Elluminate provides a real-time, video-conferencing classroom environment. It has one application window with audio, text-chat, an interactive whiteboard for displaying files or webpages, video, and moderator tools. Oakland University has 50 seats, so classes and meeting with 50 or less participants can be scheduled anytime during the day or night. Meetings and classes are created on a first come/first served basis.
There are two ways to access Elluminate:
- When you schedule a session via the Elluminate Scheduling Request Form, you will be sent an email with a link to join the meeting.
- If you don't have this link, you can get to Elluminate via http://elluminate.oakland.edu and login with your OU email name and password.
Elluminate sessions are automatically recorded, so you or your students can view past sessions by logging into Elluminate using method 2 above to view the Recordings.
Elluminate Main Screen
When you and your students login, you'll be brought to the Elluminate main screen. The nice thing about this application is that everything takes place on this one screen.
Elluminate has four main parts: Participants window, Direct Messaging, Audio, and Whiteboard area.
The Participants window at the top left of the screen is where everyone in the meeting will appear. As a moderator, you'll appear at the top. Your students names will appear below yours. To the left of each name is the access they have. From left to right they are:
- Hand - The students click the hand icon at the bottom of the Participants window to raise their hand.
- Check/X - There is a simple polling tool that will allow your students to check yes or no using the check and X icons just above the Participants window.
- Microphone - This icon allows the students to use the Audio chat feature.
- Hi - This icon allows the students to use the Direct Messaging text chat feature.
- Pen - This icon gives the students access to the Whiteboard tools.
- Application - This icon allows the students to use the Application Sharing tool.
- Camera - This icon allows the students to use the Video tool.
By default, all of these tools are on. To remove a tool for a student, simply click on the icon to the left of that student's name and it will be taken away. You can click there again to bring it back.
Note that you cannot prevent the students from raising their hand. The option is always available to them.
Groups - You can create groups, or what Elluminate calls Breakout Rooms using the Participants window. To do so, simply right click on an open space below the student names and select Create Breakout Room.... Name the room and hit Ok. You can create as many rooms as you like. To move the students into the rooms, right click on a student name and select Send to Breakout Room and then select the name of the group you want to send them to.
Elluminate supports real time chat via the Direct Messaging window, just below the Participants window. You and your students can use this to communicate by typing into the text field just above the Send button. You can send the text by hitting Enter on your keyboard or pressing Send. You also have the option to change who you are sending a message to. By default, it sends to All, or everyone in the course. This is displayed to the right of the Send button. You can change it to whomever you like and it will only go to that person.
Note that moderators always see every message sent, even those private messages from one student to another.
Elluminate supports voice chat via the Audio window, just below the Direct Messaging window. By default, there can only be one talker at a time, but that can be changed to up to four talkers. This can be hectic, and if you use this option, you want to be sure that everyone speaking has a noise canceling headset. To begin speaking, click on the Microphone. It will light up yellow to let you know you are speaking. Remember to click the icon again to stop transmitting.
Before you use the Audio chat, you'll want to make sure your equipment is configured correctly. To do this, run the Audio Setup Wizard by going to the top menu and selecting Tools > Audio > Audio Setup Wizard.
The large area to the right of Ellumiante is the Whiteboard area. Here you can do a number of things. First off, there is the ability to use the tools to draw on anything in the Whiteboard area. This is particularly useful if you are using a tablet. You can also load up any whiteboard or PowerPoint files here and display them to the class slide by slide.
Elluminate can also share any application you have running, or your entire desktop. This is useful if you want to show students how to use an application such as doing special reports in Microsoft Access. You do this by going to the top menu and selecting Tools > Application Sharing.
Elluminate supports one video to be displayed at a time. Since Elluminate was made to work with even a dial up connection, it displays the video at a lower quality, and there can be a lag between what the students see and what you are actually doing. To begin displaying video, go to the top menu and select Window > Video. It will open up the Video window. Click on the Preview button to see what your image looks like without transmitting. When you are ready, click on the Transmit button. Remember to click Transmit icon again to stop transmitting.