Elluminate Screenshot

Elluminate: Students’ First Impressions (PAD/CRJ 770)

Course:   PAD/CRJ 770 (Spring 2010)

Title:   Quantitative Analysis

Level:  Graduate

Date: February 2010

This is an online course that utilizes several virtual meetings throughout the semester. In past semesters, WizIQ was used for these virtual sessions. This was the first meeting out of five (5) for the semester. Students received a thirty (30) minute “Elluminate Introduction” followed by ninety (90) minutes of course introduction. Students were then asked the following question in a Blackboard discussion forum. Students had seven (7) days to reply. Nine (9) out of fifteen (15) students responded.


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.

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

I more then enjoyed my experience using the elluminate software! I have done web based conferencing before, and must admit, that elluminate is the best program I have yet to utilze. The ability to share documents so effortlessly, and to communicate as though I were actually in a classroom setting was great. The video feature is awesome, and I think that seeing your fellow students makes online classes less impersonal. I plan on convincing my superiors at work to consider taking a look at Elluminate as a possible option to reduce the cost and time associated with arranging and engaging in live meetings. Thanks for the exposure to this innovative new weapon, in my management arsenal.

Student 2

I found the Elluminate session to be very interesting. I wasn’t expecting i t to have as many functions and possibilities that it did. I did like it very much, although I was having a few problems with my internet during the session and I kept getting disconnected. I do not know if that was a result of the program or of my shotty Time Warner services. Having the webcam and sound was very helpful in understanding the course better. Overall, I found it to be a great program.

Student 3

I do not feel qualified to give an intelligent assessment of Elluminate because this is the first course I have ever taken online.

Overall, I found it effective and very rich in features. However, the amount of memory it required, both physical and virtual was problematic for me. I am not a fan of it because it is java-based. I understand this is for compatibility reasons but the publisher should just create the software for multiple platforms.

Student 4

Elluminate is an excellent tool for a class such as our current class, PAD 770.  I am excited to learn more about the Elluminate program as well as the SPSS program.  One thing that I experienced with the Elluminate program was that there were many times that as the professor was lecturing, I would automatically be signed off the the class room chat and would immediately be logged on again.   I would have probably have missed a minute or two of the lecture.

Overall, Elluminate does seem very exciting to learn. By far, it seems like an innovative tool for success.

Student 5

I think that the Elluminate software could be really useful for online classes. It seems like it would be more useful in situations where meetings occur at predetermined times so that interactions can occur. I haven’t seen a recording of a class yet but just from our one online class I think having people involved would make the system much more useful.

I was using a netbook for our class so there were all kinds of problems with the layout for me that I’m sure would be fixed on a normal monitor. But in case you’re curious about the problems with a small screen… There isn’t enough room for the virtual screen, the left hand tool menu/chatbox, and the webcam window so things were overlapped and had to be constantly moved around. Also the chatbox couldn’t show more than one line at a time which was annoying.

I’m not sure how the virtual screen worked on the professor’s end but I think it would be easier if it just simply copied the professors screen so that things could be easily manipulated and multiple windows could be on at the same time just like a projector is used in a normal classroom. Another option would be to have the documents able to open on all students computers so that they could go back and forth through them at their own pace. Also the ‘video’ of the document was really slow. It seemed like there was a really slow refresh rate on the software.

Because of the small screen I was using I had the webcam screen off to the side and off the screen a lot of the time, especially when we were going over the documents. I think hearing the voice of whoever is talking is more important than seeing them. I would give up being able to see who is talking for smoother performance from document screen.

Student 6

Elluminate software is a good tool to conduct online class. My only problem with software is the speed. I found the speed to be very slow. Also the program should be able to detect and adjust according to host screen resolution. I found that constant readjusting a little annoying. Over all it is a good platform. I believe the problems I indicated a minor software glitches which can be easy fixed with a good feedback to the developer.

Student 7

I have never used a virtual class room during my time here at John Jay so using Elluminate was my first. I enjoyed the ability the program gives you to see your classmate and professor.

What I did not like was the differences in the way every one looked. There was no consistency. The problem with the microphones all working together can also be quiet ear splitting.

The application sharing feature is nice, but there need to be a way that the pixelation can be fixed. The problem mostly occurs when pages are moving or being changed, I also see that i takes a while to refresh itself.

If there could also be a way for the documents or power-points to be up on the white board so that we could get a better view of it and manipulate it as well.

Other then that I can’t wait to see how the class goes.

Student 8

Aside from taking 45 minutes to try to get Elluminate to work on my PC, I think that this could be a very useful tool for online classes at John Jay.  Although I believe that Elluminate should offer basic trouble shooting advice or Q&A on their website.  In the 45 minutes that it took me to figure out on my own how to get into the classroom,  I had a very hard time finding basic troubleshooting answers to why I could not get it up and running.

On the plus side, to date I have taken two other online courses (both with the same professor), and had only met the professor face to face once at the end of the second course when I needed help.  Other than that, I had no idea who was actually teaching or who my classmates were. Elluminate adds a personal touch to online learning and makes the class more like a classroom course.  It is great to be able to see and hear who is speaking throughout the session – be it the professor or our classmates.

I also like the feature of being able to show documents, although I would agree with Nora that we should be able to scroll though the documents and view them at our own pace.

For me to evaluate the program further and in more detail, I would have to play with it a bit more and check out all the available features. If we are going to be using the program throughout this semester, I think we would all be able to evaluate Elluminate better at the end of the semester after getting more familiar with the program

Student 9

Overall, I thought the Elluminate software worked rather well. I was a little intimidated by it at first, but after Professor Wandt explained all the functions, it was a little easier to understand. I really like the idea that sessions can be recorded. This function is super important to online classes because of the nature of the class. Most people take online classes because they can not designate a particular time each week to a class. I think that any class that uses this software should take advantage of being able to record sessions and I don’t think that it should ever be mandatory for a student to have to be present at the time the online class is in session. I hope that no one’s participation grade will be affected if they are not able to attend the ‘live’ class sessions.

Something I would ‘tweak’ about the Elluminate software is the way I wasn’t able to scroll through the documents that Professor Wandt was showing all of us. Maybe I didn’t use my controls correctly, but I would like to be able to take control of the documents so that I can look at it at my own pace. It was also really slow when he scrolled through the documents. I don’t know if that was just my computer or a fault in the software. It would also be helpful if multiple windows could be opened rather than just one at a time so that students can compare/contrast documents and not have to readjust the sizing each time.

I like the idea of being able to see who’s talking, but perhaps we should be allowed to see more than four people at a time. I feel like it’s extra work for the moderator to have to click each webcam and each microphone every time someone new wants to talk.

As a whole, I think the Elluminate software will be a significant tool for online learning. It’s more comfortable, to me at least, to see who is teaching the class and to know that I can talk to them through webcam if I am not able to visit their office. This type of interaction is better than using the telephone. However, I feel that it shouldn’t be required for students to have to have webcams and ‘fancy’ headset microphones. It would be one thing if this was a major that dealt with a lot of technology classes, but because this is a Public Administration class I don’t think that students should have to purchase this extra equipment.

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