Video Conferencing

What is Video Conferencing? content

What is Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing (VC) is a critical part of the advanced communications and technology strategy used throughout UHI for learning, teaching and administration.

There are about 180 VC units on the university network. There are also multipoint control units (MCUs or 'bridges'), which enable multi-site conferences to be scheduled, monitored and remotely managed. UHI manages more than 15000 multi-site conferences per year in addition to many locally dialled point-to-point calls. This makes UHI one of the biggest users of videoconferencing in the UK and the video conferencing service (VCS) staff work closely with the manufacturers in developing and testing new equipment and facilities in order to continuously develop and improve the service.

The VC service is delivered by the Learning & Information Services department and includes day-to-day scheduling of all multi-site conferences, and technical support to staff and student users. Each academic partner also offers local first line support and basic training.

Within UHI, video conferencing is used to teach, host seminars and to hold meetings. It allows geographically disperse groups to interact without having the burden and cost of travel.

It also allows people to share applications, files and data which makes it easy to hold presentations and review documents in a VC session.

When is video conferencing available?

The service is available during office hours and in the evenings dependent on local site access. However there will be times when we need to carry out essential maintenance work or service improvements. We will, whenever possible, give notice of any work that will require an outage.

Where can I get more help with video conferencing? complete the relevant form on Unidesk in the first instance.

How do I report a problem? complete the relevant form on Unidesk

Handy links

Preparing for a VC session content

Preparing for a VC session

Preparing for a VC session

A few points before you start using Video Conferencing services

  • If you are connecting from new equipment, make sure you test the connection prior to starting. You can call the test conference number (79799@uhi.ac.uk) from Cisco Webex Teams or the VC suite/studio you are in.
  • Get to know your equipment beforehand, for example, it is important to know how to mute your mic prior to starting.
  • If you are connecting from a studio, find out from the organiser if you need to dial in or if your studio will automatically be connected.
  • Make sure you've confirmed to the organiser where you are expecting to join from, last minute changes can affect the dial-in code for all.
  • Make sure you have been given the correct dial in code.
Booking a VC session content

Booking a VC session

Booking a VC session

  • Before you can book a VC session, you first need to book a VC studio to sit in or get a PC to sit at.
  • If you are just connecting to one other person or studio, just dial them directly yourself - no conference is needed unless there are 3+ individuals/rooms wishing to video conference together.
  • If you need a video conference with 3+ individuals/rooms then you need complete the VC Booking Request form on UniDesk.
  • If you need an internal (UHI) only video conference with other staff or for teaching you should create a 'Space' in Cisco Webex Teams (see 'Cisco Webex Teams - Spaces' section)

Cisco Webex Teams - Spaces

Staff can create their own personal 'Spaces' in Cisco Webex Teams for internal meetings or for teaching with students. You can moderate your space, record your meetings, chat, share files etc. This means you don't have to complete a VC booking request with the Servicedesk before having a video conference and means that there is not a strain on the capacity of the VC service.

A few things to note:

  • the Servicedesk have no control over your 'space', you are in control, you can also give others the power to control the space with you.
  • Unlike booked conference through the Servicedesk, you will have to allow others into the meeting.

Please watch our short instructional video below on creating and using your own 'Space' to see just how easy it is.

More Information

Cisco Webex (VCs hosted on our own VC bridge) is changing to Cisco Webex Teams (VCs hosted by Cisco in the cloud). This gives us increased capacity and resilience and was a move planned later in the year that has been brought forward by the current situation.

If you already had the desktop client installed (which is called 'Cisco Webex Teams') it remains the same. It's the same client/application but we will be using a different VC bridge, meaning we will use the same application in a different way.

Meeting Organisers

If you have an existing 5 digit CMR code (e.g. 51800) this will stop working. You will need to create a new 'meeting space' in your Cisco Webex Teams client (the speech bubble icon on the left hand side and then the + symbol), please see our video guide to the left for more information. Anyone you add to your 'Space' will then see this in their Spaces area (speech bubble area) and can join the meeting automatically by clicking on the green "Meet" icon.

These meeting spaces also have a 9 digit dial in code (e.g. 123456789@uhi.webex.com) you can also issue to meeting members and guests which can be found in the Space Meeting information by clicking on the "Schedule" icon. However, for people dialling in using the code you will need to accept them into the meeting manually when they join before they can participate (again, see our video tutorial below)

In addition as meeting organiser you can also manage participant's mics, pretty important in large meetings with lots of background noise.

Meeting Participants

If you are added to a meeting space by an organiser you will then see the new meeting in your Cisco Webex Teams client/application and can join the meeting automatically by clicking on the green "Meet" icon. If you are not normally a regular participant in a meeting but have been invited to attend you may be issued with a 9 digit dial in code (e.g. 123456789@uhi.webex.com) instead by the meeting organiser.

Personal spaces

You will also all now have a personal meeting space for people to dial you directly. The code for this which you can give out is <username>@uhi.webex.com. e.g. eo01zz@uhi.webex.com.

Joining a VC session content

Joining a VC session

Joining a VC session

There are various kinds of conference and various ways to join a video conference, here is a breakdown to help in your understanding.

  1. Staff members can request for the Servicedesk to create them a conference with a set time and date, this is usually so that an individual or organisation can join the conference from outside of our network or using their own VC suite/studio.
    To book a conference like this see the 'Booking a VC Session' section

    These VC's have a dial in code that start with a 7 (e.g. 79123@uhi.ac.uk).  See the 'How do I join a conference' section.

  2. Timetabled teaching VC's have a dial in code that start with a 6 (e.g. 601234@uhi.ac.uk). See the 'How do I join a conference' section.

    How do I find a dial in code for my course?

    Login to My Lectures with your student email address (see 'What is my Username?'), use the search field to look for the module name or code and it will display the dial in code for that module (e.g. 601234).

    Alternatively there is a My Lectures tile within myday

  3. Cisco Webex Teams Spaces is a new service that we are using that will give a much better control over your meeting than ever before.

    See the 'Cisco Webex Teams - Spaces' section for more information.

Watching a recorded VC session

Be advised that there are two types of VC recordings:

  • One is via tcs.uhi.ac.uk (see below for information)
  • Staff can record their meeting 'Spaces' within Cisco Webex Teams and will publish their recordings on their 'Space', via email or Brightspace

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If you have attended a VC with a dial in code such as 60123@uhi.ac.uk or 79123@uhi.ac.uk then the  Log in to http://tcs.uhi.ac.uk using your user id in the format UHIAD\userid

See the video at the bottom of this section for a quick video tutorial.

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If you are unable to playback a VC recording, we recommend that you try the following troubleshooting:

1. Refresh the browser by pressing F5 or the refresh button on the browser
2. Try using a different browser
3. Select the 'Set bandwidth preferences' tab below the play back box and lower the speed
4. Select the 'Download' tab below the play back box and click on the MPEG-4 link and download.

If you still cannot access the recording, you should complete the VC Recording Unidesk form

Learning and Teaching Info content

Learning and Teaching Info

Learning and Teaching Info

Learning and Teaching staff should visit https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/educational-development-unit/remote-teaching/ to confirm what technology they should be adopting for Video Conferencing.

Guides content

Guides

Guides

 

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          Touch 10 screen

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          C20 touch panel

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        TRC5 Remote

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        TRC6 remote control

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Training

Training materials are available for the videoconferencing kit that was installed with ERDF funding in 2010.

  • There is a module on the VLE, under the 'Training' section of the Course Catalog.  The code is TRAIN_NGNVC and the title is "Next Generation Videoconferencing"
  • A3 posters are available for the videoconferencing rooms and PDF copies of these are also available

For any of the above please contact Marion MacDonald