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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adobe Connect Report 2: it ain't happening

Supposed to start delivering a 6 week course online live synchronous course on Monday Nov 5th. In preparation for my course I am massively behind schedule because i was naive enough to assume that adobe connect and the many other products of this ilk were robust enough in the digital age to handle a bit of true interactivity and not just some talking head in a web conferencing system answering a few text chats and ponderously allowing others to speak because the VOIP systems have massive difficulty dealing with multiple speakers. I believe problems are compounded in adobe Connect because of the craziness of having to give presenter rights to participants to access the voice controls and the same problem applies to whiteboards where participants cannot use a whiteboard without presenter rights, meaning that anyone can move onto the next slide or erase text just like that.

during a couple of trial runs with only two people setting aside intermittent patchy audio, there was terrible echo. After investigating i believe problems could stem from the fact that participants can click on all sorts of options, multiple speakers, mute etc and the true host/ presenter is not sure what is going on.

the presenter rights issue aside, all systems seem to struggle with the VOIP bandwidth issue. At might last investigation Webex allow 7 microphones on at once and elluminate 6. I have worked with 5 in a webex environment and it worked fine. As i want to work with 12 at a time it seems that dialing in on a separate teleconference seems to be the best way to ensure that everyone is free to talk freely. I have participated in many sessions of this nature.

The advantage of VOIP in is that there are no additional phone costs to be incurred by either host or user and it's one less technicality to worry about.

Anyhow i have to come up with solutions for a monday start, but all the extra investigation of problems has seriously effected other complimentary preparation for the class, so i am not a happy bunny.

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