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13
Adobe Connect (eClassLive) Decommissioning
Posted by Chris Goetz on 13 July 2020 03:36 PM

Attention eClass Users,

This message is to announce that the synchronous lecture and recording tool eClassLive (Adobe Connect) will be decommissioned on January 2nd, 2021. After this date, users will no longer be able to access Adobe Connect to host meetings or deliver online courses. IST is currently investigating the possibility of providing archived copies of Adobe Connect recordings to content owners, with details to follow as they become available.

This decision is not taken lightly. Given the current financial situation and the existence of a more scalable & easier to use alternative on campus (Zoom), keeping both systems operational is not a sustainable option. Another key factor that has led to this decision is that Adobe Connect currently relies on Flash, which will no longer be supported via the web as of December 31, 2020. This change is significant and has forced us to set an expedited timeline, as transitioning Adobe Connect off of Flash to a newer version would require a significant investment of resources in time and infrastructure before the end of the year.

In the past 3 months since Zoom was launched, its popularity has quickly overshadowed Adobe Connect. Zoom has broadly comparable features to Adobe Connect, it has an easier learning curve, and even has improved administration and support workflows. Cloud recordings are secure and available to students right through the LTI integration in eClass courses and the system provides recording analytics.


What does this change mean for Instructors?

  • Instructors who are currently using Adobe Connect should begin familiarizing themselves with using Zoom. While Adobe Connect will still be available until the end of Fall term 2020, anyone who is able to do so should deliver their Fall term synchronous learning sessions using Zoom.
  • Instructors should determine which (if any) of their recordings they still require access to. If users have only a small number of recordings they wish to retain, they can follow the instructions here to download them as an MP4 video file. As mentioned above, IST is currently investigating alternatives for a facilitated workflow to allow users to have access to Adobe Connect recordings post-decommissioning (details for this option will be communicated once they are finalized).
  • Specific affected individuals will receive direct communications in the next few weeks to advise them of this change and what actions they should take.

We realize that the timeline for this transition is not ideal, but the rapid push to increase synchronous capacity in the transition to online delivery in March 2020 was unprecedented. Under normal circumstances, the replacement of an integral component of the digital learning environment would take place over a longer period of time and afford instructors added flexibility during the change. In this instance, the budgetary constraints of providing two licensed solutions, the availability of a comparable system, and the impending discontinuation of flash have all enforced an expedited timeline that we all need to work with in order to move campus forward.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this change by contacting eClass support at 780-492-9372 or by email at eclass@ualberta.ca.


Regards,
IST eClass Support