Further to my earlier blog post regarding my Adobe Connect ‘live teaching’ experience, I wanted to provide an update re my live audio testing sessions. With the help of a test group, we had participants ‘tune in’ from the same building as I was broadcasting, other school sites within our Board network and a couple of off site connections. For all connection types, we were able to improve audio quality.
Before the scheduled session each participant looked after two tasks:
1. check that their flash player was up to date, and complete the update if required and
2. complete this Online Audio Test.
Listeners found the greatest audio clarity when I used the USB Yeti microphone, which I purchased at the Apple store.
We also experimented with web cam settings to determine impact on the audio. With only one camera active, the fast image and slow image settings worked well. The high quality camera setting reduced audio quality (slight choppiness) but not overly disruptive. With multiple cameras active, the slow image setting produced the best overall results.
The test results were validated across the 2 test sessions using different locations and equipment for each session. I feel confident we can proceed with online teaching and our Canada Connections project.
This week I tried my first ‘extended time’ online instructional session with a few administrators in our system using Adobe Connect. The features of Adobe Connect all worked well in the live setting: status flags, chat window for comments and questions, the notes window for our agenda and screen sharing, which I used to project my browser window to remote users.
The feedback on the method of delivery was very positive. The challenge we experienced was the audio being somewhat choppy. This was not evident on my end as the extra ‘remote view’ computer I had set up to have an idea of what the participants were seeing and hearing yielded good results. Today I spent some time completing some research to learn more about how to improve this aspect of session delivery. The results of my search provided some good insight into some things to experiment with.
I am going to hold a couple of live audio test session to experiment with mics and audio settings to see if I can make some improvements in the audio delivery. I am experiementing with 4 different mic setups: a direct plug audio mic/headset, a Microsoft USB LifeChat LX3000 headset, a USB Snowball and the USB Yeti microphone. One recommendation was for a Shure 58 mic (requires a pre-amp before it can plug into a computer). I have the equipment to test this too, so may throw this option into the mix. I will share what I learn.
I found the following resources to be helpful:
Adobe Connect Resources
Connect 7 Audio Tips
Can they hear you now?
U. Dallas Resources
Penn State – Audio Tips
Online Audio Test
If you have tips to share on this topic, please leave a comment.