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Synchronous Online Meetings

Synchronous Online Meetings: FAQ & Troubleshooting

This section provides questions and answers on a variety of topics regarding WCONLINE's Online Consultation Module. Be sure to also review Setting Up the Online Consultation Module and Using the Online Consultation Module, as questions answered in those sections are not duplicated here.


What is the Online Consultation Module?

The Online Consultation Module, built into WCONLINE, provides a virtual meeting space with text chat, audio and video chat, a shared, synchronous whiteboard that both participants can use at the same time, and tools for drawing and math. 


What are the technical requirements to use the Online Consultation Module?

Like all of WCONLINE, the Online Consultation Module can be used with any type of device with any modern web browser (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Edge). The Module does require a stable internet connection and will be the most useable on a high-speed (non-dial-up) connection. Optionally, you can use audio and video within a session and, to do so, would need to have a webcam and microphone attached to your computer with the drivers and permissions needed for it to work within your web browser. 

Rarely, an internet provider (and typically a "free wi-fi" provider) will block access to the ports used by online conferencing tools.  If an individual sees a "page not found" or a continuously-loading page when accessing an online session, they might need to reach out to their internet provider to ensure that ports 9088, 9089, 9090, 9091, 9093, and 3478 are open.  Additionally, for video and audio, UDP ports 0-65535 should also be available.


Why can't individuals see and hear each other even if video and audio is enabled?

Video and audio within WCONLINE’s Online Consultation Module relies on a technology called WebRTC. That technology is built into every major browser and is responsible for creating a peer-to-peer connection between the participants’ computers in an online session.  This means that WCONLINE doesn’t control or have access to an individual’s camera, nor does the video or audio come through WCONLINE’s infrastructure. 

As long as USE AUDIO/VIDEO IN ONLINE MEETINGS is set to "Yes" in Global System Settings, then individuals will be prompted to allow WCONLINE to access their camera when they first join an online meeting. 

If a participant in an online session doesn’t see video or audio options or can’t see the other participant, then that means that the individual’s camera isn’t available to their web browser or isn’t broadcasting. Most likely, this is because the individual said “no” or hit “escape” when the browser asked for permission to access the camera when first joining a session. It’s also possible that the individual has disabled access to the camera for the entire browser or has set the browser to only allow such access for specific websites.  

In any case, we recommend moving forward by: 

  • Refreshing the browser and, if prompted, allowing the use of the camera and microphone.
  • Closing the browser entirely and then trying to access the session in another browser.
  • Checking browser and operating system "video," "audio," "privacy," and "broadcast" settings to ensure that the camera and microphone haven't been disabled for specific websites, browsers, or tools.
  • Ensuring that there aren’t other heavy bandwidth applications running on the same internet connection that might impact the bandwidth available to the Module.
  • Ensure that no other application currently open is accessing the video camera. WebRTC, like most internet video technologies, requires that it has sole access to the camera.
  • Continuing the session without audio and video and using the other tools—such as the text chat, whiteboard, and drawing tools—to communicate in the session.


What can be done about reconnection or disconnection messages that individuals sometimes see briefly during a session?

An online meeting requires that both participants have an internet connection that is stable. If one person's internet is unstable, then both participants will see a "reconnection/disconnection" message while the system attempts to re-establish the synchronous connection between the parties. While there is not a permanent fix other than using a different internet connection, there are some things that participants should do if they experience frequent disconnects.

First, the online module (and video and audio specifically) is a high-bandwidth application. If sharing an internet connection in a household, participants should try to minimize the use of other high bandwidth applications—like movies and games—being used on the same connection. Additionally, because browsers prioritize the active tab, participants should use just one tab in their browser and not browse away in other tabs. Finally, disconnecting from the session and then reconnecting (or waiting a few minutes and then trying again) could also help establish the connection.


Why is some formatting lost when a document is imported into the Module?

The Module is strongly focused on collaborating on content while keeping as much formatting as possible. While it retains a lot of formatting so that nearly all typical documents (such as papers) are readable and have paragraph breaks and other basic formatting, it does not keep all possible formatting, especially if clients use tables, image-based PDFs, or other complicated formatting.  

If clients are working specifically on the formatting of resumes or lists of references where they have used tables and other formatting that does not show up in online meetings, they can attach the document to their appointment before their meeting (which allows the staff member to download the original document). If you haven't already, you would need to ALLOW FILES TO BE ATTACHED TO APPOINTMENTS in Schedule Management.


Can I replace the Module with Zoom or Bluejeans?

In "System Integrations" within Global System Settings, you can integrate Zoom or BlueJeans into WCONLINE.  Once integrated, clients would use those technologies instead of the Online Consultation Module when connecting to online sessions through WCONLINE.

If you would prefer to use Zoom, BlueJeans, or another online conferencing application without a formal integration, you can:

  • Set your staff availability to just "face-to-face" in Staff or Resource Management. This turns off WCONLINE's eTutoring and Online Consultation Modules.
  • Get a static or unchanging URL from your conferencing service provider for each member on your staff. Some providers call these URLs things like "rooms," "personal meeting IDs," or "collaboration spaces."
  • Add that URL to the "Resource Bio or Related Information" section of each staff member's listing in Staff and Resource Management.
  • Include some form of instruction in the appointment confirmation emails (as set in Schedule Management) or as an announcement (via Announcement Management) or at the top of the appointment form (via the "Resource Bio or Related Information" field).


Synchronous Online Meetings

SECTION 1: Setting Up the Online Consultation Module

SECTION 2: Using the Online Consultation Module

SECTION 3: Synchronous Online Meetings: FAQ & Troubleshooting

WCONLINE Product Manual

The product manual is available completely online. Choose a chapter from the list below or use the search tool to perform a keyword search.

CH 1: Welcome

GENERAL INFORMATION

CH 2: Data Collection & Forms

CH 3: Access, Access Levels, and the Schedule

CH 4: Synchronous Online Meetings

WELCOME MENU/CONTROL PANELS

CH 5: Update Profile & Email Options

CH 6: Client & Record Management

CH 7: Schedule Management

CH 8: Staff and Resource Management

CH 9: Starting Availability Management

CH 10: Blackout Times Management

CH 11: Announcement Management

CH 12: Mass Email Tool

CH 13: System Data Export

CH 14: Report: System Statistics

CH 15: Report: Master Listings

CH 16: Report: System Utilization

CH 17: Global System Settings

CH 18: Form Setup: System Forms

CH 19: Module Setup: Early Alerts & Flags

CH 20: Module Setup: Survey

CH 21: Module Setup: Time Clock

FAQs

CH 22: Frequently Asked Questions

This manual applies to the current version of WCONLINE® and is constantly updated as new features are released.