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2015

Ok, so your an Admin that has the fortune to have Adobe Connect integrated into Canvas. If you have not done it yet, here are some destructions: Canvas Integration with Adobe Connect (Once the blog postings are approved, I'll update the links. )

 

Let's talk about Best Practices. Better yet call it "things you better do or you will have to have the cleanup on isle 9."

 

If you are a Canvas Admin, but you are not the Adobe Connect Admin (ACA), then you just might want to share this with them. This is some of the stuff I have been sharing. It is designed for in house documentation, but you should get the picture from it.

 

Best Practices

 

Creating a new conference:

  • When an instructor uses conferences for the first time, they do not have a user account in Adobe Connect. So the instructor will have to create a test room first. This will then place the instructor as a Participant in the web conference room. Instructors will need to be assigned as a Host on the Connect sever in order to use Adobe Connect in the course. The ACA will then need to be notified that that instructor's Canvas generated account will need to be added into the Meeting Host system group in the Connect server.
  • Naming convention. Evidently, the conference tool creates a double name in Connect for meeting rooms. The Canvas shell's short name is preset, then followed with a default title in the name section. A best practice is to have the instructor Delete the entire default title in the Name section. Type the current semester (S=Spring, F=Fall, M=Summer) with year followed with the date (yy-mm-dd) and your last name (i.e. S14-03-19-Smith). This is done to ensure your meeting room is not deleted until the end of the semester. ACA's may delete old conferences from past semesters, and so naming your conferences in this way helps them identify old conferences and  maintain license parameters. Note:You will get an error message when you try to start a conference if your title has too many characters, so keep your conference title as short as possible. The limit is 26 characters with no spaces. If your last name has over 16 characters, just shorten it so it meets the 26 character limit. See image.

Screenshot of the Name field.

Connect Maintenance:

  • We do have a maintenance practice which happens after every semester. We delete all of the created meetings as listed under the User Meetings > 'canvas' Meeting List directory. Since these meeting rooms are only used by the course shell that created them, there is no sense in keeping them. A neater digital footprint is the result. If we have an instructor that needs to keep a recording, we can relocate the file to a directory outside of the Meetings > 'canvas' Meeting List directory. Or we move it to our Kaltura instance.

 

Troubleshooting

 

I.  Access Denied:

  1. “Unable to access meeting room created.” Meeting room was created without following “Naming Convention”- This is where the host created a room via Canvas and did not follow the F14-mm-dd-yourlastname format or because they have exceeded 26 characters.
    1. SOLUTION: Delete the meeting room and create a new room following the naming convention.
  2. “Page not found” -This is a result of Adobe Connect timing out. Connectivity speeds and internet traffic do influence access ability. The only action you can control is in having the user perform the following tasks in this order.
    1. 1st (Possible) SOLUTION: Have user reload their browser window. User may need to restart their web browser.
    2. 2nd (Work around) SOLUTION: Obtain the room name for the meeting in Canvas. As a Connect admin, log into the Connect Server directly as you will need to acquire the meeting room URL.  At the top of the Connect Server dashboard, under the Connect logo, is the System Navigation bar. [Home|Content|Meetings|Reports|...] Click on Meetings. Under the system navigation bar, additional sub-links appear. Select the User Meetings link. This will take you to the Meeting List directory. All meetings created by Canvas are placed in the CANVAS folder.  In this directory, you will see all of the meetings listed by course and section number with the meeting room name as set by the instructor. (Yes not everyone follows directions). Once the meeting room is found click on the title link. This will take you to the Meeting Information page. It is here that the meeting room URL can be copied from. Send the URL to the attendee. This should take them to the disclosure page, where they can then enter in the meeting without any issues.
      1. If the Login screen appears for them this is a result of another issue. The Canvas Admin and ACA may need to contact Instructure.
  3. “After I click on the meeting room link in Canvas, it takes me to a Connect login screen.” After clicking on the meeting room link, a recording disclosure appears, then the user is able to access the meeting room. When this does not happen, the Connect login screen will appear. This is an issue because the user cannot log into the course with a username and password. These are only supplied via Canvas. The temporary solution is the following:
      1. Tell them that they must access the room as a guest only. (Technically, anyone with the meeting room URL will be given Participant access.)
      2. If they are the instructor - DO NOT have them log into Connect as it will ruin their user account. HAVE them use the GUEST access. You will also need to go into the meeting room yourself. Once there, grant the instructor as a HOST within the meeting room.
      3. If you do not have HOST access yourself, close the meeting window. Return to the Meeting Information page. Click on the Edit Participants tab above the red bar. From there you will see two pod windows. Available U&G and Current Participants For XXXX… Find yourself in the Available Users window. Do not choose the +canvas-connect email account, as this is the one that Canvas created for you. Select on your correct email account. Then click on the Add button in the lower right of that pod window. Your name should then appear in the current participants list. At the bottom of that pod, click on the Set User Role and change your user role to Host. This will then give you host access to the meeting room.
      4. Do not add the instructor as the Host in the same way as mentioned above. It will not work as it will require them to access the meeting room through the Connect login screen. Since they do not have that username nor the password… de are hosen.

 

Be sure to contact your ACA and Canvas Admin so they can follow up on this integration issue with Instructure.

 

II. Instructor only has Participant Access:

     If an instructor is a first time user, their Canvas created account has yet to be added into the Host users group. This is a one time procedure that is needed to be performed. See the following  tutorial: The specified item was not found.

After the conference room is created the following information is shared:

Due to the current nature of our Canvas-Connect integration, you will be listed as a Participant the first time you create a conference. You will need to be assigned as a Host on the Connect server in order to use Adobe Connect in your course. This assignment is only needed to be performed once by the ACA.  Once  action has been performed the instructor will be able to host web conferences via Canvas.

     To perform this task you will need to login to the Connect Server. On the System navigation bar. [Home|Content|Meetings|Reports|...] Select Administration. Under the System Navigation bar, click on the second sublink called Users and Groups. This will display the Users and Groups pod window.

Click on the Meeting Hosts group. It will then be highlighted in green. At the bottom of the pod window the link buttons will become active. Click on Information. This will show the group information page. Above the red bar, click on Edit Group Information. This will display two pod windows- Possible Group Members and Current Group Members. Scroll or search for the Instructor’s account created by Canvas. (hint: It is the one with +canvas-connect inserted in their email address.) Select their user account which will be highlighted in green. Then click on the Add button in the lower right of that pod window. Their name will be added to the Host group. Once performed, you can log out for the next task.

Notes:

  1. Faculty should close the meeting room window within their browser before performing this task. Once you have completed your end of the task, then have them re-initiate the meeting room via Canvas.  
  2. Faculty should not need a direct to Connect (Connect Server access) account. All accounts and access to Connect should be via Canvas.

Hopefully this is the better location for this information.

 

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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