Documentation:Online Workshops/Tips for Participants

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This page will orient you to the Wimba Live Classroom.

Before Entering the Workshop:


To take full advantage of the Wimba classroom, you will need to have a headset with a microphone. It is recommended that you use headphones alongside a microphone to reduce audio feedback and distortion. If you do not intend to speak, you can easily participate in a workshop using only headphones or your computer's built-in speakers. It is recommended that you take the workshop in a quiet comfortable place where you can concentrate on the presentation without distraction.

Choosing an Internet Browser

There are no known issues for Windows users. Mac users should use the Safari browser, since both Firefox and Chrome have known conflicts with Wimba.

Some users may get disconnected when clicking on a hyperlink in the Wimba text chat. If this occurs to you, please try to correct your browser settings (often found under Preferences or Options) to force hyperlinks to open up in a new window or tab.

Run the Setup Wizard

It is a good idea to run the SetUp Wizard at the right of the log-on screen to make sure your computer will work properly with the Wimba Live Classroom (the system behind the online workshops). The Setup Wizard will ensure that there are no surprises when it comes time to participate in the workshop. You will want to run the diagnostic a day prior to workshop.

It is recommended that you run the Setup Wizard every time you update your operating system, switch internet browsers, or even plug in a new headset. If you experience problems logging into the Wimba Live Classroom, try running the Setup Wizard again.

For more information about the Wimba Setup Wizard, please visit this guide

Test Your Internet Connection

While most participants will not experience any difficulties participating while using wireless internet, many do. Be prepared to take the workshop on a computer with hardline internet access or alternatively plug a network cable into your computer should you experience connection difficulties such as choppy audio.

Logging In

You'll want to login to the workshop with the url provided at least 15 minutes prior to your session start time.

Privacy It is recommended that you log on using only your first name or a pseudonym for privacy reasons. The UBC Online Workshop Series is archived for the benefit of other students and this will be announced at the start of every workshop.

Orientation to the Wimba Classroom

This short screencast will orient you to the Wimba Live Classroom. Alternatively, you can read the text below.

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There are three main areas to the Wimba Live Classroom: the Display Area, the Text Chat Area, and the Class List and Tools Area.

The Dispay Area

The Display Area is at the top of the Wimba window. This is where your facilitator will share slides or live demonstrate websites. There are a number of buttons and status indicators at the bottom of the display area in the Media Bar. The most important of these is the Talk button.

The Talk button will allow you to speak into your classroom and broadcast to the entire class. You can use the Talk button by click on it and holding it down while speaking. You will be able to tell that the Talk button is working when it is orange and the microphone status indicator is picking up your voice. You must continue to hold down the Talk button in order to be heard by the class. You do not need to speak in order to participate in the workshop. Most students will prefer to use Text Chat.

The Text Chat Area

The Text Chat area is at the bottom left corner of the window. Wimba will use this area to send you status updates about your connection when you first enter the classroom. The primary purpose of this box is to chat during the workshop presentation.

Text chat is a great way to have a backchannel conversation during a workshop. The facilitator will actively monitor it and try to integrate answers to questions during the presentation. You can also select specific people in the classroom to message directly using the dropdown box. This is a great way to express concerns or ideas privately with classmates. You should refrain from messaging the facilitator privately because they will be busy speaking to the entire class. If you want to discuss something in private with your facilitator, they will be available at the end of the presentation.

The Class List and Tools Area

The Class List and Tools are located at the bottom centre of the Wimba Window. You can see a list of fellow participants in your workshop. There are also a Yes or No that your facilitator may ask you to use.

Immediately underneath the list of names are buttons for answering Yes or No, Raising your hand, and even setting your status as Laughing, Approving or Disapproving, or merely letting the class know that you are Away.