Canvas Integration with Adobe Connect

Document created by Ean Harker on May 13, 2015
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I am not sure if this is the correct place to share this... Meh, let's see how it works.

 

Evidently my popularity has been growing over the years with this specific topic. I have helped many with integrating Adobe Connect into Canvas. At least in trying to get it to work.

 

Hopefully this discussion will give you some direction, or misdirection on how to perform this task. (This is based off my InstructureCon '14 presentation on this topic.) To keep this particular discussion from being a mega novel, I will compose aCanvas to Adobe Connect Best Practices / Troubleshooting post.   

 

Assuming that you have an instance of Canvas and that you have an instance of Adobe Connect, you should be able to pick up from here.

First thing though, it should not matter if you are hosting or have your instances of both products hosted for you by the companies themselves.

 

If your Canvas admin and Connect Admin are not the same person, then it would be advised to have them read this together. Unless you like email tag?

 

For system setup:

On the Adobe Connect side...

Step 1 - Account set up

  • Log into your Connect server.
  • Access your Administration tab - as found on the system navigation bar.
  • Under the system navigation bar, additional sub-links appear. Select Users and Groups.
  • This will display the Users and Groups pod window. At the bottom of the window are the pod tools. Click on the New User button.
  • That action will bring up the New User Information form. It is here that you will create an account using the generic email in which you have obtained earlier.
  • At the bottom of the form click on Next>
  • This will then display the Edit Group Membership interface. You will see two pods: Possible Groups and Current Group Membership. It is here that you will add your generic email account to an administrator group. NOTE: Since this is a generic account, it is wise to have this Connect account be added to the Administrators - Limited system group. This will limit what can be done in your Connect system if/ever an account access compromise occurs. So use it to reduce the hacker's control.
  • Add your user account by clicking on the desired system group. It will highlight in green. At the bottom of the Possible Groups pod, the Add button will activate. Click on Add and you will see that that group appears in the Current Group Membership pod.
  • Upon display, you then can click on the Finish button as seen under the Current Group Membership pod. This will complete the creation of the user account in Connect.

 

Step 2 - Administrator settings

     If you have decided to not use the Administrators - Limited system group for this account then please skip this step. If you have decided to use the limited system group, you better pay attention.

  • Access the Users and Groups page
  • Click on the Administrators - Limited System Group. It will highlight as green. At the bottom of the pod, the Information button will become activated.
  • Click on the Information button. This will bring up the Group Information page. Above the page description bar you will see three link choices.
  • Click on the Edit Limited Administrator Permissions link.
  • On this page a display of system permissions will appear for you to choose from. NOTE: Only check the permissions you want for this system group. You will have to have the following checked for the integration to work.
  • For the integration to work, you will need to have the following permissions checked:
    • Users and Groups
      • View User Data
        • Reset Password
        • Add users and groups using Web Interface
        • Modify current users and groups
      • Modify user profile fields
      • Change the login and password policies
    • Account Management
      • Edit account information
    • Permissions
      • Set content, meeting and seminar permissions
      • Allow Limited Administrators to access meeting, content and seminar folders

 

Step 3 - Meetings Directory setup

     In this step you will need to setup the meeting directory folder. The meeting directory is where all of the meetings are created and located. Recordings will be kept with the meetings within this meeting directory.

  • Go to the Meetings tab - as found on the system navigation bar.
  • Under the system navigation bar, additional sub-links appear. Select User Meetings.
  • This will take you to the Users Meetings page which contains the Meeting List directory. On this page you will need to create a new folder.
  • On the Meeting List button bar, click on the New Folder button.
  • A New Folder screen will display. Here you will name your directory folder where all of the Canvas conference meetings will be created under. Note: In keeping things simple, name the folder canvas, in lower case.

 

On the Instructure side...

 

Step 4 - Activating the Integration

     In this stage you will need to contact your Instructure CSM and send them the following:

  • Your Adobe Connect server URL
  • The directory folder name (a.k.a. canvas)
  • The Connect Admin account email address (what was the generic email account).

     Your CSM will then activate your Connect integration for your institution to the Conferences course tool.

Administrators Information:

Adobe Connect Admins-

     You will need to be aware that there are two ways faculty can access Connect.

  1. The first is the direct access to your Connect server. This will require you to create a user account directly in Connect.
  2. The second is through the account that Canvas will create on the Connect server for the instructor. (For the instructor to use Connect via Canvas there are some one-time only setup instructions you will need to both perform so that the instructor can be the Host in the meeting room. Please read my post on The specified item was not found. )

     Now if your institution is like mine, you might have a limit of Meeting Hosts with your license. So you may have a potential to eat up your slots quickly. For example: Professor X has a direct Connect access account, and then decides to use the Conferences tool in Canvas. This in essence could create a scenario where Professor X will have two user accounts in Connect. For a solution check out my Canvas to Adobe Connect Best Practices / Troubleshooting  post on this topic.

 

What you will be seeing on your side of the coin...

User accounts

     Once a meeting is created via Canvas, an user account is generated. The account will take the Canvas identifier email address (username@institution.edu) and inject ‘+canvas-connect’ into the email address making the Connect account as username+canvas-connect@institution.edu. The bonus of this is that you as an Admin will be able to tell what accounts will be coming from Canvas vs. those accounts you generate directly in Connect.

     You potentially will see that there are other accounts created in Connect that are not from your institution email system in their user account. These are typically accounts created by Canvas when an instructor promotes a participant to a presenter or meeting host within the web conference. These accounts will never be listed under your Meeting Host group, unless you add them to that group. A good rule of thumb is to delete those user accounts at the end of every semester, as to keep things clean.

     You cannot merge a Canvas created account into a Connect account. If you alter the Canvas Created account, Canvas will create a new one. Accounts created in Canvas cannot be accessed (logged into) through Connect directly. Let's just say it is complicated and that we don't want to give away that info to hackers.

 

Meetings and Account Directories

     In the Meetings > User Meetings > Meeting List directory, you will see a folder created for every user account included within the Meeting Host system group. This shows the half-baked part of the integration. No content for the Canvas generated users will be put into their meeting folders. The meetings created is all accessed via the CANVAS folder that you created (that is if you named your meeting directory as such).

     Under the User Meetings > 'canvas' Meeting List directory, you will see all of the Canvas created meetings. The meetings are singularly named with two parts. The first part of the meeting name consist of shortname of the Canvas shell. The second part is what the instructor named the meeting as seen in The specified item was not found.. If the instructor does not customize the name further you could see something like this; AA-6040-01: AA-6040-01 Conference [13401]

     I recommend that you put in place a naming convention to keep your maintenance a tad bit easier. See my Canvas to Adobe Connect Best Practices / Troubleshooting  post.

     Another thing you will see is that under the Content > User Content  Content List you will not have a 'canvas' folder. No content uploaded will go into this directory, at least from the Canvas generated accounts. Content uploaded will go to the 'canvas' > specific meeting folder > Uploaded Content.

     Recordings cannot be edited via Canvas, by Canvas created accounts. That feature is only for those with direct Connect accounts.

     If you have any further questions, feel free to peruse our tutorials on using Connect: Conferences (Adobe Connect) | SUU Help Center and naturally any other posts relating to this topic.

 

Canvas Admins -

     You will need to be aware that the integration is not a fully baked one. The integration currently is a “one-way hash” for security. For the instructor to use Connect via Canvas there are some one-time only setup instructions you will need to both perform so that the instructor can be the Host in the meeting room. Please read my post on The specified item was not found..

     You also may want to review my troubleshooting notes as well, as there are a few things that can complicate things for your faculty if they don't follow some basic best practices. Please read my post on Canvas to Adobe Connect Best Practices / Troubleshooting 

 

Conference Recordings

     Conference recordings are only available after the instructor closes out the meeting in Canvas.

     If your Adobe Connect Admin (ACA) practices a ritual house cleaning, be aware that when meeting rooms are deleted, that the recordings will also be deleted. So it is best to have your ACA relocate the recordings to another directory, or to upload a copy to your media streaming service/server. Links to that special guest lecturer will also be broken in the file relocation. So you will need to have the instructor rebuild the links.

 

Well I think that is good to leave this post at this point. Feel free to add/inquire to this post.

 

See ya Starside!

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