Timing: up to 2 hours
Part 1: Setting up
These steps are particularly important if you have not used OU Live before but some are important if you have.
- If you don’t already have one, please get hold of a USB headset consisting of earphones and microphone. (If you were to use the microphone(s) built into your computer/laptop, this could cause audio problems such as lower-quality sound for your fellow participants, if not for you. This may be particularly difficult if someone in your group is hard of hearing. Not having a headset could disrupt others in the tutorial, even if you are not aware of the problem yourself.)
- The OU recommends that, if possible, you use a headset with a USB plug rather than a jack plug. If possible, use a cable rather than wifi to connect your computer to the internet: a cable is more reliable. If you have to use wifi, please ensure you have a strong signal. The OU does not recommend using a mobile internet connection (dongle) for OU Live because dongles have been found to be insufficiently reliable.
- Go to the Resources section of the H817 home page and click on ‘Students’ own OU Live sessions’. A new web page will open, giving you access to student areas labelled A, B, C and D. When you click on your chosen area, you will be taken to a page where you can select ‘Check for common issues, and verify…’. Then click on ‘Join Session’.
- If you have not used OU Live recently, you may well not have the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher installed on your machine. If so, Blackboard Collaborate will detect this and will give you the download link; the OU Computing Guide gives detailed instructions for Windows and Mac, and a variety of browsers.
- You should only need to install the Launcher the first time you use OU Live. However, you may still be prompted to download the Launcher again – for example, if you cleared your cache and cookies the last time you exited your browser, used secure/private browsing, or used a different browser.
- Once you are in the OU Live environment, test the equipment to make sure that you can both hear and speak in OU Live. To do this, go to the horizontal menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Tools> Audio> Audio Setup Wizard and follow the steps there. You need to test that:
- you will be able to hear what is said
- others will be able to hear you speak.
- If the audio setup works for you, please send a message to your group in the ‘OU Live’ discussion thread to let your group and your tutor know. If anyone is reporting difficulties, see if you can help them.
- If the audio setup does not work for you, please send a message to your group in the ‘OU Live’ discussion thread to see if anyone can help. The OU Computing Guide also has a useful section on OU Live, including information on troubleshooting.
Part 2: Joining an OU Live voice discussion
Your tutor will run an OU Live session – probably lasting about an hour – and will invite people to drop in at any point. They will fix the details with the group, via messages in the forum or by email. Two or three tutors may run a joint drop-in session for everyone in their groups, so that more tutors are available to help.
This session is a valuable test run in using OU Live. It gives you a chance to see if your computer set-up works and to identify any difficulties. If you know you can’t make the drop-in, post a message in your group forum and see if one or two others can join you at another time this week in one of Student Areas A–D. You reach these areas from the Resources section of the H817 website: click on ‘Students’ own OU Live sessions’.
If you can reach the OU Live session but find you can’t hear or speak, use the chat box in the OU Live interface (probably at the bottom-left of your screen). To send a message, click in the horizontal box, type the message, and press Return.
Note to all H817 students: if, after the drop-in, you still have a problem, post a message to your tutor group forum’s ‘OU Live’ discussion thread and/or consult the OU Computing Guide’s section on OU Live troubleshooting. If that also fails, please contact the OU Computing Helpdesk.
You are free at any time, in any week, to run an OU Live session with other students in the areas for students – A–D.