of the Note. So some of the pods do have some interactivity built into them. But frankly Olivia is only allowed to do what I want her to do. Now let's take the next step. I am going to join Kirk as a presenter. So I am going to click my name, drag myself up here and I am a presenter. A presenter is somewhere between a participant and a host, in that they can do what the pods are designed to allow a person to do.
For example I can go ahead and type into this pod, but if I want to move the pod, I can't, nor can I hide the pod. In fact, if I click on the Pod Options, I do have some options more than a participant would have, but I don't have the full blown set of options. For example, I can't hide nor can I maximize the pod. So as a presenter, what I can do is somewhat between a participant and a host, in that I can share things. I can add information to pods and whatnot, but I really can't reconfigure the room like a host can.
There are really two uses for the presenter's role. One, as a guest presenter. I don't want to burden my guest presenter with having to understand how to configure the room, so I am really not even going to allow them to try. They can come in, they can put information in here. They can present but that's about it. The other role for a presenter though is to allow people to collaborate in your room. For example, I might have a group of students who are going to work on a project together. This is my room. I am the host. I activate the room. I invite them to attend by giving them the URL.
When they all come in as participants, then I can promote them to presenters so that they can add to the Notes pod. Or as another example, I might have them do something like this. First, I am going to re-promote myself to Host. I am going to hide the Notes pod, and in this Share pod, I am going to activate something called a Whiteboard. We are going to consider the Whiteboard more completely later, but just as an example, I want to show you that I can have all of the people in the room who are presenters that were formerly just participants start marking up the Whiteboard.
So they can add their shapes and type in text and whatever. So it's a great way to invite a group of people in who would normally just be able to watch, and start getting them to interact with the room as opposed to just passively sitting by. Now there's one thing that is tempting that I want to help you avoid. I have everyone in the room. We are all adults here and they should know better. What I am going to do is go ahead and promote them all to full-blown hosts, because, hey, I want them to do that. Well, I can tell you from experience that in a collaborative session, even when I'm asking people to start interacting with the system, this can create cacophony because the people in the room may very well start to put pods up, take pods down, move pods around, and what ends up happening is that people who are for whatever reason bored or disinterested and what's going on will start to "play", and it can become difficult because you can see here that pods are starting to appear.
Some of them are in my way. I can't even see the Attendee pod now. So the only way to deal with that is to first off start moving them or hiding them and telling people, hey, you need to stop doing this. One of the ways that I can deal with this, because it's going to continue to happen, I guarantee. Especially, the first few times you invite people into your room and you make them a host, is to start looking at who is doing what. And to do that, under the Meeting menu, I am going to select Preferences and I am going to turn on something called Host Cursors and I am going to show all attendees and click Done.
Then what will happen when you activate that is that you'll start to see everyone else's cursor, and you can start to see who is doing what with various pods. So in this case, I might say to Kirk, Hey! Kirk, I need you to please stop doing this. So to stop this from happening, I'm going to select Kirk and Olivia, then I'm going to make them participants one more time, and then last I want to show you one quick little tip. If you've got a group of people that you want to have come into the room, you want them to be presenters because you do want them to collaborate, but you don't want to have to convert them manually for each person.
What you can do under the Meeting menu is select Manage Access & Entry and choose Auto-Promote Participants to Presenters, and then anyone to whom you've given the URL who comes into the room is going to automatically be promoted to a presenter and then they can collaborate effectively, but they can't do all of the things that a host can do, which may cause you some trouble. Just make sure that in your next meeting, you remember to turn this off because if you have another meeting where you don't want this to happen, everyone will become presenters and that could present its own problems.
So there you have it. Those are the different roles that you have in a Connect session and how you as the host can move people among them and move yourself among them so that you can see what they see.
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