Jigsaw 101: Setting Up For Success

posted Aug 11, 2017, 7:37 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated Aug 11, 2017, 7:45 AM ]
This year, GAVS is moving from Adobe Connect to Jigsaw for our synchronous sessions.  This is proving to have quite the learning curve for many folks, myself included.

One of the first things I had to do to prepare for my first Jigsaw session, was upload assets to my asset library.  My first session was a welcome session, so I wanted to upload my syllabus as a PDF (attachment) and I also wanted to upload a Welcome PowerPoint (Presentation).  Then, because screen sharing wasn't working very well, I wanted to upload a screencast video (video) I'd created to give my students a tour of the course homepage.  I gave all of these documents the tag of "Fall 2017" so I could easily find all of the things I'd uploaded specifically for Fall 2017.  I also used the tags: syllabus, welcome, 18 week, 16 week, 14 week, 12 week, powerpoint where applicable.  The screenshot below shows me searching for the "Fall 2017" tag, which gave me these "Fall 2017" specific documents.

The following YouTube video is the recording of my Welcome Session.  We've found that students sometimes leave the video links open, which then locks other students out of the recording.  I didn't want to deal with fielding emails from parents when their kiddos couldn't access the recording and also try and get ahold of all of my students and convince them to *pretty please* close the window when they are done watching a recording.  So, I downloaded my recording and uploaded it into iMovie.  In iMovie, I cropped out the student names so as not to violate FERPA.  Then, I uploaded the cropped video to YouTube and posted the link to the YouTube video in my course.  Some things to be aware of in this video:
  • I used my "Fall 2017 Welcome Session" Presentation to go over important policies and procedures with my students (0:27 - 34:00).
  • I uploaded all 4 of my "Fall 2017 Syllabus" attachments so my students could download their appropriate syllabus (you won't be able to see this because I had to crop out the entire right side to remove student names).
  • Towards the end, I played my "Fall 2017 Welcome Tour" video for my students (fast forward to 35:58).

Fall 2017 Welcome Session

I think the most important thing for success in a Jigsaw session is to do a few things:
  • Be prepared.  It is important to kind of plan out in your head how you'd like to structure the session, especially since screen sharing isn't working (or isn't working well).  So I can't decide spur-of-the-moment, that I want to share my screen and walk my students through something.  For the welcome session, I knew I needed to create a screencast before my session of me walking the students through their course homepage.  This meant that the day before I recorded the screencast, edited it in iMovie, and uploaded it to YouTube, so I could easily add it as an asset in Jigsaw.  If I wasn't thinking in advance about what I wanted to do for my session, I wouldn't have had time to pre-record a video to play during the session.  Because you have to upload assets in advance, you need to make sure that you are planning your session in advance, so you can pre-load your assets into Jigsaw.  There is no spur-of-the-moment deciding that you'd like to add something else to your presentation.
  • Keep it simple.  Many folks were so-called experts at Adobe.  They had figured out how to play games with their students, upload movies and music to play at the beginning, etc. etc.  Luckily (I guess...), I was still fairly new to Adobe since I started in Spring 2017.  So, I was already keeping my sessions fairly simple because 1) I didn't want to get too ahead of myself 2) I was having trouble getting students to attend, so I couldn't do a ton of interactive things with them because there was no one to interact with.  With Jigsaw, I toned it back even further.  I knew that I wasn't terribly familiar with the platform and that the students weren't either.  So I kept it very simple - presentation and a video.  I also prefaced the session by telling the students that it was a new platform for everyone, so we would just take it slow and try our best.  If something happened, we would try our best to troubleshoot whatever problem we were having.
  • Be flexible.  I knew that screen sharing didn't work, so I pre-recorded a video.  But, in case the video didn't work, I had screenshots of important parts of the homepage in my presentation.  
And, just in case....here's the Attendance checker from this session, just to show that I watched the recording: