Familiarisation & Preparation: an Adobe Connect mantra

Pete Jeans is relatively new to both CSU and the Online Meeting Tool (Adobe Connect). However, the Port Macquarie-based business leader does have considerable experience in the use of comparable remote delivery platforms (e.g. Zoom and GotoMeeting) to facilitate domestic and offshore online learning.

Now he’s applying that experience to the online delivery of subjects for the School of Management & Marketing (BJBS).

He’s quite candid about getting accustomed to the new tool set, “It’s all about training and familiarisation… you only get there with usage”.

Pete has devoted some 30 hours prior to the current teaching session getting familiar with the Adobe Connect platform – attending orientations, playing around in his own meeting room, booking time with Port Macquarie-based Educational Designer Nicole Mitchell and joining online training sessions.

Pete applies a flipped classroom model to his Adobe Connect sessions; and live participant discussion is central to the learning experience. His students are strongly encouraged to engage with the subject’s content and strategic resources prior to the live sessions.

A CSU Thinkspace site has also been created to further engage students with additional stimuli.

Videos (webcams) are on – 12 or so faces all attentively waiting for their turn at the podium. Probably one of the biggest differences to the majority of Adobe Connect room layouts, Pete is firmly of the belief that vision in the live session is particularly important for participants to be fully engaged with both the content and each other.

Usually, 9 to 12 students join visually. They’ve yet to have significant bandwidth issues forcing a change to this approach. When asked about his choice of video-centric layout, Pete explains to me that 3 years years of webinar delivery seems to reinforce a richer value-added experience for students.

As a guest in his live meeting, I can see he’s also using the Presenter Only Area in Adobe Connect to bring content in and out of the live meeting room. This is an instant giveaway – we’ve got a ‘preparer’ on our hands. Pete spends considerable time each week preparing a lesson plan for his Adobe Connect sessions, detailed down to each 5 minute segment of the workshop. “It’s just a plan… you have to be flexible in learning delivery and engagement because things happen” he tells me.

But between the structure of his lesson plans and the variety of materials Pete is putting in front of the discussion group, I’m pretty confident this particular weekly meet is going to end well.

Pete’s Top Tips:




  • Plan & Practice – coordinating the live event well depends on it
  • Keep the Learning Outcomes in mind when preparing for the live session
  • Authenticity – Facilitate the learning by connecting the content to your own and student experiences wherever possible
  • Avoid the talking head – It’s a shared learning environment, there’s going to be conversation and the sharing of experiences.
  • Manage the conversation – throw leading questions over to the audience regularly
  • Visual cues – provide a good reference point, yet don’t detract from the discussion at hand
  • Humor – invest in a book of jokes and bring any dry subject to life with a sense of the ridiculous
  • If possible – get introduced to the toolset locally and in person (DIT / DLT)
  • End positively with what’s coming up next week

Pete Jeans is running MGT569 ‘The Leadership Challenge’ in 201860.

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