Video and web conferencing and collaborative working
IT Service Desk
Video and web conferencing and collaborative working
In order to be able to use the platforms for video and web conferencing at the University of Oldenburg, you need a reasonably up-to-date end user device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone) with built-in or connected communication devices (microphone, loudspeaker, recommended is a headset, camera) and a valid user account.
Video and web conferences enable two or more geographically separated partners to meet virtually and communicate with each other in real time via text (chat) as well as audio and/or video. In addition, the exchange and editing of files is possible.
The Cloud-Storage service provides a secure storage for data on the central storage system of the University, which can be accessed from various end user devices. By adding the components Talk and OnlyOffice, additional functions for chat and video conferencing as well as for collaborative work are available.
The Talk component in the Cloud-Storage provides chat, audio and video conferences and is primarily used for communication between employees in administration and research. Instructions are part of the web pages of the IT-Dienste.
OnlyOffice is integrated in the Cloud-Storage in order to provide collaborative work. This component enables users to edit documents individually or jointly in a web browser without the need to download them to the end user device. Instructions are provided by the Hochschuldidaktik.
Various BigBlueButton servers are available as platforms for web conferences and for online learning.
Please use the latest version of the Chrome or Firefox browser. With an iPad, please use the Safari browser.
In Stud.IP you can activate the meeting plugin in every lecture / class / seminar via the “Mehr”-tab and create and use different virtual rooms. Please note that only participants of the course can enter these rooms. In the virtual rooms you can use screen sharing, presentations, chat functions and shared notes. Recording of the web conference is currently not activated in Stud.IP.
Lecturers who wish to upload videos to Stud.IP should only do so if they have a good Internet connection. Because there is a time limit: after ten minutes the upload is automatically aborted. To prevent this, you can either reduce the file size - for example by lowering the resolution or by creating several shorter videos instead of one long one. Another alternative is to upload videos to the cloud and then link them to Stud.IP.
The following additional web conference platforms are available. Web conferences created on these plattforms can be used for external communication. Please send the external participants the link to the meeting.
Recording of the
Remarks / additional functions
|https://webconf.uol.de||employees||not possible||participation in the web conference is possible by telephone|
|https://studconf.uol.de||students||not possible||A maximum of 5 virtual rooms per user account is available|
|https://iconf.uol.de||students and employees||possible if required, can be used for surveys and evaluations||Use must be requested at the , stating the reasons|
Recordings in BigBlueButton
Some of the BigBlueButton systems mentioned above allow you to record a conference. If the recording function is to be used, this must be enabled for the respective conference room in the room settings.
If the recording function is available for a room, the persons participating are notified before entering the room. Confirmation of this message is required to enter the room. As long as only the recording function is enabled but the recording has not been started, the data (audio, video, presentation, and chat data) of the conference is only temporarily stored and is deleted from the temporary memory no later than two minutes after the conference ends. This data is not permanently stored. The start of the actual recordings must first be triggered by a moderator. Only if a recording has been actively started will a retrievable video file be created from the buffered data after the end of the conference.
The following animation shows you how to set the recording function for a new room, how to change the settings afterwards and how the dialog presented to participants:
The system at webconf.uol.de offers dial-in to a conference by telephone. The system can be reached under the phone number +49 441 798 4455. You will also need the conference PIN. In order to use the telephone dial-in service, at least one participating person must be connected to the system via web browser.
Only the last four digits of the telephone numer of participants are displayed.
The maximum number of persons participating by telephone is limited to 10 by the university's telephone system. The telephone dial-in is considered an emergency solution. Whenever possible, you should participate via web browser with audio support. This is also possible on many smartphones.
The following settings are available in the conference via the keypad:
Key 0 or *: mic mute/unmute
Key 1: volume down
Key 2: volume reset
Key 3: volume up
Key 4: mic volume down
Key 5: mic volume reset
Key 6: mic volume up
The use of a headset is generally recommended for participating in audio or video conferences. The use of microphones built into laptops is not recommended, especially if the room being used has a reverberation or echo effect. In these cases, the software activates echo suppression, which can have other negative consequences.
(In many cases a headset is included with existing smartphones, which can also be used with a PC/laptop. Many Bluetooth headphones also contain a built-in microphone, which can also be used for conferences).
It has often been observed that if users are located on the edge of their home WIFI/WLAN range, audio transmission may be interrupted. These problems often disappeared after a respective location adjustment with better connection to the home wireless network.
In general, when experiencing this type of interference, it is recommended that you first check whether your own device, network or Internet connection may be the cause of the interference. In order to rule out the possibility of the device malfunctioning, you can use another web browser, for example (the recommendations here are Firefox or Chrome). Sometimes installed security solutions or browser extensions also interfere adversely with the data traffic. These can often be (temporarily) deactivated. Please also check whether the operating system and application software are up to date via the respective update mechanisms.
Finally, there is the change of the terminal device. Most users have a reasonably up-to-date smartphone, which can also be used to participate in conferences. For iPhones/iPads, the use via Safari is recommended, for Android-based devices the Chrome browser.
In order to exclude the home wireless network as a cause of disruption, PCs or laptops can be connected via a network cable. It can also help if the end device is within sight of the access point/router being used. Finally, the access point or the home Internet router may also be disturbed. Rebooting the devices can help here.
Please give us a short feedback if one of the mentioned possibilities was the cause or if you still suffer from a bad connection.
Presentations in BigBlueButton conference rooms work with up to 150 participants. If you would like to hold an event for more than 150 people, we can offer you streaming of a BigBlueButton conference room. With the streaming service a much higher number of listening persons can be served.
To get a streaming of your BigBlueButton conference room, please follow these steps:
- First set up a BBB room on meeting.uol.de.
- Get in . The room must be identified and the streaming period (start and end) must be communicated.
- The IT services will provide you with the link to the streaming website.
- You distribute this link to the potential audience (e.g. via announcement or circular mail in Stud.IP event, advertising flyer, link on an event website, etc.).
- The lecturers use the BBB room.
- Shortly before the event starts, a listener appears live in the list of participants. This user fills the live stream on the website mentioned by the IT services with the content of the presentation window.
- The people listening to the presentation follow the live stream via the website mentioned.
- There is no direct feedback channel between listening and speaking persons (chat, survey, etc.).
- The stream is delayed for about 30 seconds.
Handling and remedy of the restrictions
- You can create a return channel, for example, using the blubber function in a Stud.IP event. A helping person can observe this channel and answer the questions or answer them after the lecture.
- As an alternative to the Presentation & Webcam display, the Share Screen function is used and the image from the webcam is displayed with the help of an application on the shared screen above or next to the presentation (depending on the window arrangement).
- In our opinion, the delay is not a problem, since it is not a conversation between a few people in real time.
General notes and tips
If you use a room via meeting.uol.de you can make use of the recording function here. You have to activate the recording function in the room settings before you start the room. The procedure is explained in the section Web conferencing platform BigBlueButton under Recordings in BigBlueButton.
The recordings can be played back afterwards. You can also download the recording video, edit it and make it available again elsewhere.
If possible, please record your event in advance. In the simplest case you can use meeting.uol.de again.
In Stud.IP it is also possible to activate the plugin OpenCast for an event and pre-record the event here. OpenCast offers you more flexibility in the production of the content.
Finally, you can also add audio sequences to the slides using PowerPoint.
The eDidactics provides further information here.
The use of a headset is generally recommended for participating in audio or video conferences. It is not recommended to use the microphones built into laptops, especially if the room being used has a reverberation or echo effect. In these cases, echo cancellation is activated by the software, which can have other negative consequences.
In many cases a headset is included with existing smartphones, which can also be used with a PC/laptop. Many Bluetooth headphones also contain a built-in microphone, which can be used for conferences.
Poor audio quality
If you are on the edge of the WIFI/WLAN supply, the audio transmission may be interrupted. Please adjust your location first to achieve a better connection to the wireless network. In many cases this solved existing difficulties with the audio connection.
In general it is recommended to check first if your own device, network or internet connection might be the cause of the problem. In order to rule out malfunctions of the device, another web browser can be used, for example. The recommendations here are Firefox or Chrome in the latest version. Sometimes installed security solutions or browser extensions also interfere adversely with the data traffic. These can often be (temporarily) deactivated. Please also check whether the operating system and application software are up to date via the respective update mechanisms.
If the situation is not improved by changing the web browser, there is still the possibility of changing the terminal device. Most users have a reasonably up-to-date smartphone, which can also be used to participate in conferences. For iPhones/iPads, use via Safari is a good option, for Android-based devices the Chrome browser.
In order to exclude the home wireless network as a source of interference, connect the PC or laptop temporarily via a network cable. Alternatively, it can already help if the end device is within sight of the access point/router being used. Finally, the access point or the home Internet router may also be disturbed. Rebooting the devices can help here.
If you are using a repeater to extend the WIFI/WLAN coverage, check here whether the reception power of the router connected to the Internet is sufficient. The operating system of the PC or laptop can show you an excellent connection here. The connection will still be poor if the connection between the repeater and the router is insufficient.
For the measurement of your Internet connection you can take for example the web page breitbandmessung.de for assistance. Here you should pay special attention to the runtime measurement. The packet runtime should not be greater than 250 milliseconds (ms), otherwise the time offset in the communication becomes too large. If you find a high runtime via WIFI/WLAN, please perform the test again with a cable-based connection to the Internet router.
- If you find a big difference between WIFI/WLAN and the connection via network cable, the error is limited to your WIFI/WLAN connection.
- If the runtime is also high with the connection via the network cable, the cause of the error may be the Internet router, the Internet connection or the downstream technology of your access provider.
Before contacting your access provider, you should check whether your Internet router has the latest software version. Please consult the documentation of the manufacturer or provider. Also, a reboot by removing the power supply of the Internet router for about one minute can eliminate the problem, should it be in your jurisdiction.
Finally, you can confront your access provider with the measurement results if they are insufficient for the service you booked.
Please note that the suggested solutions described here have been written to the best of your knowledge and belief. However, no liability is assumed for damages resulting from the implementation of the suggested solutions.
Ad hoc measurement
You can also perform your own measurements of the latency of the connection between your end device and the university. These can provide information about a misconfigured or overloaded network. Proceed as follows:
- open the command prompt (type cmd in the start menu)
- enter the following two commands:
ping -n 10 bbbstream.uol.de tracert -d bbbstream.uol.de
Mac OS & Linux
- open a terminal (Mac OS: spotligt search terminal)
- enter the following two commands:
ping -c 10 bbbstream.uol.de traceroute -n bbbstream.uol.de
- In the lines of the measurement the latency is displayed in milliseconds. Normal runtimes here are up to 60ms. If you see higher or significantly higher measured values here, there is a fault.
- From the measured values of the second command you may be able to recognize at which station in the Internet the latency increases significantly.
- Report your measurement results to the . We will analyze the results and work with you to try to solve the problem or take further steps.
- The following image shows an example of a possible result of the measurements:
If your webcam only shows a black image, please check if the lens of the camera is covered. Some models have a sliding or folding mechanism which can cover the lens for the purpose of unintentional activation of the webcam.
Error 1004 Incompatible SDP
A security enhancement such as PrivacyBadger, NoScript, AdBlock, etc. in the web browser probably blocks communication that is important for BigBlueButton. Please define exceptions in the corresponding extensions or deactivate them. You can also use another web browser.
A necessary communication between web browser and BigBlueButton server cannot be established. The UDP protocol is used here for the transmission of audio data. Possibly a security software* on your device or network is preventing necessary communication. Please define appropriate exceptions here.
Another cause can be several routers connected in series with Network Address Translation (NAT). In this case, the required connections via the UDP protocol cannot be established correctly. Please make sure that in your network only the router which establishes the connection to the Internet uses the NAT function.
* Many manufacturers offer this under the product name Internet Security. This product often contains its own firewall, which prevents communication.
Security note: Changing or disabling firewall settings can involve considerable IT security risks.
Due to the fact BigBlueButton is only designed for up to 150 participants per web conference, the web conference platform Webex from Cisco is available for large events.
Functions of Webex
- Desktop, document and application sharing
- HD video conferencing
- Integration with Outlook
- Webex-Meeting allows up to 1000 participants to attend a meeting simultaneously
- Webex Events allows up to 1000 participants at a meeting simultaneously
- A recording function is currently not available/enabled
In order to use the web conference platform, please proceed as follows:
As an organiser, you will need to register first in order to use the system. In the course of registration, first name, last name and e-mail address are transferred to the user administration of the Cisco Webex platform. The registration takes place via user administration - C.v.O. University of Oldenburg, which you access by entering your user account (in the form abcd1234) with the corresponding password.
On the Applications tab, click on the Access to Cisco Webex icon in the Requirements section:
You will receive comprehensive information on data protection on the site, since with your consent, which can be declared on this site, your name and e-mail address will be transferred to the user administration of Webex, which is operated by the company Cisco as a cloud solution.
If you have agreed, you can log on to Webex after a short period of time (maximum 30 minutes) by calling up the start and information page (click on Log on at the top right).
By entering your e-mail address (in the form ) you will be directed to the familiar 'Central Authentication' page of the university via Continue. Please log in as usual with your user name (in the form abcd1234) and your password. By clicking Login you will be redirected to your home page in Webex.
Your Cisco Webex home page is immediately your start page for 'Webex Meetings' using your 'Personal Space'. You can start a meeting directly by entering your 'Personal Room' via the Start Meeting button and initiating the meeting there. Please tell the participant the URL of your 'Personal Room' in advance, if necessary with additional information, which you can find under Further methods of joining.
Via 'Schedule Meeting' you can access an input screen that offers the possibility to send an invitation to the meeting by e-mail, but also allows you to select the type of meeting. By selecting the type including end-to-end encryption, a communication using end-to-end encryption takes place. The range of functions is limited when this type is selected.
Via Schedule appointment you can access an user interface to send an invitation to the meeting by e-mail.
From your start page, you can access the Cisco Events page via Webex Events (bottom left, possibly shown abbreviated as WE) to organise an event. On the left hand side the central point for you as an organiser/host is the area 'Managing an event as host'. Here you prepare an event by means of 'Set up an event'.
The University of Oldenburg is a member of DFN (German Research Network), so that the service DFNconf can be used by employees of the university.
You can choose between Pexip (for up to 23 participants) and Adobe Connect (for up to 200 participants). Additional information and instructions provided by Hochschuldidaktik and DFN are currently only available in German.
Further support is provided by the Media Technology and Production Service.