Why use video?

When teaching remotely you want every available tool in your disposal to engage your students. Video helps you transfer your passion through gestures and other non-verbal cues. And if your students also share their video, you can get real time feedback in the form of smiles, eye-rolls, and head nods.

For this reason, Collaborate researched the optimal number of videos to give you enough detail for that visual feedback. With Gallery view, Tiled view, and Speaker view, you have control over how many students you can see at a time.

Gallery view isn't available in Safari® on iOS or iPadOS at this time.

What if my students don’t want to turn on their video? That’s ok. Not everyone is comfortable turning on their video right away. Video is just one way to engage your students. You can also engage your students with chat, polls, breakout groups, collaborating on a whiteboard, and so on.

Let’s get started and turn your video on. When one person turns their video on, others are more likely to do the same.

Turn your video on

After you set up your audio and video, turn on both your camera and microphone to been seen and heard.

Moderators can mute attendees anytime during the session. You are notified, if a moderator has muted you. A good practice is to leave your video on and turn off your microphone when you’re not speaking. Learn more tips in Session Best Practices.

Use the microphone and camera icons along the bottom of the main stage or content presentation area. With your keyboard, press Alt + M to turn your microphone on and off. Press Alt + C to turn your camera on and off.

The microphone is active after you turn it on, but you get to preview your video before others can see you.

Your video will appear backwards to you. This is normal. You'll appear correctly to others in the session and in recordings. You won't appear backwards to other attendees or in recordings. Video is only mirrored in your preview window.

When your video is on, you’ll see yourself in a thumbnail along the bottom of the main content area. 

Describe any gestures or items you show in your video for those who may not be able to see what you are doing. Learn more accessibility tips in Session Best Practices.

View others

Collaborate is built for education. So we asked instructors what they wanted:

  • Use video as one of the ways to see if their students are paying attention, engaged, confused, and so on.
  • Find students quickly.
  • Everyone to pay attention to the person speaking and the content presented.

For these reasons, Collaborate offers a personalized learning experience that adapts to your needs and preference. You decide how many videos you want to see and how prominent those videos should be with Gallery view, Tiled view, and Speaker view.

Gallery view isn't available in Safari® on iOS or iPadOS at this time.

The number of videos you see depends on the support for your browser, device, and session size. You'll also see fewer videos, if you have the Session menu or Collaborate panel open.

Gallery view

Speaker view

Tiled view

Speaker view is the default view when you join. Select the Change view button in the upper right of the screen to switch between views.

If attendees don’t have their video on, their profile picture appears in their video space instead.

Gallery view

Captions typed by a live captioner aren't visible to attendees using Gallery view at the moment. Live captions will be visible in a future release. If you need captions, switch to the Speaker view.

Gallery view isn't available in Safari® on iOS or iPadOS at this time.

Gallery view lets you see the most students at one time. With this view you can see up to 25 attendees on a page. 25 is the optimum number of videos you can show on a page and still see enough detail for visual non-verbal feedback.

The number of videos you see depends on the support for your browser, device, and session size. Firefox® only shows 2 videos at a time. You'll also see fewer videos, if you have the Session menu or Collaborate panel open. 

Attendee videos are in alphabetical order. Moderators appear at the start of the list on the first page. Promote anyone to a moderator if you want their video to appear at the top of the list.

Gallery view tools

Use the arrows on either side of the gallery to see more videos. As you move between pages, the speaker’s video appears as a thumbnail in the bottom right corner of the main content area.  

Use the zoom controls on the left of the screen to see fewer and larger videos at a time or vice versa.

Point to an attendee and select the Attendee Controls to send them a private chat, promote a participant, mute the attendee, or remove the person from the session.

Gallery view settings

Use the Gallery view settings in Session settings to decide how many videos you and your students see at once.

Let everyone see every video. Or keep the full view for yourself but limit distractions for participants and let them only see 4 videos. With this set up you face all of your students while they face you and maybe one or two others. Similar to the classroom setting everyone is used to. Fewer videos can relieve some of the student stress tied to video-conference fatigue.  

With the Gallery view settings you decide.

Turn Gallery view off or on

Streaming videos can demand a lot from your network connection or system. 25 videos is a lot of streaming videos. Collaborate may turn off Gallery view when the load is too much to improve your experience. You can also turn Gallery view off, if you want.

Go to My Settings, open the Audio and Video Settings, and uncheck the Gallery view on (recommended) check box under Video Quality Experience.

Check the Auto (recommended) check box any time you want to turn Gallery view back on.

Tiled and Speaker views

Tiled view isn't available in Safari® on iOS or iPadOS at this time.

Tiled and Speaker views emphasize who is speaking. These views show up to 4 videos with one video larger than the others. This larger video shows who is speaking so you can see them more clearly. As the discussion unfolds, the larger video changes to match the active speaker. 

In either view, point to an attendee and select the Attendee Controls to send them a private chat, promote a participant, mute the attendee, or remove the person from the session.

The only difference between Tiled and Speaker views is layout. Try each one and see which you prefer.

Speaker view

Tiled view

Pin videos

We know it's important for you to choose who you want to focus on in a session. Instructors may want to keep a close eye on students who are struggling with the course. Students may want to follow a sign language interpreter, stay focused on the instructor, or see their study buddies. Pin videos so they are always in view.

When you pin a video, it moves the video to the top of the list and pins, or anchors, it there. It doesn't change the number of videos you see, just the order you see them in.

Use the zoom controls if you want to narrow your focus even more.

You can pin more than one video. Pinned videos appear in the order they were pinned. The first video you pin will always be the first video you see. Active speaker videos follow pinned videos in the Tiled and Speaker views.

Only you know who you pinned. Videos are only pinned in your view. Nobody else sees who you pinned and the people you pin aren't notified.

Pinned videos stay pinned until you unpin them or leave the session. Pinned videos are pinned even when you go into breakout groups.

Use the Attendee controls in the Attendees list or in the lower right corner of a video to pin and unpin videos.

Present with video on

No matter how many people are using video, when someone is presenting that shared content fills the screen. A thumbnail of whoever is speaking appears below the content. Use the thumbnail to switch between the content and videos.

Select the video thumbnail to fill the screen with attendee videos. The shared content is now in the thumbnail. The videos appear in the view you selected: Gallery, Tiled, or Speaker.  Select the content thumbnail to return to the shared content.

Gallery view isn't available in Safari® on iOS or iPadOS at this time.

If you are in Gallery view, use the zoom controls to see speakers clearer.

Set up video

You must give your browser permission to use your microphone and camera to use them in a session.

Some browsers need access to your microphone to play audio, even if you don't plan to speak. To hear others in the session, give the browser permission to access the microphone.

You are asked to do this when you first join a session or when you first turn on your video. Follow these steps to run the audio and video set up any time:

  1. Open My Settings. Select your profile pictures and select your name. Or open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings.
  2. Select Set Up your Camera and Microphone.
  3. Choose the microphone you want to use. Collaborate tells you that you sound great when it is receiving your audio. Select Yes, it's working to proceed.
  4. Choose the camera you want to use. Collaborate tells you that you look great when it is receiving your video. Select Yes, it's working to proceed. Your video will appear backwards to you. This is normal.

Your video will appear correctly to others in the session and in recordings. You won't appear backwards to other attendees or in recordings. Video is only mirrored in your preview window.

By default, you are hidden and muted after you complete the setup. Turn your video on when you are ready.

Having trouble setting up your audio and video with JAWS and VoiceOver? Jump to Troubleshooting and find the support page for your browser.

Video issues

If you are having issues with your audio or video, please check your session and browser settings.

If your issue continues, contact your institution administrator for help. If you don’t know how to contact your institution’s help desk, you can look up your university with our Support Service.

Dynamic adjustments

Collaborate dynamically adjusts to sending and receiving connection bandwidth changes in the quality of your internet connection. As your connection improves or degrades, the bandwidth use for video is adjusted up and down.

Some situations may require additional adjustment. Collaborate adds explicit experience changes to accommodate a wider range of connectivity blips.

When the experience changes, you are notified and told why.

More on Network Connection