On February 21, I conducted a Carmen 10 Roadshow in CarmenConnect. The recording of that session is available here. For those who are curious about conducting a meeting in Connect, I thought I’d outline my process.
Sometime before the scheduled meeting date:
- Create meeting room in CarmenConnect.
- Set date and time of meeting.
- Set it to require that guests be approved before they can enter the room.
- Add colleagues who will be helping run the meeting.
- Opt NOT to send invitations through CarmenConnect; I’ll use regular email instead since most of my participants will enter as Guests.
- Finally get around to requesting a stand-alone webcam.
7:00 PM the night before:
- Mentally walk through my agenda for the meeting, creating layouts, uploading files into share pods, and setting up poll pods that I know I’ll need.
- I end up deleting all 3 default layouts and replacing them with 5 of my own.
- I log in as a Guest with a different computer and rehearse my agenda so I know how everything should look.
My layouts were:
- Welcome: Notes pods for my agenda and instructions about what participants could expect to do, plus the Chat pod, Video pod, and Attendance pod. I also add an .mp3 file in a share pod that will play as people enter, so they know their audio is working.
- Practice Interactions: Removed the Notes pods, made the Video pod bigger, adjusted size of the Chat and Attendance pods.
- Get Acquainted Polls: Replaced Video pod with three Poll pods, mostly to sample the 3 types of questions. One question asked for information I actually do want to collect from my participants.
- Screen-sharing: Replaced the 3 Poll pods with a big Share pod to share my screen, since the bulk of my presentation was web demo for Carmen 10.
- Empower: Stacked 3 Sharing pods with different kinds of files in place of the screen-sharing pod. For this part of the meeting, I planned to enhance all the participants’ rights so they could explore Connect a bit more.
Lastly, I send a reminder email to participants with room URL and instructions about testing audio and what they can expect during the meeting.
One hour before the meeting:
I learn that I will have some new screenshots to share, so I hastily create another layout, figure out how to fit the screenshots in 6 different sharing pods into the available space, and create a poll to ask people which set of images they prefer.
Thirty minutes before the meeting:
Go to the bathroom, get a mug of water, panic a bit.
Login to the room and see that there are already people waiting to enter; be very glad that I set the room to require me to approve entry.
Turn on and test headset mic and camera. Adjust camera angles so I look less goofy. Wish I had a better backdrop. Breathe deeply and slowly. Strategize with my co-hosting colleague, who will be sitting across the office from me.
Thirteen minutes before the meeting:
Start allowing people to enter. Chat a bit with early folks, using both audio and text.
At scheduled meeting time:
Conduct meeting as planned. It goes reasonably well, I think. You can watch the recording for this part. I only recorded the part of the meeting that might be useful to watch after-the-fact. It is still just over an hour long.
After the meeting:
Close the meeting room, feel elated. Move on to other tasks.
Time to review the experience and make use of the results.
First, I re-enter the meeting room and email the Chat history to myself so I can respond to any questions that need follow up. Then I clear the Chat history in the room. Reading the chat transcript is bizarre, since people asked questions via text but I answered them verbally.
Second, I reset the starting layout to my Welcome arrangement. I may or may not use this structure again. If I don’t use it, I can just reset the room to its default layout.
Third, I left the meeting and went into the CarmenConnect portal.
In the Meeting Information area for this meeting, I review the available Reports.
- By Attendees: This lets me see who logged in, when, and whether they entered as a guest or with an account. The downloadable report provides more detail. I see that one person entered and left a couple times; think about sending a note to see if there was a technical problem somewhere.
- By Questions: This gives me the results of my polls. I can see charts and graphs of the overall responses as well as details about the answers selected by each participant. The downloadable reports don’t provide much more detail, but they are in a format that I can work with offline. I save the downloadable report for the one poll that wasn’t mostly an experiment.
Finally, I go into the Recording area and review what I captured.
- I notice in the Video pod that I seem to blink an awful lot. Ick.
- During the screen-share, there is sometimes a lag between my voice and what is showing on the screen. Given that screen-sharing is a bandwidth hog, I’m not surprised. I think it is not terribly distracting, though it is not ideal.
- I notice that the Notes pod I added at the last minute with a go.osu.edu URL for the Carmen 10 sandbox was truncated. Probably a result of differing screen resolutions. I open another browser window and reserve the go.osu.edu URL that was actually displayed. No sense fostering confusion.
- I notice that the new Events Index is really detailed. Neat.
I decide the presentation is OK to share. I don’t edit the recording, but I do decide to hide participant names during playback, since I didn’t get permission from them to broadcast. I make the recording public so people don’t have to login to see it.
I write a blog post, make a go.osu.edu URL for the recording, and call it a day.
Typing it all out, this seems like a lot of effort. On reflection though, much of the planning, preparing, wigging out, and follow-up are things I would also do for a face-to-face demonstration. Doing them in a new context just makes me notice I’m doing them.
I spent a fair amount of time on the layouts for this meeting. Partly, that’s because this is still a relatively new experience and I wanted to experiment. Since it is possible to re-use a meeting room, or to save it as a template so it can be copied, I think this ends up being an investment rather than a waste of time.
I really like that I can review the chat, the recording, the reports, and the polls for follow-up and analysis. Setting up and conducting my meeting in a way that lets me collect this data removes a lot of stress.