Events: Help

Help with logging on to the Webinar session or with the virtual classroom system used for our Webinars.

Note: user guides for the virtual classroom are available at the vendor's Knowledge Base site.

Note: the archives of past sessions to 2012 were housed in the Wimba system which is no longer available. These archives will be provided as online videos only. Sessions for 2012 and onwards will be have both videos for online viewing and virtual classroom archive formats available.

FAQ Contents

#Top

Registering for a webinar

From Feb 2015 onwards audience members will need a free account on our website in order to register for webinars (this avoids the need for you to manually send 'RSVP' emails).

First time users:

  1. Go to Login / Choose the 'create new account' tab.
  2. Complete the registration form.
    • You only need create the account once, once you have it then it is good for all future webinars.
    • If you use an education domain email ('edu', 'ac') or an email from the authorised domains list, this will give you full access to try e-assessment examples and post content in forums.
    • If you already receive our news email please use the same email address where you receive it, that way we avoid doubling up.
    • Regardless of the email you used to register, all users with accounts can register for webinars.
  3. You will receive a confirmation link in your email account (it may take 15 minutes to arrive - you may need to check your Junkmail folder for the message) - click the confirmation link to set your password.
  4. Follow on below...

Returning users:

  • Login to your account (if you forgot your username or password - request a new password)
  • Register for each webinar session by clicking the 'register now' button on each event page.

We highly recommend you test your computer well in advance of the session (several days) to give you enough time to address any issues you may encounter - especially if you have not joined our webinars using the specific computer before. See more below...

#Top

Steps to joining the webinars - an overview

After you have registered for a webinar:

1. We highly recommend you test your computer well in advance of the session (several days) to give you enough time to address any issues you may encounter - especially if you have not joined our webinars using the specific computer before. Note: most users will now require the 'Blackboard Collaborate Launcher' application that can take a while to download.

2. Ensure you have the necessary equipment (see other FAQs below) and it is plugged in.

3. Try the version 12.6 configuration room to ensure you audio/mic is working (additional instructions on how to do that will be displayed once you are inside the configuration room). In attempting to gain access to the configuration room you should be prompted to download the 'Blackboard Collaborate Launcher' application (if you dont already have it installed).

Note: if you don't have the 'Launcher' app and were not prompted to download it then you can get a suitable version (the download can be slow!):

4. Join the live session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. The 'Join' link will have been sent to you after registering for a webinar event (and in subsequent reminder messages). You may also find the 'Go to the webinar now!' link posted on the main events page. (Note: all times on this website are shown as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC / GMT; also note for members the UK is UTC/GMT+1 in summer!).

See the detailed joining process descriptions for step-by-step guides for each operating system.

See more below...

#Top

I didn't receive the confirmation email...

A1. Check you typed your email address correctly when you created your Transforming Assessment account - you may update it via your account preferences. Also see A3.

A2. Check your Junk Mail or Spam folder. Also see A3.

A3. It is advisable to set the TransformingAssessment.com domain as a 'safe sender' in your email system/software to avoid messages getting lost or incorrectly filtered/blocked marked as spam. Details below:

A3.1. Gmail. Set up a filter to prevent messages going to the Spam folder. This works for regular Gmail and university email accounts hosted by Gmail (e.g Monash Uni).

A3.2. Outlook/Office. Add to safe senders list. See links for; Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and 2016, Office 365 and Outlook Web App.

A3.3. Other web email systems/clients.  See this helpful on advice on adding to your 'safe sender lists' (by ConstantContact).

A3.4. Institutionally controlled email systems. If you suspect the email is being blocked by your institution's filters then you may need to send an email to your IT help desk requesting that the transformingassessment.com domain be 'whitelisted' with regard to email traffic. For example "I am trying to sign up for Transforming Assessment webinars at transformingassessment.com and it appears that the confirmation emails are being blocked by the institutional filters. This is a non-commercial education service. Would it be possible to whitelist the transformingassessment.com domain for the purposes of email receipt?".

A4. If all else fails contact Mathew on the Transforming Assessment team.

#Top

What equipment do I need to participate?...

A1. In short: An internet connected computer (broadband), web browser software (i.e. Internet Explorer/Edge or Firefox) and an a headset (ear phones and microphone - so you can hear and speak!). A webcam is not necessary but is nice to have if you are the presenter.

Most users will now require the 'Blackboard Collaborate Launcher' application you can download:

Note: You can also use mobile devices/tablets to participate in a webinar (but not to present/host) by obtaining a suitable mobile app.

A2. More detailed:

For Desktop/Laptop systems see the list of supported browsers and operating systems.

For mobile devices/tablets see the details of supported devices and versions.

Mobile device users will need the Blackboard Collaborate app for: iOSAndroid or Kindle fire.

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Which link do i use to join the Webinar? (or I have logged into your website but I'm lost)...

A1. Go to http://ta.vu/join

Note: If you have logged onto this transforming assessment web site using the login link located in the top right hand corner or the bottom footer you have in fact logged onto our Website or Moodle system which is separate to the virtual classroom system used for webinar sessions.

A2. If you are looking for an archive version of a webinar please use the links on the past events page.

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Detailed joining process descriptions or I am having trouble and dont know what is wrong - what process should be happening?...

The actual joining process depends on your operating system (note if it doesn't work on your laptop/desktop, try a mobile device!):

#A1. Windows:

The best approach is to obtain the 'Blackboard Collaborate Launcher' and install it.

  1. You should normally be prompted to download the launcher if you dont have it (or manualy download the launcher for Windows 42MB ). After installing, click the webinar 'join'  button.
  2. Once you have the launcher, you can return to or will arrive at the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' page.
  3. Type your name into the box.
  4. Click the 'Join' or 'Login' button

A '.collab' file will appear and:

a) you prompted to action it; in firefox choose 'open with' / in IE choose 'open'  / in Chrome the file will appear in footer bar;

Next choose the 'Blackboard Collaborate Launcher'.

or

b) the file will be download. You will need to then locate the file in your system and open it manually - you might need to right-click and choose 'open with' and find the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.

Then...

  • The Blackboard Collaborate should now launch.
  • At this point you will get a 'security warning' that you need to 'allow' or 'run'.
  • Next the Blackboard Collaborate banner will appear (you may need to click OK and choose your connection type) then the webinar room software window will open with 'connecting' notices appearing to show progress.
  • Once inside the room please run the audio set up wizard by going to the top menu and choosing Tools -> Audio -> Audio Setup Wizard.

Trouble shoot the Windows launcher process (e.g. if you already installed the launcher but your browser is not recognising it or you are still getting JNLP files):

    http://library.blackboard.com/ref/9a27bb08-b742-4a75-8ac8-4d22e7db93ab/content/topics/windows_installing_launcher.htm

    http://library.blackboard.com/ref/9a27bb08-b742-4a75-8ac8-4d22e7db93ab/content/topics/troubleshooting.htm

On older windows machines the launcher may not work, in which case:

  • Go to the link given for joining the room. This takes you to the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page.
  • Type in your name into the box and click 'log in'.
  • Depending on which web browser you are using...
    • If you are using FireFox: 

      A dialog will appear asking you to 'open with' or 'save file' a .JNLP file. 

      If you choose 'open with' [JAVA web start] and click OK (if JAVA web start is not showing by default see the JAVA issues section) OR 

      If you choose 'save file' and click OK. You will then need to manualy open the .JNLP file by choosing it via the 'Downloads' notification area of Firefox (in the top right corner) or by opening it via Windows Explorer.
    • If you are using Google Chrome: 

      The .JNLP file will download automatically and appear in the status bar at the bottom of the window. 

      Observe the status bar and choose 'Keep', then click on the .JNLP file icon in the status bar.
  • The Blackboard Collaborate software will start to load.
  • At this point you will get a 'security warning' that you need to 'allow' or 'run'.
  • Next the Blackboard Collaborate banner will appear (you may need to click OK and choose your connection type) then the webinar room software window will open with 'connecting' notices appearing to show progress.
  • Once inside the room please run the audio set up wizard by going to the top menu and choosing Tools -> Audio -> Audio Setup Wizard.

#A2. Apple Mac OSX 10.8.4+ (Apple security patches were applied that prevent JAVA from launching)

A2.1. Obtain the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher for Apple Mac 69.8MB (if you already have it skip to A2.2).

  • Go to the link given for joining the room. This takes you to the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page.
  • A notice pop-up or notice will be displayed about needing the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. Click on the 'Download' button.
  • Unzip the file. Note: while you dont need to 'install' the launcher, you might want move it to the Applications folder for safe keeping/future use or it can just remain in the Downloads folder.
  • You may be given the opportunity to proceed directly from a download notice via a 'click here' link. If not, just follow the steps in A2.2 below to progress to the webinar room.

A2.2. When you have the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher:

  • Go to the link given for joining the room. This takes you to the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page (Note you can ignore the reminder to download the launcher if you already have it). You might need to click a smaller link that reads "launch Blackboard Collaborate now".
  • Type in your name into the box and click 'log in'.
  • Depending on which web browser you are using...
    • If you are using FireFox: 

      A dialog will appear asking you to 'open with' or 'save file' a .collab file. 

      If you choose 'open with' - and locate the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher (probably in your Applications folder or Downloads folder) - then click OK. OR 

      If you choose 'save file' - and click OK. Then you will need to manualy open the .collab file by choosing it via the 'Downloads' pop up on the Dock at the bottom or by opening it via the Finder.
    • If you are using Safari 6+: 

      The .collab file will download automatically. 

      Next manually open the .collab file by choosing it via the 'Downloads' pop up on the program bar at the bottom or by opening it via the Finder.
  • You may be asked to confirm the action - click 'open'.
  • The Blackboard Collobrate software will start to load.
  • At this point you will get a 'security warning' that you need to 'allow' or 'run'.
  • Next the Blackboard Collaborate banner will appear (you may need to click OK and choose your connection type) then the webinar room software window will open with 'connecting' notices appearing to show progress.
  • Once inside the room please run the audio set up wizard by going to the top menu and choosing Tools -> Audio -> Audio Setup Wizard.

#A3. Apple Mac OSX prior to 10.8.4:

  • Go to the link given for joining the room. This takes you to the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page.
  • Type in your name into the box and click 'log in'.
  • Depending on which web browser you are using...
    • If you are using FireFox: 

      A dialog will appear asking you to 'open with' or 'save file' a .JNLP file. 

      Choose 'open with' [JAVA webstart] (if JAVA webstart is not showing by default see the JAVA issues section)
    • If you are using Safari 6+: 

      The .JNLP file will download automatically. 

      Next manually open the .JNLP file by choosing it via the 'Downloads' pop up on the Dock at the bottom or by opening it via the Finder. If it fails to open see the JAVA issues section
  • You may be asked to confim the action - click 'open'.
  • The Blackboard Collaborate software will start to load.
  • At this point you will get a 'security warning' that you need to 'allow' or 'run'.
  • Next the Blackboard Collaborate banner will appear (you may need to click OK and choose your connection type) then the webinar room software window will open with 'connecting' notices appearing to show progress.
  • Once inside the room please run the audio set up wizard by going to the top menu and choosing Tools -> Audio -> Audio Setup Wizard.

#A3. Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad):

A3.1. Obtain the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile App (if you already have it skip to A3.2).

  • Go to Apple iTunes/App Store and search for the 'Blackboard Collaborate Mobile' app.
  • Install the App - it is free.
  • Follow the steps in A3.2 below to progress to the webinar room.

A3.2. When you have the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile App

  • Open the Collaborate App
  • Enter the link (http://ta.vu/join) into the top box.
  • Click 'Join session'.
  • The web browser will open the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page.
  • Type in your name into the box and click 'log in'.
  • The Blackboard Collaborate software will start to load with 'connecting' notices appearing to show progress.
  • Once inside the room you should see the whiteboard/slides area, the participants list and text chat area.

#A4. Android:

A4.1. Obtain the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile App (if you already have it skip to A4.2).

  • Go to Google Play Store and search for the 'Blackboard Collaborate Mobile' app.
  • Install the App - it is free.
  • Follow the steps in A4.2 below to progress to the webinar room.

A4.2. When you have the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile App.

  • Open the Collaborate App
  • Enter the link (http://ta.vu/join) into the top box.
  • Click 'Join session'.
  • The 'complete action' dialog will appear - choose the web browser.
  • In the web browser the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page will load.
  • Type in your name into the box and click 'log in'.
  • The 'launch application' dialog will appear - click OK.
  • The web browser will appear again - Click on 'Click here to launch the session!'
  • The 'launch application' dialog will appear again - click OK.
  • The Blackboard Collaborate software will start to load with 'connecting' notices appearing to show progress.
  • Once inside the room you should see the whiteboard/slides area, the participants list and text chat area.

#Top

Does the webinar system work with my operating system or web browser?...

A1. For desktop/laptop systems see the list of supported browsers and operating systems

For mobile devices/tablets see the list of supported devices and versions. Mobile device users will need the Blackboard Collaborate app for: iOSAndroid or Kindle fire.

A2. Check to see if your browser has a 'pop-up' blocker as it may be preventing the virtual classroom window from appearing. If so, add the address to the exceptions list or turn this off or disable it temporarily.

A3. See vendor knowledge base and filter by 'known issues' for work-arounds that may work for specific browsers (Chrome and IE) or systems (Mac).

#Top

Do I need a password?...

A1. Once registered, No. You do not need a password to enter the webinar session itself. Just follow the join link sent in the session confirmation email and enter your name into the 'name' box to enter the room.

Please kindly use your real name (givenname familyname) so we know who you are!

Note: If you are a presenter we will manually change your account privileges to 'presenter' status once you have logged in for the session.

A2. You do need to create a free Transforming Assessment account in order to register for webinars and this does require a password - See Registering for a webinar. If you already have an account but have forgotten your password please use the 'request new password' link.

#Top

Audio issues - it is not working or it is too quiet or poor quality...

Note: 99.9% of audio issues are related to participant computers and not the webinar system itself.

A1. Ensure your headset is plugged into the correct holes prior to launching/entering the virtual classroom or the set-up wizard/configuration room. On some older windows computers USB headsets may go unrecognised (but this is becoming less of an issue nowadays). On Apple Macs the audio in/mic jack (two plug) type may not work so try a USB headset! 

The virtual classroom may not recognise your headset if it is not plugged in prior to launching the virtual classroom/entering the room or the set up wizard (if you plugged it in after entering the room and are having trouble, try exiting and re-entering the room).

A2. Check your headset hardware mute switch/volume control (if it has one).

A3. Check operating system / software settings - that mute is not enabled, the correct input/output devices are selected in software and the volume setting is adequate. Places to check vary according to operating system but common places are the in the 'settings', 'control panel', 'system preferences' then look for 'audio' or 'sound' or 'sound mixer' or 'volume control', 'playback devices', 'recording devices' etc. 

Also, inside the virtual classroom software you can increase the volume a little by going to the top menu to Tools > Audio.

A4. Quality issues - avoid using the computer loud speakers to listen if you plan to speak in the session. Loudspeakers produce feedback/echo into the mic and this disturbs other participants. Avoid built-in mics in laptops and monitors or desktop mics (other than high-end professional ones) as these tend to pick up more background atmosphere which leads to very muffled or 'muddy' speech. If you plan on speaking at any length please stick to a headset.

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Technical and Java related issues (often preventing login to the room): Unhelpful error messages are being shown or I just can't get in...

A1: Go to the vendor support site for Collobrate and then click the 'known issues' item in the 'Articles' list.

Some common problems relating to JAVA are detailed below. 

Refer to the detailed joining process descriptions to understand what should be happening.

A2. Clear the Java cache. Updates to Java sometimes interfere with the operation of the virtual classroom. This is a possible cause if you have previously used the virtual classroom successfully on your current computer and are now having trouble (Apple OSX 10.8.4+ users see also A3). Follow the steps below to ensure the any old version or possibly corrupted files are cleared properly from your computer cache and that the latest fresh version is indeed being used.:

  1. Clear the cache of the browser
    • in Internet Explorer this is under Tools > Internet Options, A dialog will appear. Choose the 'General' tab then look for the subheading 'Browsing History'. Find the button 'Delete'. A second dialog will appear. Press the 'Delete files...' button.
    • in Firefox (versions less than 14) this is under Tools > Options. A dialog will appear. Choose the 'Advanced' tab and then press the button 'Clear now'.
    • in Firefox 14 this is under Firefox > Options (Preferences) > Options. A dialog will appear. Choose the 'Advanced' tab and then 'Network' sub-tab. Then press the button 'Clear now'.
    • in Firefox latest versions (40-ish) this is under Firefox > Options (Preferences) > Advanced. Then 'Network' sub-tab. Then press the two 'Clear now' buttons.
    • in Chrome this is Chrome menu > Tools (or History) > Clear Browsing Data. A dialog will appear. Choose the items to remove. Use the menu at the top to select 'beginning of time' to remove everything. Then press the 'Clear browsing data' button.
    • in Safari this is under Safari > Preferences. Choose the 'Advanced' tab. Next, Select: Show Develop menu in menu bar. Now from the menu bar choose Develop > Empty Caches.
  2. Clear the Java cache
    • on Windows:
      • Open the Windows Control Panel (via Programs > Settings)
      • Open the 'Java' Control Panel.
      • On the 'General' tab, there should be a section for 'Temporary Internet Files'. Click the 'Settings' button in that section.
      • Click the 'Delete Files...' button
      • On the Temporary Files Settings dialog, ensure the 'Applications and Applets' item is ticked. Click 'OK' to remove cached files.
    • on Apple Mac OSX:
      • Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Java Preferences (This will then take a moment to open the Java Control Panel).
      • On 'Java' Control Panel, there should be a section for 'Temporary Internet Files' ('Network' tab on older versions). Click the 'Settings' button in that section.
      • Click the 'Delete Files...' button.
      • On the Temporary Files dialog, ensure the 'Applications and Applets' item is ticked. Click 'OK' to remove cached files.
  3. Re-try the virtual classroom
    • Be sure to have your head set plugged in.
    • Enter the virtual classroom system (enter you name when asked).
    • Go to Tools -> Audio > Audio set-up wizard and follow the steps.

A3: Apple has pushed security settings to Max OSX 10.8.4+ (and higher). Such users should acquire the special Blackboard Collaborate Launcher application. This application will be triggered upon receipt of a .collab file (you many need to manualy open it) during the webinar room entry process rather than using a JNLP file.

The entry process for the webinar system will advise you if this is the case for you and where you can obtain the launcher application like so:

  • Go to the link given for joining the room. This takes you to the 'Launching Blackboard Collaborate' web page.
  • A notice will pop-up or be shown about needing the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. Click on the 'Download' button. Users can also obtain the launcher application directly: download for Apple Mac 69.8MB.
  • Unzip the file. Note: while you dont need to 'install' the launcher, you might want move it to the Applications folder for safe keeping/future use or it can just remain in the Downloads folder. You only need to download this once for each Mac OSX computer on which you join webinars.

A4: Apple Mac OSX users not using the launcher may need to update to the latest version of the Java package. After doing so you may also need to refer to A5 and A6 below.

A5: Apple Mac OSX users not using the launcher may need to set their Java to 32 bit rather then 64bit.

  • Change the default version of Java to use 32 bit first vs 64 bit version:
    • Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Java Preferences (Java Preferences Window will open)
    • On the General tab, highlight and drag the 32 bit Java version to the top of the list
    • If there are two boxes with Java versions, one for Applet Plugins and one for Applications, perform the step above for both.
  • Clear the Java cache (see A1, step 2 above).

A6: Apple Mac OSX users not using the launcher may need to fix the file association of JNLP files. 

Symptom: When clicking onto the webinar login the browser may try to open the JNLP file incorrectly in another application such as a text editor or only offer offer to save the file or when the user tries to manualy open a JNLP file it fails to do so (see also A3 above regarding OSX security changes).

To have JNLP files open automatically using Java Web Start (i.e. so the webinar system will start automatically), like this:

  • In your browser click 'save' when faced with the jnlp 'open with/save file' type dialog.
  • In finder, right click a JNLP file
  • Chose "Open With"
  • Select "Other"
  • Navigate to "System" > "Library" > "CoreServices"
  • Scroll down and pick "Java Web Start" (you may need to chose "Enable All Applications" in order to make that choice possible.
  • Tick the "Always Open With" box.

From now on JNLP files will open and launch automatically - but not with OSX 10.8.4+ (see A3).

#Top

I can't upload my PowerPoint...(mainly for presenters)

A1. You are not able to upload files yourself unless you have presenter / moderator status. 

We will normally upload files for you and we ask that you send your files to us several days prior to the session so we have enough time to test them and advise you of any needed changes.

We will give you moderator status at the beginning of the live session or in a trial/practice session at which we are present (such status lasts only for the single login instance/session). Note; uploaded files are lost when the last user logs out of a room.

 

A2. Unfortunately some of the error messages produced upon an upload error are not always informative. Try the items below:

A2.1. Check the file size is under 6MB. While there is no official file size limit, experimentation has shown that success can be achieved by using small file sizes or by splitting a large file into two or more parts.

A2.2. Please note that animations and fancy transitions will be removed when you upload. Plan your slides for 'static, one click to change'.

More help...

More help with using the webinar / virtual classroom is available at the vendor's Knowledge Base site.

#Top

Tips for Presenters...

  • The participants do not have the same tools as the presenter. Many buttons and menu items only appear for those with presenter / moderator/ host status.
  • The presenter should be aware that participants have the ability to draw on the whiteboard/slides. Presenters might want to remind participants to avoid using these tools indiscriminately (we almost never have an issue with this).
  • Presenters/speakers will maintain an open talk/voice channel as long as the talk button is activated. Click the mouse once on the talk button to activate it - do not keep the mouse button held down. When you have finished speaking click the talk button again to deactivate it. This will to stop broadcasting your audio and let others have the mic. Note: It is possible to permit multiple people to have their talk button on simultaneously, however this tends to create a lot of annoying echos for the audience.
  • When preparing PowerPoint slides please note that animations and fancy transitions will be removed when you upload. Embedded links in your powerpoint files will not function either (links can be provided via the text chat). Plan your slides to be 'static, one click to change'. Include relevent graphics/diagrams/charts/images to add visual interest.
  • When presenting with shared applications / screen share (the audience love these so do it if you can!) - remember to slow down your actions because the screen refresh rate is much slower for your audience. Include static screen grabs in your slides as a back up measure in case of demo failure on the day! You can easily skip them if all goes well.
  • If you are sharing an application/screen, the application will appear inside the content area/whiteboard area. It will be recorded in the archive. Note that only the window of the shared application will appear on the audience member's screens. Non-shared application windows are sent as greyed-out boxes, as is your desktop. Be careful not to cover the shared application with non-shared application window because this will cause it to be partly or fully hidden from the audience (greyed out).
  • Try to keep PowerPoint uploads under 6MB as larger sizes may fail to upload (you can split it into multiple files). When it fails it does not always tell you the reason. We will normaly be the ones who upload your slides so do not worry about this limitation too much!

If you need further help please contact us.