Perculus Plus is a virtual class platform that enables live training and meeting via computers and mobile devices. Using Perculus Plus, the following can be performed:
- Live video and audio streaming,
- Screen and application window sharing,
- Document and presentation sharing,
- Live annotation on documents,
- Video sharing,
- Public and private messaging,
- Questions to conduct mini polls and tests
The sessions are recorded and can be viewed by attendees later.
This document is a manual for instructors who want to conduct live sessions (courses, webinars) on Perculus Plus.
The following are required to use Perculus Plus:
- An internet browser
o Google Chrome on the desktop (Windows, Mac or Linux) or Android
o Apple Safari on IOS 12.0 (iPhone and iPad)
- Minimum bandwidth of 1 Mbit/sec (each for upload and download)
- An average computer or a mobile device
- For mobile devices, Android or IOS operating system
- Web camera for live video streaming
- Microphone for audio streaming
- Perculus Screen Sharing Plugin on Chrome for screen sharing. This can be downloaded from Google Webstore.
3 STARTING THE SESSION
When the session is not yet active, the “Start the session” button appears on the top right. When the instructor starts the session, the attendees (users except for administrators and instructors) who are waiting in the lobby are allowed in, and they see the same interface the instructor sees.
On the right of the “Start the session” button, the session time is displayed. Instructors can enter the class 15 minutes (this may change depending on the configuration) before the start time so that they can get prepared, upload a presentation and test their camera and microphone.
The attendees (users except for administrators and instructors) see the chat panel below before the session is started.
4 SESSION MENU
Clicking the arrow next to the clock opens the following menu:
4.1 EXTENDING DURATION
You can add up to 60 minutes to the session duration.
4.2 LOBBY ANNOUNCEMENT
This form can be used to publish an announcement which is displayed in the lobby. The lobby is shown before the session is started and during session breaks.
4.3 SYSTEM CHECK
Before starting the session, it’s a good practice to test camera, microphone, and bandwidth capacity.
You can open up the system check dialog by clicking the System Check link in the session menu.
In the first step of system testing pane, you can see the status of your computer capabilities.
If you want to use live video or audio streaming, you need to have a web camera and a microphone installed. In order to share your screen in Chrome, Perculus 3 Screen Sharing Extension should be installed.
You can select one of the cameras installed on your system to make it your default camera. When you live stream, the selected camera is used. You can change your default camera in this pane whenever you want.
When you select a camera from the list, you should see the camera view. If you see it, you can click “Camera is working” and proceed to the next step.
If you can hear the music being played from your speaker / headset, you can continue by pressing the ”I hear the sound” button.
If you cannot hear the sound, you need to make sure your speaker or headset is working properly.
In the microphone step, the microphones available on your device are listed. When you select the microphone you want to use in the session, the microphone level bar is displayed, and as you speak, it will move accordingly. This indicates that your microphone is working. By clicking “Next”, you can go to the next page.
If there is no microphone listed here, you need to make sure that there is a microphone connected to your device.
Sufficient bandwidth is one of the most important requirements of a live session.
If you live stream with your webcam, you need a minimum upload bandwidth of 250 Kb/s.
For screen sharing, it is around 500 Kb/s. So, for good user experience, the recommended bandwidth rate is above 1 Mbit/s for upload and download.
The test results in this step show you your upload and download bandwidth rates.
4.4 CHANGE THE DISPLAY LANGUAGE
If you click this link, a language selection dialog gets opened where you can change the display language to one of the supported languages.
4.5 START THE SESSION / GIVE BREAK
You can start the session by pressing “Start the session” button or the link in the menu.
To give a break in a started session, you need to press “Give Break” button or link in the menu. After pressing the button or the link, the following dialog is opened.
By pressing the “Give Break” button, the attendees except for admins are taken to the lobby where there is a chat box for attendees to message with each other.
4.6 END THE SESSION
To end a session, you can press “End the session” link in the menu. After session is ended, it is automatically prepared to be replayed if it’s configured so. Up to 1 hour, the session can be replayed by the attendees.
5 CONTENT AREA
To be able to share the whiteboard, a document or a screen in the content area, click on the + button on the top center of the screen. You have three choices:
1. Open a new whiteboard
2. Upload a document (presentation, image or a video)
3. Screen sharing
Clicking the + button on the top center of the screen and selecting the whiteboard tool, drawing and text tools appear on the left, and an area with a light gray background also appears.
Pencil , eraser , text , color selection and trash tools appear in the left menu. These tools can be used on the whiteboard.
By clicking the button located on the lower left corner of the page, the current whiteboard image can be downloaded. This is useful for saving the drawings and texts with the image or presentation displayed.
5.2 DOCUMENT AND VIDEO SHARING
Clicking on the + button on the top center of the screen and selecting “Upload Document” opens a window to upload documents and videos from your device.
The upload status can be monitored on the bottom of the files section in the right panel.
You can select a pre-uploaded document, video or image from the Files section which is under the camera/microphone area.
Only files in pdf, jpeg, png, mp4 (video), and mp3 (audio) formats can be uploaded. Therefore, if you want to share an MS Office document, first you need to convert it to PDF.
When a document or an image is open in the common area, drawing and text tools appear in the left panel.
The image of the document on the screen can be downloaded by clicking the button located on the bottom left corner of the page. You can also display thumbnails of a shared document by clicking the iconon the lower left corner. Then, you can jump to a specific page without navigating through all the pages of that document.
Video and audio files are played or paused synchronously with other attendees.
5.3 SCREEN SHARING
For screen sharing, Perculus 3 screen sharing plug-in must be installed to the Google Chrome browser.
Clicking the + button on the top center of the screen and selecting “Screen Sharing” item will bring up the screen sharing window.
The first tab in the window is for sharing the entire screen. If you have more than one screen, you can select one of them.
The application window tab is used to select and share an application window of a running program.
When you minimize the application window, it’s not shared until you open the window again. Also, even if you resize or move the window, sharing continues.
If an open browser tab in Google Chrome is to be shared, it can be selected in the tab titled “Chrome tab”. Opening other tabs during screen sharing does not stop sharing of this tab.
To stop screen sharing, click on the sharing section on the top and click on the trash icon on the right of the screen sharing tab as shown in the image below.
6 CAMERA AND MICROPHONE
The camera and the microphone section is located on the top right of the screen.
Clicking on the icon in this black frame turns the camera and the microphone on. If only audio is to be shared, then the icon should be clicked. If there are more than one camera or microphone connected to the device, default camera and microphone can be changed from the System Check section.
To open other attendee’s camera or microphone, the attendee list should be displayed with the icon and the name of the attendee from the list should be selected. Then, camera or microphone icon should be clicked.
Attendees except administrators and instructors cannot live stream, but they can end their own live stream. Also, whenever an instructor or administrator wants to open an attendee’s camera or microphone, attendee’s camera or microphone gets active after he/she consents to the request.
The chat panel can be displayed by clicking the icon below the camera section.
All users can see the messages in the tab.
New chat tabs can be added through this icon to initiate private messaging with other attendees.
The files panel can be displayed by clicking the icon below the camera section.
Uploaded files are listed in this section. You can search files, upload new ones and create new folders by clicking the buttons above , , .
The Attendees panel can be displayed by clicking the icon below the camera section.
To allow a user to share content, to turn his/her camera or microphone on, first click the attendee’s name on the list and then the appropriate icon below.
“Sharing” button should be clicked to authorize the attendee. When the attendee accepts the authorization request, he/she can start sharing.
To post a question to the attendees during the session, click the icon below the Camera section. To post a new question, click the icon .
Three types of question can be added:
• Multiple choices, single answer: Attendees can select only one option.
• Multiple choices, multiple answers: Attendees can select more than one option.
• Short answer: Attendees write their answers in a textbox.
By clicking ‘Add answer option’, you can add more options to the question.
After clicking ‘Show correct option selection’, you can select the correct response or responses for a multiple choice question.
‘Add a Picture’: a picture can be added on top of the question by clicking this button.
Newly created and/or unpublished (published questions can be unpublished) questions appear under ‘Question Pool’. To publish a question, click on it and then press the ‘Publish’ button. Unpublished questions, that is Question Pool can only be seen and accessed by administrators and instructors.
From the ‘Questions Sent’ section, published questions can be monitored and previewed. In the preview section which is opened by clicking on the icon on the top right, the response report of that question can be displayed.
All settings are available and changed under the Settings tab. To open it, click the icon below the camera image.
Block all message traffic: All messaging is blocked.
Block public messaging: Only private messaging is allowed; the public messaging tab cannot be used.
Block private messaging, Block sending private messages to admins, Block private messaging for users: These three settings should be considered together.
Mute sound on a new message: When the chat tab is not visible, a notification sound is played. To turn this feature off, check this option.
Clear the messaging history and delete all message contents when the session is finished: The message history will be deleted when the session is finished and will not be displayed in playback.
Delete messaging history now: Messaging history is deleted during the live session.
Download all messaging: Messages are downloaded to your device. The messaging history can only be downloaded during the live session.