The Adobe Connect “Room” is a dedicated virtual classroom space. It is best to have a unique room for each faculty member because they will have their own specific way they would like to arrange the space.
Contact the system administrator to arrange to have a new room assigned.
Within the room, the instructor is the designated “Host,” which is the necessary status required to be able to create and arrange a room layout. Students and guest speakers logged in as Guests, promoted to “Presenter” status will not be able to alter the layout (see User Id & Logging In). The following are the steps involved in creating a room layout:
- Room Configuration: In the figure below, this is an example of a room configuration I have created for my own classes, with the video pod in the upper left, the share window/presentation space below, and the chat room, attendees list, notes, and web link pods to the right.
- Creating a New Layout: In the detail figure below is a closeup of the “Layouts” menu where an existing layout is selected or a new one can be created. To create a new room layout, go to the top of the menu and select “Create New Layout.”
- Modifying the Layout: Once “Create New Layout” is selected, it is possible to create one from scratch or an existing layout can be duplicated (see figure below). For our purposes in the tutorial, we’ll create a new blank layout. To make modifications to another layout, without changing it, it would be best to “Duplicate an existing layout.” For those who are new to Adobe Connect, it might be best to select one of the preset layouts, such as “Sharing” or “Discussion,” and use it as a template. After giving your layout a name, select “OK,” and the result will be an entirely empty room.
- Adding a Pod: First we will add a Video Pod to the room by selecting “Video” from the “Pods” menu. All of the pods or specific windows are contained in this dropdown menu list. We won’t cover them all, but once it is understood how to apply pods to a room, it is easy to experiment with the additional pods we don’t discuss.
- Sizing a Pod: After making the selection of a Video Pod, it will be placed in the room where it can can be moved and sized. Just hold the cursor down on the top horizontal bar and the pod can be dragged to a new location. Or ,place the cursor in one of the four corners and it can be changed to any size of any proportion. Keep in mind the number of students or guests that will be using a camera when determining the size.
- Adding a Share Pod: Next we will add a new “Share” pod, used to display an image, a Powerpoint, or the desktop. Select a pre-existing pod, or add a new one by select “Add New Share” (see figure below).
- Sizing the Share Pod: Once a new share Pod has been selected, it will be placed into the room and where it can be sized accordingly. Since this pod will generally be used for displaying images and Powerpoints, keep the aspect ratio in mind of your media, generally in horizontal mode. Note the pod is moved into place, guidelines will automatically appear to help align the various pods (see figure below).
- Adding a Chat Pod: When adding a Chat Pod, consider the aspect ratio, which is crucial for its use. The Chat Pod is best placed vertically to accommodate the flow of dialogue. Note that the Chat Pod is brought flush to the adjacent pods. A neatly arranged room is an important visual component to encourage the the quality of activity in the space: no different than a physical classroom space.
- Remaining Pods: Other pods, including: attendees, notes, and Web links are created and aligned just as the above. I have demonstrated the creation of the layout that I use in my OSS Virtual Classroom (see below), but feel free to experiment, try out different configurations until the results are satisfactory.
Adobe Connect rooms are very flexible. It is possible select layouts at any time in order to change the configuration on the fly. This is sometimes helpful when going from a presentation to a session with only chat, for example. And don’t forget, any of the pods can be hidden or maximized to full screen by going into the contextual menu in the upper right hand corner and selecting “Hide” or “Maximize.” Only the video pod has a full screen mode directly on the pod itself.