Online Advising Toolkit

Through online advising, faculty advisors are able to support students wherever they are. Adobe Connect is the recommended tool for online advising because it is a free, feature-rich program available to all WSU students, faculty and staff.

This toolkit focuses on best practices for using Adobe Connect to provide online advising to students. It is not a replacement for existing Adobe Connect training resources.

Additionally, advisors should have a firm grasp of advising pedagogy before they begin offering online advising services. Contact Advising Services at 507.457.5878 or advising@winona.edu for support in understanding your role as an advisor.
By using Adobe Connect, you can set up an easy-to-use, online room to meet with your students. This room provides web cam video, voice/audio, text-based chat and document sharing. Get started by completing these steps:

  • Learn about Adobe Connect and set up your online meeting room. You will select the final portion of the URL for your meeting room. For clarity, we recommend something like “YourName_Online”. Set your room access to “Registered users and accepted guests” to ensure that you have control over who is in your meeting room at any given time.

  • Test your system to identify any technical issues, and work with Tech Support to resolve any problems.

  • Review training videos provided through Lynda Campus and take advantage of training offered through TLT. Conduct a practice session before offering online services to students. In this way you will become more comfortable with the technology and get a better sense of what technical challenges and questions may arise. Student employees can be very helpful with this.
Provide yourself extra time for online appointments, as they are likely to take longer than in-person meetings. For instance, if you regularly do 30 minute meetings, consider 45 minutes.

Send your student the URL to your meeting room in advance and encourage the student to:

  • Prepare by reviewing the Adobe Connect Participant Instructions
  • Arrive five minutes before the start of the meeting—students will not be able to enter the room until you arrive and grant them permission to enter
  • Use earbuds or a headset to avoid feedback
Also, send your student a phone number to call in case they are not able to join due to technical difficulties.
If you are new to Adobe Connect, consider keeping the Adobe Connect Visual Quick Start Guide (PDF) readily available for your first few appointments.

Here's a few tips to start your meeting successfully:
  • Consider plugging in your computer to the Ethernet to ensure a high-quality connection.
  • Sign-in with your Star ID and Password
  • Once your student arrives, grant the student permission to enter your room.
  • Connect your video and audio first, then enable video and audio for the student. Encourage the student to use ear buds or a headset to avoid audio feedback.
  • Confirm this is the correct student using photo or some other form of identification (last 4 of SSN, Warrior ID, DOB, etc.)
  • To ensure student privacy, check to make sure you have only one student signed-in.
With these steps completed, you will be ready to start the advising portion of your meeting.

After a few online advising sessions, you should be comfortable with the basic functions of Adobe Connect.

However, technical problems can arise. Try these suggestions if you experience technical difficulties.

  • Trouble sharing a document? Sharing the desktop is more reliable method and less error prone.

  • Student video not working or choppy? The student may not have high speed internet access where they are. Consider not using video if this is the case. If you are using a wireless connection, try plugging into the Ethernet to see if this resolves the issue.

  • Sound issues? If sound isn’t working, consider using the chat function to communicate and/or having the student call in via phone. If you are getting feedback, both you and your student should use earbuds or a headset.

  • Still stuck? Call TLT at 507.457.5240.

Make sure to clear your chat history after each visit to protect students' private information.

If you miss this step your chat history will remain active and will appear in your next online advising session with a different student.