Events: Help

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

Note: As of Augest 2019 we use Blackboard Collaborate 'Ultra' version which operates using HTML5 via modern web browsers - there is no extra software to install. User guides for the virtual classroom are available at the vendor's Help 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

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Registering for a webinar

Audience members need a free account on our website in order to register for webinars.

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.

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Steps to joining the webinars - an overview

After you have registered for a webinar:

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

2. Have a look at the getting started guide on the vendor's site to familiarise yourself the the webinar system 'Blackboard Collaborate Ultra'.

Particular advice is available for audio set up issues. Note: Audio and video setup permissions will be triggered upon entry to the webinar room.

3. 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). For members the UK remember that in summer you are UTC/GMT+1.

See more below...

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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.

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What equipment do I need to participate?...

A1. In short: An internet connected computer (broadband), web browser software (i.e. Internet Explorer/Edge, Firefox, Chrome) 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.

Note 1: You do not need to install any other extra software becasue Blackboard Collaborate Ultra works entirely within your browser.

Note 2: You can also use mobile devices/tablets to participate in a webinar (but not to present/host).

A2. More detailed: See supported systems and browsers.

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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://taw.fi/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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Does the webinar system work with my operating system or web browser?... (supported browsers)

A1. Collaborate Ultra uses HTML5 and so is compatible with modern browsers used on desktop/laptop systems and a range of mobile devices. See the list of supported browsers. Mobile device users also have the option to use the Blackboard app - see Blackboard app for iOS or Blackboard app for Android.

A2. Note: Microsoft Edge may not stream auto in Collaborate Ultra.

A3. Check to see if your browser has a 'pop-up' blocker or 'script' blocker because it may be preventing the virtual classroom from loading. If so, add the address to the exceptions list or turn this off or disable it temporarily.

A4. See vendor knowledge base and filter by 'Collaborate Ultra' and 'known issues' for work-arounds that may apply to specific browsers.

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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.

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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. 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 (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 (settings/control panel) 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.

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.

A5. Check the vendor's website for advice on audio setup and troubleshooting tips for browsers and audio.

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I can't upload my PowerPoint...(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 PowerPoint file(s) 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 add TA branding slides and we will convert this set into PDF and upload it.

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).

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'. Please send the TA team member your PowerPoint file.

More help...

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

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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.