Transition to Zoom

2018-01-29

Zoom training available at training.unl.edu

If you currently have content stored in your Adobe Connect content area you may download it by following these instructions: https://its.unl.edu/services/zoom/transition

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Zoom will replace Adobe Connect. The two services will run side by side until May 31, 2018, when Adobe Connect will be retired.

Zoom has been used extensively in a yearlong pilot across the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and by UNK and UNO with great success.

Information Technology Services (ITS) found the vast majority of users in the pilot, who were familiar with both applications, noted that Zoom delivers a higher quality HD video experience, has a more intuitive user experience and is a more stable application with considerably fewer interruptions of service.

"We feel strongly that in most cases Zoom is a superior platform for video conferences at the University of Nebraska," said Marcia Dority Baker, assistant director of academic technologies. "Most Big Ten universities have made the switch or are currently doing so."

Zoom will be adopted systemwide by the University of Nebraska, making it easier to integrate our other campuses and collaborate. This move coordinates with the ITS OneIT initiative to bring information technology together systemwide.

Zoom and Adobe Connect are different platforms, however, and because of these differences, there will be a process of adaptation from one platform to the other.

The Adobe Connect server will be functional through May 31, 2018. All content and recordings, in particular, will need to be removed by that date.

How does Zoom differ from Adobe Connect?

There are some notable differences between Zoom and Connect and there are a few features that Connect has that Zoom does not have. Here is a brief overview of those differences and some potential ways users may work around the missing features:

Pods. The user experience in Zoom is much simpler than that in Connect, there are no Pods or layouts in Zoom, document sharing is done by sharing one’s screen. For many users, this will be a welcome change because documents don’t need to be converted to Flash to be shared. For academic Connect users who are used to organizing their lectures using Pods and cascading layouts there will be an adjustment to working from their computer’s taskbar. They may organize the flow of their lecture by opening documents and content before class, minimizing it to the taskbar and then maximizing it into view as it is needed.

Microphones and Cameras (participant permissions). While Connect allowed a host to designate different levels of access to microphones and cameras, Zoom allows users access to mics and cameras in all meeting rooms except special ones called Webinar rooms which will be discussed below. Users will need to be made aware of their obligation to not activate their mic or camera unless the host allows their use in the meeting.

For larger, webinar type meetings featuring hundreds of users a special webinar room may be requested in Zoom. In the Webinar Room viewer’s camera and microphone, rights may be controlled as they were in Connect. There will be a limited number of these Webinar Rooms so they must be requested in advance. 

Recordings. Recordings made in Adobe Connect were hosted on the Connect server and while they had the advantage of being interactive because they were Flash files, the process of converting them to a universal format such as mp4 was a cumbersome one.

All recordings made with Zoom will be saved in the universal mp4 format and may then be moved to Box or Techsmith Relay for sharing either by streaming or download. However, the interactive nature of the Connect Flash recording will not be available in Zoom.

Storage. One of the biggest differences between Connect and Zoom is that Zoom does not offer content storage. Because of this the content you use in Zoom will need to be stored in another location, Box is an excellent choice for online storage for anything one currently stores on the Adobe Connect server with the exception of Adobe Presenter files which will need to be hosted on a new web server administered by UNL ITS.