Elluminate Screenshot

Elluminate: Students’ First Impressions (PAD/CRJ 747)

Course:  PAD/CRJ 747 (Spring 2010)

Title:  Technology and Computer Applications on Public Management and Criminal Justice

Level:  Graduate

Date: February 2010

This is an online class that will make use of Elluminate several times during the semester. This was the students first exposure to the software. Students received five (5) days notice of the Elluminate lectur e. Students received a thirty (30) minute “Elluminate Introduction” followed by ninety (90) minutes of course introduction on Elluminate. Students were then asked the following question in a Blackboard discussion forum. Students had 7 days to reply. Ten (10) out of fifteen (15) students responded. A recording of the Elluminate class is available upon request.


Please provide feedback about your experience with the Elluminate software. Since you were able to experience Elluminate first hand during the online class meeting, it will be great to be able to receive your feedback on the product.

This virtual classroom is a possibility to expand the teachings online and your honest  opinion will be greatly appreciated and taken very seriously. Lastly, do not forget to EXPLAIN the reasons why you do or do not like the program.

Student 1

So far my experience with elluminate seems pretty interesting. While at first I was a bit skeptical about it. I then discovered that my husband uses it for his entire online degree at his private college and he loves it. I did have to invest in a microphone which I have yet to see how it will function. While it’s wonderful to still feel the “in class” setting virtually I do feel an added pressure when I can’t log in for a session due to either work, or personal reasons. (The first session I did feel a bit awkward since my daughter was in the room and I was scared she would want to start playing around.)

I personally tend to be a bit shy in classroom setting and online courses allow me to express my thoughts/opinions and Elluminate doesn’t seem to hinder my feelings. So, so far “two thumbs up”.

Now I do have a question I started with Black Board back in early 2005 and there used to be a virtual classroom through blackboard did that get removed with the upgrade. Also Prof. Harrow I think it’s essential that when students registered it is noted that they will require a webcam/microphone for this course. Just FYI..

Student 2

It was a great experience. It would more helpful if we would be able to see all students at the same time. Or have an option to choose who we want to see. I hope that next time more people will attend and everyone will have headphones with mic.

Student 3

I was not able to get online and be part of the virtual classroom. I was working that night. The presentation was very important because the professors discussed the requirement for the course including the IRP project. I was unable to access the virtual classroom when I tried for the first time. The Elluminate software was not working when I tried at first with the Internet Explorer browser.  I downloaded Firefox and it worked. I tried the software today with Internet Explorer and its working too. The software is good because it’s has a user friendly interface and the sound and graphic were clear. This is my first time taking an online class and I’m amaze with the way the education system is progressing with the use of technology. This software offers the students that have a family and a full time job the opportunity to advance in their education and obtain a college degree.

There are other video conferences software in the market that we could try throughout the semester to see the differences and enhance our video conference experience in our course. Some of these videos conferencing software are IBM Lotus Live, Cisco TelePresence and Skype.

Student 4

I was unable to attend the live session but watched it afterwards and found it to be a great new aspect to online learning. I knew that live  online sessionsI were possible but didn’t realize we were able to use such technology at John Jay. I’ve taken a few online classes but by having a type of virtual class room, I think it will make this class that much more rewarding.

Student 5

Unfortunately, I was not able to participate in virtual classroom provided through the Elluminate Software. Despite that fact I truly believe that the Elluminate Software is one of the greatest innovations created to improve communication through video and audio technology. The only concern I have is the lack of experience and knowledge of the software. Being unable at the beginning to get even the access to the recorded lecture (as I heard I was not the only one who had problems with opening the link) was simply frustrating and embarrassing. I would like to benefit from this program as much as I can, but I would rather prefer to have some sort of training before I started to use it. For someone who is not really advanced in computers and technology, the way of figuring out the basic steps by myself can take forever and might not to be as functional as it should be.

Student 6

I have utilize software similar to this before but I find Elluminate to be more easy to navigate. It provides a wealth of different options that make it easy to accomplish any goal one may have. I find it to be very beneficial and I feel that it should be incorporated into all graduate programs both within and outside the CUNY community.

Response to Student 6’s post

I agree with you , Im surprised I have never heard anyone mention it before.  None of my friends have ever used it in their colleges or universities.  It is especially helpful in snowy conditions like today and tomorrow. I am sure more classes will make use of it as it becomes more popular.  Maybe not for regular classes because students attend class in person but definitely for online classes.

Student 7

Illuminate software is similar to Skype, however, the first one is more convenient because it gives the ability to see up to 4 people simultaneously. The only one real concern is about frequent troubleshooting with the sound. Illuminate program catches a lot of outside sounds which bring some noises. But for the purposes of virtual classes and conferences, I think it works quite suitably (however, it needs more modifications in quality of video as well as sound).

Student 8

I didn’t attend the virtual classroom on the actual date but I did watch it at a later time and I thought that it was very interesting and it reminded me of skype because of the use of web cams, microphones and how you interact with people over the web. I believe that this form of virtual class room is a great way of doing things especially if and when you have an issue and it might be easier for a person to communicate with classmates or the professor and get feedback on assignments or some other issue. I think that Elluminate will be a good thing for those students who aren’t exactly familiar with technology when it comes to the computer and different applications and how they may work or who aren’t familiar with the whole online class process. I have to say that at first I was wondering what is this that they want us to do but then when I watched and saw how elluminate worked it opened my eyes to a new way of running a classroom, I’m familiar with the whole online class process but never anything like this exactly, it was new to me as I’m sure it was new to most of the students in this class. I can see how it might be intimidating to some but it never hurts to learn something new because who new elluminate existed? I would have never known about this if it wasn’t for this experience. I see this as something good and a fresh new way of  getting everyone involved. Thank you for the experience!

Response to Student 8’s Post

I also thought it was similar to skype.  I def agree with your comments and I am too looking forward to using it for this class.

Student 9

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the live session on Elluminate.  However, after viewing the video that was recorded from that night, I believe it is great tool for enhancing academic learning.  This new way of online learning is almost similar to the traditional classroom.  Being able to listen and watch the professors and other classmates speak, with the use of webcams and microphones, is very helpful and informative.  I like how this live virtual classroom can provide interaction and immediate feedback.  In my opinion, this is an excellent course for students to sign up for and become more comfortable with computers and technology.

Student 10

Before this course, I had no idea what Elluminate was or that it even existed.  I logged on to watch the virtual classroom lecture and I was impressed.  As someone who does not know much about technology I found this to be more comforting and personal.  I wish I could have joined in on the actual live chat but it was great to be able to see both professors and even classmates.  The feature I really enjoyed was the messaging box where we could type in comments or questions which were addressed by the professors. I also like the fact that we can revisit the chat and rewind any parts we want to view or hear again.  It is as if we have a personal video recorder in a classroom and we have the ability to take notes and hear our professors as many times as we need to understand what is being covered.

I can also see how this could be intimidating to some students and a bit odd to get used to seeing oneself on camera on the computer screen. I was intimidated a bit myself even though I did not participate in the live chat.  I guess it is a matter of adjustment.  It can also be a bit stressful and I think there should be several training sessions with the professors so each student can test their head set, microphone and camera before they have to use it in a group project just to ensure that they are in working order.  Another suggestion I have is to offer the chat later during the night so everyone can participate (maybe around 8 or 9pm) and on a day when no one has class (e.g. Sundays).  I can see how students, due to work schedules or other classes, would not be able to participate and take advantage of this program.

Overall I like Elluminate because it is practical and I can definitely see it being used nationwide in many companies.  It can be used for various meetings and it allows people to work from home.

I am looking forward to the challenges this course will present.  I am both excited to learn new things but also a bit intimidated.  I like to receive all assignments ahead of time because it makes it easier to manage along with other classes and work.  Being in control of what is assigned is important to make sure that all assignments are complete with all that is required before the deadline.  I know we have to log in several times during the week to comment and give feedback on other people’s work but I hope we can have it outlined ahead of time, which seems like it has been indicated on blackboard. This course will prepare each student and challenge us to be self sufficient. I know that there is zero tolerance policy on lateness, I just hope we have enough time to complete each task.  The introductions were great and the vcard assignment was something different but something I will definitely use at work.

This course is a requirement for the MPA program and a very crucial course because technology is growing. I don’t think this would be a great masters program if it didn’t prepare its students to what they can encounter in the real world.  If we put in the time now, it will be a lot easier in the future.

Thank you for introducing me to something new.

Student 10

Although I was not present at the lecture, I had no problems in accessing the recorded session the next day. I believe that Elluminate provides a revolutionary method of teaching that is more convenient for some teachers/students. This software allows for actual teaching in an online course rather than just providing assignments and written lecture notes. I like how the software allows you to see multiple people on webcam rather than just the instructor, as well as the listing of everyone that is in the “classroom”. Also displaying who is specifically talking (if they do not have a webcam) is also very useful. Although I have not used Elluminate before the first lecture of this course, I have no specific negative things to say about it at this time.

Student 11

The Elluminate lectures are very interesting. It is a way of learning about the technological advances that are being made today. Years back we would never have believed that this type of online classroom setting would be occurring. I found it to be an educational way of showing us new ways of learning, while keeping the students involved in a virtual setting.

* All responses are published anonymously with the consent of the authors.