It’s all about WebEx these days, at least for me. Between the impromptu meetings to help people get started and the 1-Hour WebEx Orientation workshops, I’ve been WebEx-ing a lot. Thought I’d share a few useful tips about WebEx Meeting Center. I have more tips but this blog post would be way too long if I shared them all in such detail. No worries, I will share more soon.

1. Using your meeting room URL more than once (aka recurring meetings).  

For those of us who used UMConnect, it was regular practice to use the same meeting room again and again. The advantage was that all your content stayed there for the next meeting. In WebEx, meeting room content goes away when the meeting ends. Period. But not only your content goes away, the default is that your meeting room\URL will delete automatically when your meeting ends. It makes sense because who needs to have a bunch of old empty meeting rooms laying around. 

So why use the same room more than once? When you want to use the same URL for several meetings. You can set your meeting up as a recurring meeting which is great for meetings that are on a regular schedule (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly). You can change individual meeting times as needed. Use the Advanced Scheduler to set up recurring meetings.

  1. Log into Click Meeting Center > Schedule a meeting
  2. Click to use the Advanced Scheduler
  3. Recurring meetings is in step 2 (date and time)
2. Set your meetings to NOT delete. 
If you want to use the same meeting room\URL again and again and your meetings do not follow a regular schedule, the recurring meetings option may not work well for you. For example, my 1-Hour WebEx Orientation webinars are recurring but not on a regular schedule. I set my meeting room to NOT delete which allows me to use the same meeting URL - I just update the date & time. Here's how:
  1. Log into Click Meeting Center > Schedule a meeting
  2. Click to use the Advanced Scheduler
  3. Click to un-check the Delete from My Meetings when completed option

One last note about this. You can change your default setting so none of your meetings are deleted automatically. If you choose this option, you should delete them yourself when you no longer need them. The default setting can be changed under My WebEx > Preferences > Scheduling Options.

3. Recording a meeting? 
A quick observation from the University's Video Support team - when starting a WebEx recording they have seen a 1-3 minute delay for WebEx service to actually start recording.  Tip: start your recording 3-5 minutes before a meeting to guarantee you captured the entire event.  You can trim\edit your recording when the recording is completed to remove “dead air” time. Here are a few how-to’s on WebEx Trimming – 
Find your recordings: WebEx recordings can be found by logging into Click Meeting Center > My Recorded Meetings 

4. Want to see who attended your meeting? 
After your meeting, you can view or save a report about your participants. The report will provide names, email addresses, when they joined\left the meeting, etc. Reports are available after your meeting – be patient, it takes some time for the report to be available. You will notice different types of reports for Event Center and Training Center also. Find reports here:
  1. Log into
  2. Under My WebEx click My Reports
  3. Under All Services, select Usage Reports
  4. Enter the date or date range of your meeting
  5. Click on your meeting for the details. Options: choose Printer friendly format or export your report data.

5. Need an alternate host? 
Every meeting must have a host present at all times. If the host leaves the meeting, the meeting will end for everyone. What if you set up a meeting and for whatever reason can no longer attend or are going to be late? You can add an alternate host for your meeting:
  1. In the quick meeting or advanced scheduler under the Attendees box, click Use Address Book

  2. Search for the UMN person (by name or email), select their name and click Alternate Host to add them. 

Last minute host change during a meeting: If a meeting host has to leave a meeting early, they can pass the host code to another person in the meeting. The host code is provided when a meeting is created and it will be listed under the Meeting Info tab in the meeting (only the host sees it).

To pass the code, the person taking the host role can click Reclaim Host Role from the Participant menu and enter the host code.

So there are your 5 WebEx Meeting Center tips for today. We love when people share their tips. Do you have any to share?

Happy WebEx-ing!

Do you remember our Video Kit to End All Video Kits? It's really just an iPad mini on a tripod. And it has been tremendously popular here in Extension! This simple way to shoot videos has really met a need with educators. It has also led to our educators requesting equally easy ways to do video editing. In fact, in a survey of Extension last September, video creation was the #1 topic people would like to learn more about. 

So Karen and I have put together a 3-hour hands-on Video Editing Workshop curriculum. Three hours! Hands on! I know! You will leave this workshop knowing how to edit video, trust me.

We based our workshop on Movie Maker, a free PC software that is easily accessible to all of our participants, but Camtasia Studio or iMovie would be other options. 

The purpose of this post is to share the curriculum and see what ideas are out there for how to make it better!

Here's the document with the general format of the workshop (page 1) and detailed handout (pages 2-4): 

 We tried it out for the first time last week with a group of about 25 Extension Educators. 

Plus there was a kangaroo.

See, just a typical Extension meeting. With a baby kangaroo.

I know what you're thinking. And yes I was totally confused by the baby kangaroo hopping around the room. Like, SO CONFUSED. And I was the only one. Everyone else is like, OF COURSE THERE'S A KANGAROO! 

Well ok then, I am nothing if not adaptable. On with the show!

First we outline our purpose to the large group. In this workshop, participants will:
  • Import video files to computer from device
  • Use Windows Movie Maker to edit video
  • Upload to YouTube (understanding the different channel options)
  • Learn where to backup large video files

Then we break into small groups and get everybody rocking and rolling with equipment--either with a Video Kit or with some accessories to add to their smart phone (like a tripod or mic). We knew we would run out of equipment, but we tried to spread it out so every group got to try something new to them.

This group below had a great setup--with the iPad mini, tripod, and the shotgun mic. Their video turned out great.

Here's a group using the little iPhone flexible tripod thingee clamped to a chair. They're also using the foam marker boards that we brought for quick and easy visual aids. Their video also turned out great!

We give people a good long while to shoot some video. Everybody gets a chance in front of and behind the camera. Then we have them come back into the large room where we have set up laptops pre-installed with Movie Maker. 

My favorite part is when I'm fretting over forgetting to pack extension cords. So Tim announces, "We need extension cords!" and half the room gets up and goes out to their car and BOOM we have 12 extension cords. Gotta love Extension Educators!

We convene as a big group and do a demo of importing from a device, and some basic Movie Maker tasks. We also show how to add the Extension branding graphics to videos. Then we have about an hour of editing time. Karen and I walk around and make sure everyone is getting a turn to try it--don't just have the experienced person in the group do all of it!

After editing time, Karen and I were prepared to do a little wrap up and answer any lingering questions. But what surprises us is: groups want to show their videos! So we start swapping out laptops with the projector and showing the sometimes finished, sometimes still-in-progress videos. SO FUN! It ended the day on such a positive and encouraging note--everyone clapping and laughing over each other's hard work.

Here's IT Goldy enjoying the show and tell!

What do you think? Anything we can add or change into this workshop to make it better? Any Extension teams interested in trying it out with us? Any ideas on how this could be offered at a distance?