Elluminate Screenshot

Elluminate: Students’ First Impressions (PAD/CRJ 747-02)

Course:  PAD/CRJ 747-02 (Spring 2010)

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

Level:  Graduate

Date: February 2010

This is a hybrid course that will be using Elluminate several times this semester. This was the third class meeting for the semester. The previous two sessions met in person at John Jay College. Students were given five (5) days notice regarding the Elluminate classroom. Students received a thirty (30) minute “Elluminate Introduction” followed by ninety (90) minutes of lecture on academic research using the John Jay Library Website. Students were then asked the following question in a Blackboard discussion forum. Students had five(5) days to reply. Eleven (11) out of thirteen (13) 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.Lastly, do not forget to EXPLAIN the reasons why you do or do not like the program.

Student 1

I really enjoyed my first experience with the Elluminate software and it is amazing how fast the technology is progressing. Elluminate definitely represents the last world of technology when it comes to e-learning, a very flexible teaching technique that connects people disregarding where they are located. I felt a little bit stressed and confused at the beginning; I didn’t want to miss a thing so I stayed focused and alerted till the end of the session. Also recording was another positive side of this technique, something you can have access to even when you miss a class. Echo issues were experienced may be because of poor quality of the headsets, that is something that has to be considered becaused interfered with the quality of the communication. The only concern I have so far is the fact that I do have another class afterwards. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the commodity of accessing the session from home that day.  I used one of computer centers at John Jay to access this virtual class; I couldn’t even take advantage of the microphone because many other students were working at that area. This is going to be still a problem for the upcoming sessions. Overall , a great experience !!!!!!

Student 2

The idea of online class is very useful in a sense where it provides the ability to customize class time around a busy schedule. It has proven to be a much needed commodity in the world of education. The Eluminate is the best software for this purpose for the following reasons; firstly, I found it very easy to interact with, yet a person with a little computer knowledge may be able to use this software. Secondly, one can interact with the class and the professor in very easy manner since it just requires one click. Finally, it gives us a feeling as if we are sitting in a real class room with the ability to raise hand, ask questions (typing/microphone), and show confusion so professor can explain it better. Moreover, this software has the ability to record lecture and you can go over the lecture again and again to better understand the topic. One drawback of this type of education is you must have strict time management to keep up with the classroom.

Student 3
I really like the idea of a virtual class where you are able to interact and feel like you’re in a classroom when you’re really not. The software was working really good and is really easy to use. The only problem I had is that I have a class scheduled at school right after this class so I had to be in school anyway. Therefore, I couldn’t use my own computer and had to use the one at school, where I couldn’t add a microphone and participate by typing only.

Student 4

Like most of the class I enjoyed our last class.  I had some minor technical difficulties (the sound and video would freeze for a second or two) but otherwise I thought the class went very well.  This software would not work for some class styles but for the graduate level classes it should work well.  The greatest flaw I see in using the software compared to a standard class is the amount of time it takes to involve the students.  Lectures are ideal for this application but interacting with the students or others in the room takes up more time.  As a professor do you feel you can cover the same amount of material compared to a standard classroom?  I would also guess that students would ask fewer questions online as opposed to in person.  Becoming for familiar with the software will fix these problems to a degree.  There is also a greater likelihood of students getting distracted by other things in their environment, since they know that no one else can see what they are doing (This can also be a positive though as students can multitask).  That said, I really did enjoy the class and think we should continue the use of Elluminate.  As students become more proficient with the software classes will flow much more smoothly and at the graduate level student’s should have the academic discipline to not become distracted.

Student 5

The Elluminate program was a positive and intriguing experience for me. Using webcams and headphones is not something I would normally be involved with and Elluminate forced me to do so, leaving me pleasantly surprised. It was a great program that I absolutely think John Jay should continue forward with. The features on Elluminate (smiley faces, hand raising) led the class to carry on as if it were being run in a standard classroom. The fact that the professor could share links with the class while lecturing was the most impressive feature of all. Having a computer discussion between students while the professor was lecturing was also a great way for questions to be raised and students to be able to interact, which I think was extremely important. In class, students have no way of getting feedback from one another.

In a lot of ways i feel as though Elluminate was more interactive than the classroom and I did not even need to leave my apartment to do it. Aside from glitches and echoes while different microphones were activated, I thought Elluminate was a great experience overall. Programs like Elluminate could absolutely be the future of education.

Student 6

I was unable to access the internet on campus for our last session; however, I was able to participate in the practice session a few weeks ago and I truly enjoyed the experience. It is a very simple, and straight forward program that is very functional of academia. I have not had an opportunity to experience the application sharing as mush as I hoped to, but from the limited experience I was very useful. One concern I had before starting the session was tha the program would be too slow to keep up with a fast pace of a classroom environment. However,  simple functions such as the ability to answer “yes” or “no” questions with the “X” or check mark, make for little delay in the movement of a class session. I did purchase a headset, but have not had a chance to try it out with the system, It would be interesting to see how many students can be on headset at once without any interference or echoing.

Student 7

I personally think that Elluminate is a good program and that it could be convenient at times specially when you are home; unfortunately for me I have another class after this one and therefore I have to access the class using a computer at JJAY which does not have the right equipment. Aside this I did not have a problem during the session only that I could not speak or be seen directly. This is my first virtual class and I find it to be interesting and hope to learn more about the program.

Student 8

I liked the Elluminate experience, virtual classroom is very convenient for those students who can not be in the classroom because of their busy schedule. I do believe that to check the attendance everyone in the classroom should have a video camera (it should be a requirement for the class) and a microphone to ask/answer any questions. Once logged in to the Elluminate students are visible very well on the camera, voice could use some work. Echo is heard if more than one microphone is in use. So far we have experienced that only four people at a time are visible on the screen, from professor’s perspective to check attendance it would take too much time to move from one person to the other. Also, when all students are seen it could create a distraction since there is not much room for other screens to be visible (maybe there should be a separate board for that purpose only).

Student 9

I found Elluminate very effective for several reasons. First, the relay of information online was just as clear and comprehensive as in the physical classroom. Furthermore, I do believe that since the comfort level increases when participating in the class from home, attention span also increases because you no longer keep track of time or think about the long trip home.  The level of learning I think also enhances in the virtual classroom because the intimidation and fear of asking questions lessens due to a more discrete virtual participation. I think students asked more questions online than in the classroom because they felt more confident.  The application sharing tool enhances learning as well because it provides easy access to powerpoint presentations as well as the web. I found presentations easy to view and navigate.

One of the most innovative features of virtual lectures has to do with the fact that students no longer have to worry about trying to copy someone else’s notes written with bad handwriting. Whether a student gets sick or has to miss a class for any reason, they can view the two-hour lecture online. Such feature can enhance student grades on the exams and papers.

While the face design of the application can improve and become more user friendly, the overall effectiveness of virtual learning surpassed my expectations. I strongly believe that PAD 701 (the current online course I enrolled in) should start implementing this software as soon as possible because the level of learning I obtained from one Elluminate class strongly contrasts with the past three weeks of PAD 701 online course.

In conclusion, I don’t think that every student should require a webcam for the course because the headsets are just as effective.

Student 10

My experience with the Elluminate software as one of the participants was great. It was typical of a classroom and a more advance system of learning.  It was a well-organized classroom environment. It was easy and captivating. It captured my attention in a relax manner all through. I love it and I look forward to having more classes on the program.

Connecting to the software was difficult at the beginning; I would like to suggest that the class be thought on how to connect to the program prior to the elluminate class. I also would recommend that the echo from the microphone or speakers be look into. Besides these minor defects, I would prefer it to the regular classroom.

Student 11

The experience of having an online class was really exciting and thrilling in a way. On one hand you sit at home on your couch with a cup of tea and on the other you are directly involved in a class discussion and listening to professor’s lecture.

Overall I think that virtual classrooms such as Elluminate are effective and very convenient for  most of the students. The bad weather also plays its role- you don’t have to wet your shoes in order to attend a class.

If asked about drawbacks, I would mention the slow pace of the process from the side of the students. That was noticed when students wanted to ask questions, the turning on and off of the microphone and the web camera took some time before one could set oneself to actually ask the question. The fastest way to do it proved to be the typing into the chat box.

Other than that, the span of attention is an important issue. Students may be easily distracted during virtual sessions, e.g. someone rings the door bell, the kettle whistles on the stove, the dog runs over your computer etc. I think a good response to this problem would be notifying students well in advance (those who are not engaged from the beginning in online classes) about the date of a virtual class, so that they may really set aside any other things during that time. Also the recording of the class is a very good solution, it is very nice to have the opportunity to always go back if you missed something.

Above all, thank you for a wonderful experience.

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