its: videoconferencing

FAQ

What is videoconferencing?

A videoconference is a meeting between two or more participants at different locations, or sites, created using software and computer networks to transmit audio and video data.

For example, in a point-to-point (two-site) video conference for two individuals utilizing a desktop videoconferencing program, each participant has a computer, a video camera, microphone, and speakers. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other's speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant's monitor.

Multipoint videoconferencing allows three or more sites to meet. The site with the speaker is displayed on the screen for the other sites to see. When another speaker begins, then that speaker’s site appears.

Why should I use videoconferencing?

The benefits of using videoconferencing include:

  • Reduces domestic and international travel costs
  • Eliminates the carbon footprint associated with travel
  • Increases the value of communication
  • Creates opportunities for real-time communication and collaboration

Benefits to Staff:

  • Conduct interviews with job candidates without having to arrange for travel.
  • Use a desktop program to attend cross-departmental meetings without leaving the comfort of your office.
  • Participate in job-related training and professional development from campus.
Benefits to Researchers:
  • Communicate and collaborate with research partners at other locations on a daily or regular basis.
  • Share and review data using screen sharing.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits to Instructors/Faculty:

  • Invite other students, experts and scholars into the classroom.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.
Benefits to Students:
  • Interviews with prospective employers without leaving the campus.
  • Meet and collaborate with peers at institutions anywhere in the world.
  • Learn from lecturers and experts anywhere in the world.

How do I know what type of videoconferencing to use?

Case Western Reserve has several types of videoconferencing technology available on campus. If you don't have videoconference equipment already available to your department, ITS can help you to locate equipment and that is best used given your situation and the site(s) with which you’ll be engaging. The type of technology suggested to you will depend on the type of meeting being conducted on site at CWRU, the number of people attending on site, and the technology being utilized by other sites participating in the videoconference. Generally, it is easiest to link two or more sites utilizing the same technology, but it is also possible to link sites using different technologies.

For example, users in a Cisco TelePresence (CT) room can directly call another CT room because both types of equipment use SIP technology. To connect users in a Cisco TelePresence room with, for example, a Lifesize unit that uses IP technology, the sites must each call a bridge line that enables the different technologies to communicate. For more information on the types of videoconference technology available at CWRU and their interoperability, see the Planning page.

No matter what type of technology is available to you and the sites you want to contact, ITS can make your videoconference possible. Request assistance through the Videoconference Request Form.

What is the quickest way to set up and start a videoconference?

Students, faculty and staff have immediate, free access to Google Hangouts and Adobe Connect web-based videoconferencing. Anyone in the world can be invited to participate in a Hangout or Connect meeting and can attend on any computer and most mobile devices. Up to ten sites can participate in one conference at a time. All that is needed is a web browser, webcam, microphone and speakers (or headset). No downloads are required (other than the occasional web browser plugin).

To access Google Hangouts, create an account in Google+ and use the Hangouts feature or open webmail.case.edu and click the Start Hangout button in the chat gadget.

To access Adobe Connect, go to connect.case.edu and log in with your CWRU Network ID and password. Directions for creating a meeting room and inviting participants can be found here.

For immediate assistance, please call 216.368.HELP (4357).

How do I schedule a videoconference?

Depending on the type of technology that you and your connecting site(s) are using, you may be able to schedule and conduct your videoconference without the assistance of ITS.

You generally can schedule a videoconference on your own in the following situations:

  • You are using Google Hangouts for your videoconference.
  • You are using Adobe Connect for your videoconference.
  • You are using Jabber to communicate in a 1-to-1 videoconference with another user of Jabber or Cisco TelePresence.
  • You are using Scopia to communicate in a 1-to-1 videoconference with another user of Scopia, Lifesize, Polycom or Tandberg.
  • You are being called by another videoconference site on your desktop or in a videoconference room that you control.
  • Another site is hosting the videoconference and has provided you with a number or IP address to dial to participate in the conference.

You generally will require assistance from ITS in the following situations:

  • You are in charge of calling another site that uses a different type of videoconference technology than what your site uses. This will require you to schedule the use of a videoconference interoperability bridge. See the Planning page for assistance in determining if you require a bridge.
  • You are in charge of hosting a videoconference in which two or more outside sites of the same or different technology are participating. This will require you to schedule the use of a videoconference interoperability bridge.
  • You require the use of a videoconference room that your department doesn't manage. This will require you to contact the room's departmental owner for arrangements, as well as ITS, if you require the use of a videoconference interoperability bridge (see above).
  • You require the installation of desktop videoconference software.

If you encounter a situation like the ones above that require assistance, please fill out the Videoconference Request Form. For immediate assistance during or immediately before a videoconference, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 216.368.HELP (4357).

How do I obtain desktop videoconferencing software?

You automatically have access to create Google Hangouts through Google+ and the webmail chat gadget. Anyone in the world can be invited to a Hangout.

Adobe Connect can be reached by all CWRU faculty, staff and students at connect.case.edu. Anyone in the world can be invited to a meeting room.

If you require Scopia or Jabber software for desktop videoconferencing, email help@case.edu to request the software and account setup.

How do I get help setting up a videoconference?

ITS can assist you with setting up a videoconference. Please fill out the Videoconference Request Form.

If you require immediate assistance immediately before or during a videoconference, please call 216.368.HELP (4357).

What equipment and/or information do I need in order to set up a videoconference?

Videoconferences can easily be arranged by two or more location using tradition means of communication such as email and telephone. Once the participants have decided on a date and time for the videoconference, one site should be put in charge of hosting the conference from a technical standpoint. If only two sites are involved, one should be assigned the job of calling the other site. If three or more sites are involved, one site will have to provide the bridge number that all sites will call to participate in the conference.

If the CWRU site is chosen as the host, you will need to know:

  • how many sites are participating
  • the videoconference technology that you will be using
  • what technology the other site(s) will be using to participate
  • the TelePresence numbers, user names (Jabber only) or IP addresses of the other participant(s).
  • Contact information for a technical resource at the other site(s).

If you are using desktop software options, you will need a built-in or add-on webcam, microphone and speakers (or a headset).

Once this information is gathered, you can complete the planning process by filling out the Videoconference Request Form. ITS will then provide you with the information you need, and other information you need to provide to other participating sites.

Does Information Technology Services offer any videoconference training resources?

Yes. There are quick start guides for using Cisco TelePresence (CTS) touch screens, Lifesize units, Scopia, Jabber and Adobe Connect. Directions for using Google Hangouts can be found here.

For additional assistance and consultative services, please contact ITS Videoconference Services through help@case.edu.

What are the benefits of videoconferencing?

General benefits include:

  • Reduced domestic and international travel costs.
  • Reduced carbon footprint associated with travel.
  • Increased value of communication (compared to phone or email).
  • Creates opportunities for real-time communication and collaboration.

Benefits specific to faculty:

  • Invite other students, experts, and scholars into the classroom.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits specific to staff:

  • Conduct interviews with job candidates without having to arrange for travel.
  • Use a desktop program to attend cross-departmental meetings without leaving the comfort of your office.
  • Participate in job-related training and professional development from campus.

Benefits specific to researchers:

  • Communicated and collaborate with research partners at other locations on a daily or regular basis.
  • Share and review data using screen sharing.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits specific to students:

  • Interview with prospective employers without leaving the campus.
  • Meet and collaborate with peers at institutions anywhere in the world.
  • Learn from lecturers and experts anywhere in the world.

Which rooms on campus are equipped with videoconferencing technology?

See the Rooms page for a complete list of rooms on campus that are equipped with videoconference equipment. Not all rooms are available for scheduling. Please contact each room's scheduling contact for more information.

Are rooms equipped with technology open to all students, staff, and faculty?

Yes.

Are training resources available for the SMART Board and other tools found in the Active Collaboration Room (ACR)?

Yes. There are resources in the room to assist you with the TelePresence unit, SMART Board, projector and lighting.

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