How-to for C301 hangouts

First, some tips:

Connecting from remote machines

You must use Chrome to connect to the c301 system. You'll need the URL for the hangout (should be avilable via the page you used to reach this help)

You'll be presented with a signin screen.

Sign in with either:

  1. your gmail account (e.g. myself@gmail.google.com) or
  2. Your rutgers scarletmail username (e.g. myself@scarletmail.rutgers.edu) for Rutgers-private hangouts.

The hangout interface allows you to adjust whether you're sending audio or video, and hang up the connection.





Once you are connected (from your remote location), you'll have several sources to view the presentation.
1) Slides
The slides being presented on the projector/tvs in C301.

2) Camera 1 - the speaker/podium
Video of the speaker and part of the first row of the audience, so you can see the speaker.

3) Camera 2 - the audience
Most of the the audience.

To select between, use the video directory on the lower right part of the hangout screen.

For problems or for additional help, please contact help@cs.rutgers.edu

Originating a hangout

Send mail to help@cs.rutgers.edu to set up the hangout. Tell us the date, time and length, and if you want the hangout to be Rutgers-private, or general-access.

When a session is not active, the cameras and microphones do NOT send anything to the hangout. If you don't ask for a session, your c301 presentation is private to that room.

As far as presenting, you don't have to do much different from a regular c301 presentation. Plug your laptop into the appropriate cable, select 'laptop' to send to the projectors (or select 'podium' to use the podium), turn on the speaker for remote people to talk back (see below), turn on the projector, tv's, and the "handwave" display (if you want), and off you go.

Microphone discipline
Like any remote-chat system, remote users should turn off their microphones when they aren't needed. We generally recommend chat headsets for significant interaction, but they are not required. To try and keep things as class-like as possible, we've added a "handwave" display for remote speakers (see below).
Speaker for remote talker
Just turn on the speaker. It is currently attached to the TV to the right of the projector (when facing the whiteboard.) Adjust the volume to suit.

Bandwidth

NOTE: 'hangout' auto-throttles throughput, often more restrictively than necessary. If it does, you can adjust yours by selecting the bar-graph icon in the center of your chrome window:

slide it over to the right as far as possible.

Handwave display
When remote people want to ask a question, they can just start talking, of course. However, this may be disorienting to people in the room, so we added a "handwave." There's a display in the back of the room, which connects to the hangout.

To 'wave a hand', remote users can click on the "hand" on the website at https://services.cs.rutgers.edu/cgi-bin/handwave.pl

This will run a little animated hand-wave on the back-of-the-room 'handwave display', and allow the speaker to pause organically and ask for the question.


Slide Fonts

Since the video of the slides (it's done via a gizmo that converts hdmi to webcam-looking usb) is heavily encoded, some care should be taken in selecting fonts. (Specific sizes depends on what font you're using, so hard-and-fast rules are not quite on.)

This slide looks great (click on the image to see full-sized):

This slide looks fine on the left, but the right side is hard to read.

This one is on the edge, but notice that boldface fonts are easier to read.

This slide has two issues: that the text in the upper-right graphic is pretty hard to read, and the text in the lower right is obscured with the video directory. The second issue is easily handled (the remote person can shrink the size of the directory with command-minus (mac) and control-minus (windows/linux); or just leave the lower right to less critical text. The font issue just means you should select slightly larger fonts than you might otherwise for "small text."