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  3. What to expect when you’re expecting

What to expect when you’re expecting

(to virtualize a course)


If you are on a Mac and have the Catalina OS or newer and will need to screenshare in Zoom or BigBlueButton, please follow the steps in this video to enable screensharing.

Each course will be assigned a Liaison. There are a handful of Liaisons for all of CIIS. This person can assist faculty by:
–       uploading PDF slide presentations to BigBlueButton as needed (if faculty provided it in advance to onlinelearningsupport@ciis.edu)
–       creating any breakout rooms as needed (if faculty indicated the need in advance to onlinelearningsupport@ciis.edu).

Courses will not be recorded. The classes will not be available for viewing afterward.

In case you get disconnected, rejoin using the same method you had initially used. Make sure to follow all instructions for joining the audio properly. If you still have issues, please use www.VCLhub.com for immediate chat support with a Virtual Course Liaison.
Chats. Try to check the chat space or volunteer to monitor the chats and tell the instructor if something needs their attention, e.g. a relevant question about the topic. Secondarily, the chat can be used to troubleshoot with participants who have audio/video trouble. The Virtual Course Liaison will leave the best way to contact them during your class time in the chat box, so please check it before class begins.

Need help?
For help during a virtualized class meeting, please chat us at www.VCLhub.com.
For help outside of class meeting hours, please contact onlinelearningsupport@ciis.edu.
For issues with CIIS email or updating settings, please contact IT: support@uswired.com.

What can I do in advance? 

  1. Find a quiet place free from distraction.
  2. Do not forward your CIIS email account to another address (e.g. Gmail). You might not receive the link emails. Microsoft might mark them as spam or not deliver them to your forwarded address.

    1. To stop mail forwarding:
      Log in to Office.com using your CIIS email credentials. Click on the gear icon in the upper right and go to the bottom of the drop-down window (scroll down if necessary) and select Mail > Forwarding > Stop Forwarding > Save.
    2. To check your CIIS email account directly:
      Log in to Office.com using your CIIS email credentials and select the Outlook icon:Envelope with square O beside it.
    3. Please use Chrome or Firefox only. If possible, close other data-heavy tabs/apps before class, e.g. Facebook and streaming (including by others sharing your wireless network). Work close to your router or if possible, use a wired connection.
  3. Check your permissions before class:
    1. If using Chrome, please check your Chrome settings to allow webcam and microphone access. Make sure that blindsidenetworks and Zoom don’t appear in the “Blocked” category for Mic. Do the same for Webcam.
    2. Additionally, if you are on a Mac and have the Catalina OS or newer, please follow the steps in this video to allow screensharing.
    3. If you have trouble with either of the above, before your class, please contact IT (support@uswired.com).
  4. If you will be using Big Blue Button and you’re an instructor who uses slide presentations or breakout rooms, or a student who needs to give a presentation, please inform Online Learning as far in advance as possible. Please:
    1. Save your presentation as a PDF (File > Save as Adobe PDF in Windows; File > Save As > PDF > Save on Mac).
    2. Try to email the PDF to onlinelearningsupport@ciis.edu at least 24 hours in advance, along with your 6- digit Course ID Number (e.g. ACM 5500-01) and date of your presentation. Your Liaison will upload it for you at the start of class.
    3. Additionally, you may wish to email the PDF to the class in advance in case they need to open it on their end. (If you don’t have everyone’s email address handy, you can use the Canvas Inbox feature and attach it to a message to your entire class.)
    4. Presentations that are saved as a PDF won’t include dynamic transitions, video, etc (only text, hyperlinks, and static images such as photos).
  5. If you’ll be connecting from home, you may wish to perform a speed test. For effective video, you must have at least 0.5 Mbits/second upstream and 1 Mbits/second downstream. If your internet does not meet these requirements, the class might not run smoothly and you could be dropped from the meeting.
  6. This Big Blue Button page also includes information on minimum requirements for browsers memory, bandwidth, etc. If you meet the minimum requirements for BBB, it should also suffice for Zoom.
  7. For audio we strongly recommend using a headset. Wearing earbuds or headphones will reduce the amount of background noise that your computer will pick up. Any headset with a built-in microphone should be fine. If you have no headset, please turn down your speakers to reduce echo.

    If you encounter audio issues, check that Bluetooth headphones are not inadvertently connected (e.g. AirPods). For a demonstration of testing your audio, watch this Zoom support video (end at 1:09).


  1. Enter using a recognizable name, e.g. the one used by the registrar’s office or Canvas (not fuzzycatlover@gmail.com).
  2. Mute yourself upon entry if you’re not already muted. Be ready to unmute yourself and turn on webcam if possible.
  3. Make sure you are set up to receive certain Canvas notifications immediately. (Log in to Canvas > click Account > click Notifications > click the first column for the row called Do the same for Added to Conversation and Conversation Message. Your changes will auto-save.)


  1. If you will be using Big Blue Button and wish to show a slide presentation, please see #2-4 under What can I do in advance?
  2. If you need help breaking your class into small groups, please tell onlinelearningsupport@ciis.edu the time you will need Breakout rooms, and if room assignments can be random (recommended), manual, or whether students can choose. Your Liaison can assist with creating Breakout rooms during your class meeting.
    1. Random (recommended)
    2. Manual: You can provide a list of names and rooms to your Liaison in advance so they can manually set up the rooms during your actual session (this will take a few moments).
    3. Students can also choose their own rooms.

Troubleshooting tips during the session

  • If your Internet connection is slow or lagging, consider temporarily turning off your video and only maintaining the audio connection. Sometimes, running the webcam will use up your bandwidth in a way that can make communication challenging. Turning off the video should improve communication quality and stability. 
  • If you are experiencing issues with an echo, try wearing earbuds or a headset if you have them. If not, reduce the volume on your speakers. 
  • Make sure any Bluetooth headphones aren’t connected inadvertently.
  • Mute your microphone if you’re not speaking, and be ready to unmute it quickly.
  • Check the “chat” space for student questions and contributions. Some students may not have working microphones and, therefore, may be unable to contribute by speaking. The chat space is also great for troubleshooting audio glitches.
  • For help during a virtualized class meeting, please visit VCLhub.com for immediate chat support.


Updated on April 16, 2021

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