Wimba Live Classroom: Advanced

For an introduction to Wimba Live Classroom, including how to add a Live Classroom to your OWL course, please read the Wimba Live Classroom: Introduction manualette.

The following advanced guide will cover:


Interface

1. Content Area

The Content Area is used to present visual content, such as PowerPoint slides, images, web sites, and the Eboard. Only the presenter can control what content appears in the Content Area, which will be seen by all participants in the Live Classroom. The tools in the presenter area control what appears in the Content Area.

2. Presenter Area

Only the presenter sees and has access to the presenter area, which is used to manage what appears in the content area. This area contains the following features:

3. Media Bar

The Media Bar let's you monitor and control audio and video in the Live Classroom. Presenters and participants both have a media bar, although the presenter has more extensive functionality. This area contains the following:

  • The Network button opens up network connectivity information, as well as indicating how strong your connection is from full (green) to disconnected (grey).
  • Clicking the Talk button activates your microphone so that participants can hear you. The Talk button is orange when it is active and grey when it is not active.
  • The volume bars indicate how loud outgoing and incoming audio is. Click the bars opens up volume controls.
  • The Camera button opens up and closes the video window.
  • The Phone button opens up the Simulcast window, which provides information necessary for using a telephone instead of a microphone.
  • The Options button opens up the options menu.
  • The Exit button closes the Live Classroom.
  • The Lobby button opens up the lobby menu, which lists all Live Classrooms that you have access to.
  • The Help button opens up the Wimba Classroom 6.1 Presenter Guide.

The Media Options menu contains the following features:

  • The Video Always on Top option ensures the video window will always be visible above other windows.
  • The Video Bandwidth options let you select the broadcast quality of video in the Live Classroom. More bandwidth (higher kpbs) will result in clearer video, but will be more susceptible to lag and freezing.
  • The Video Inputs option lets you select from a list of all the video inputs currently connected to your computer, such as built-in webcams and external cameras.
  • The Audio Volume Controls control speaker volume and microphone sensitivity, similar to the volume bars in the media bar.
  • The Audio Filters options provide fine control over incoming and outgoing audio. Several of the filters should be enabled by default, and these default settings should be adequate for most users.
    • Auto Gain Control boosts or reduces audio input/output to make it more consistent.
    • Noise Reduction reduces background noise while you are talking.
    • Silence Detection eliminates background noise when you are not talking.
    • Echo Cancellation detects and removes the echo effect created when microphones pick up audio from speakers.
    • Microphone Boost is only available for certain hardware setups, and improves weak audio input.
  • The Audio Inputs option lets you select from a list of all the audio inputs currently connected to your computer, such as built-in microphones and external USB microphones.
  • When enabled, the Talk Clicking option plays a sound whenever the Talk button is pressed or released.
  • The Talk Hot Key option lets you select which key can be pressed to activate the Talk button without having to click on it with the mouse.
  • The Lock Talk option permanently activates the Talk button. When this option is enabled, you do not need to press the Talk button for people to hear you.
  • When enabled, the Hand Raised Chime option plays a sound whenever someone in the Live Classroom raises their hand.
  • When enabled, the Door Chime option plays a sound whenever someone enters or leaves the Live Classroom.
  • The Toggle Log Window option displays technical information which may be requested by technical support.
  • The Disconnect/Reconnect Media option will reload the Media Bar if you are having problems communicating.

4. Participant Area

The participant area lists everyone currently participating in the Live Classroom, and has a variety of interactive features.

The area on the left is the text chat area.


Adding and Managing Content

The best way to manage the content you want to include in your Live Classroom is to upload and organize it using the Add & Manage Content feature in OWL. You can add PowerPoint slides, images, HTML pages, and more in OWL before you even open your Live Classroom, which then become available from the drop down menu in the presenter area. You can also add PowerPoint slides on-the-fly from within your Live Classroom.

Add & Manage Content in OWL

To access the Add & Manage Content tools:

Step 5:

Step 4:

  1. Log into OWL, and enter the course that contains your Live Classroom.
  2. Click on the teach tab to enable instructor tools.
  3. Click on the link to the Live Classroom which you have created.
  4. Click on the Add & Manage Content option in the Wimba Classroom menu bar.
  5. To add content from your OWL File Manager to the Live Classroom, click Add File Manager Content to the room.
    To upload content from your computer to the Live Classroom, and to manage/organize existing content, click Add & Manage Room Content.
    To return to the Live Classroom Portal, click Cancel.
  1. New Folder
    1. Click this button to open the "Create a New Folder" window.
    2. Enter a title where it says "New Folder Name:" and then click Create.
    3. Your new folder will now be available in the Presentation Content area.
  2. Presentation Content
    This area lets you view and modify all folders in your Live Classroom. All folders in the room are listed, with the following options:
    • Click the name of a folder to open up the Modify Folder window, which contains options for adding and managing specific content such as slides or images.
    • Click the icon in the "Get Info" column to open up a window with information about that folder.
    • Click the icon in the "Edit Title" column to change the name of that folder.
    • Click the icon in the "Delete" column to permanently remove that folder from your Live Classroom.
  3. Start Content
    This area lets you control what content opens by default when you start your Live Classroom.
    Click the icon to change which slide appears by default in the Content Area, or which image appears in the branding frame (bottom right corner of the Live Classroom).
  1. Click New Content to open up the Upload New Content window.
  2. Click Show Content Descriptions to open up detailed information for all slides.
  3. Click the file name of a slide to preview the slide in a new window.
  4. Select one or more slides by clicking the check boxes next to the slide's file name. Once selected, you can rearrange the order of slides using the arrow buttons.
  5. Click Delete Selected Items to permanently remove any selected slides from the folder.
  6. Change the name of a slide by editing the text box in the "Title" column.
  7. Use the drop down menus in the "Target" column to select how you want the slide to display. Selecting "Content Frame" will display the content unedited in the Content Area, whereas selecting "Eboard" will enable Eboard functionality.
  8. Click Save Changes to save any new or modified content in the current folder.
  9. Click Folder List to return to the Modify Room window.

Adding PowerPoint Slides On-the-Fly

Steps 3-5:

Step 2:

Step 8:

Step 7:

  1. Enter your Live Classroom from the Teach tab in OWL.
  2. In the Presenter Area, click on the Import PowerPoint button.
  3. Click on the Browse button and navigate to your PowerPoint presentation (.ppt or .pptx file).
  4. Select how you want the presentation to display using the Display in: dropdown menu. Selecting the Eboard will enable Eboard functionality on the slides. Selecting the Content Frame will simply display the slides, unedited, in the Content Area.
  5. Click Import to upload the presentation to your Live Classroom.
  6. Close the "Import PowerPoint Presentation" window if it does not close automatically.
  7. Use the drop-down menu in the Presenter Area to select your PowerPoint Presentation. It will have the same name as the .ppt or .pptx file you uploaded.
  8. Click the Go button to open the presentation. All the slides will be listed in the Presenter Area.
  9. Click on a slide's name to open it in the Content Area.

Archiving

Live Classrooms have a built-in archiving feature that allows you to record sessions for future viewing. Archiving records all content from the session, including video, audio, text, and anything displayed in the Content Area.
There are two ways to begin archiving: clicking the circular button in the top left corner of the Presenter Area, or by clicking "Yes" in the Archive Reminder area of the Presenter Area.