As a facilitator you are an integral part of the success of our Collaborate classes here at GHC - we literally could not do this without you. Our facilitators not only help students get acclimated to the technology used in Collaborate classes, but also guide GHC students towards independent thinking and problem solving. In addition, you also serve as a cultural touchstone for new students: Many times our facilitators are the first instructors that students encounter in their college careers. As such, here are the typical facilitator activities that we've created based on the experiences of those that have come before you. We would love for you to share your experiences to make this list even better! Please note that the duties listed below assume that you will be in a class with multiple students. If you aren't in a classroom or are only helping one student, your facilitation duties will be a bit simpler.
Before Class Starts
Get The Teacher Station Ready
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. If at all possible please try to get to the class as early. It takes a few minutes to get the class set up for a Collaborate session. If you have a student helper they can help with all Before Class activities.
- Logon to Collaborate from the Teacher Station and Project It. During the first couple of weeks of class students may run into some issues getting logged in to a computer or onto Collaborate. If you login as the facilitator and project the session this cuts down temendously on 1) students anxiety and 2) the professor's starting lag time. In other words if you have the session projected everyone can get started even if there are login problems. If you have any issues at this point they usually have to do with a faulty link or with an old version of Java. If you have any problems with the Collaborate link, please alert the professor asap. If you have Java problems please contact I.T. asap. Note: The professor will send you the link ahead of time.
- Run the Audio Setup Wizard. It's important to run the Audio Setup Wizard when you enter Collaborate. The Wizard takes care of 99% of audio problems. If you still have problems with the Audio, try the following solutions:
- Make sure that the computer isn't muted.
- If the computer isn't muted make sure that the teacher station A/V equipment isn't muted.
- If the equipment isn't muted change the speakers from Quadrophonic to Stereo. Here's a video on how to do that. Then run the Audio Setup Wizard again.
- If that doesn't work, unplug any headphones or external speakers and run the setup again.
- If that still doesn't work, restart Collaborate.
- If all else fails restart your computer.
Help the Students Get Setup
- Login to Student Computers. Students should logon to their computers as soon as they get to class. Sometimes students don't have their login credentials the first day or two of class. To get around this issue try to have a computer up and open to the GHC ID Lookup page. Students can then "self serve" and lookup their credentials as needed. Note: Not all campuses have the same login procedure. Most computer labs, though, note the local procedures on the computers themselves with a note.
- Find Collaborate Link. We encourage all professors to post their Collaborate link to their faculty webpages. Because some students can't get into email or D2L during the first class or two this is a handy, publicly accesible way to get the link to students. If the professor doesn't post the link you can email it to students at either their GHC emails (if they can get in) or a personal email. The login process is pretty easy for students but if they need more help it's available from the Collaborate Participant Guide. If Collaborate seems to be down completely check the Collaborate Support Portal for status updates.
- Turn Speaker Audio Down. If multiple students are using Collaborate in the classroom without headphones you can get some crazy echoes! :) Please remind them to turn their speaker volume - the Audio Slider above "Video" - all the way down. This way they can still use their "Talk" function without the computers echoing.
- Appoint a Student Helper. We highly reccomend that the professor appoint a helper for the class in both the sending and recieving sections. If the professor doesn't do this during the first or second class feel free to do this yourself. Student helpers can not only help you out while you're facilitating the class but can also serve as facilitators themselves after you are no longer facilitating the class. Make sure to let this student(s) help you with everything from this point on until you stop facilitating the class.
- Circulate and Help. During class students may need help with a variety of issues. Most notably, some students will likely come in late during the first couple of days of class and will need help logging on to a computer and logging on to collaborate. If you've appointed a student helper they can also help out with this task.
- Communicate Issues To The Professor. If you have any major issues going on don't hesitate to the the professor know during class. Since issues may involve sound, video, or even connecting to Collaborate itself make sure to have an alternate way to contact the professor.
- Talk With Your Student Helper and the Professor (if possible). If the professor and student helper(s) have time take a couple of minutes to talk about how the class went. What went well? What could have been better? In this way you can all work together to improve the experience for the next class.
- Turn Off the Technology. Check with your campus I.T. if you are unsure of the local policy on this.
- Troubleshoot Any Remaining Issues. Sometimes issues will arise that you can't fix in class. These can usually be solved by talking to the appropriate person. If you have problems with:
GHC Computers: Contact I.T. for problems including:
- Java updates
- Camera issues
- Persistent sound issues
- Student Computer: Have student contact I.T. if they will be using a personal computer to connect and are experiencing issues.
- Collaborate: Contact the professor.