Campus review chooses Connect Pro

A unit of Information and Educational Technology has finished evaluating Adobe Connect Professional and Elluminate, two software products that help people confer and work together online. Its report says Connect Pro offers the best fit for campus needs.

"When looking at the key issues, Connect Pro currently comes out ahead," said Liz Gibson, director of IET's Academic Technology Services (formerly Mediaworks and Classroom Technology Services). Those factors include cost, video capacity and quality, plus content development capabilities.

Connect Pro doesn't yet meet disabled-access requirements set by federal rule Section 508, but Adobe is working on it. "We will continue to push Adobe to work on accessibility, as we do now with all vendors," Gibson said.

ATS invited campus instructors to join a pilot tryout comparing both products starting in 2006. The current campus license allows up to 200 concurrent users, which more than meets the present demand. "We have not exceeded about 70," Gibson said. "Although the software is being used frequently, it has not reached a point where we have large numbers of concurrent meetings, so our license is carrying us longer than we anticipated originally."

People can use Connect Pro (formerly Breeze Meeting) and other online communications and collaboration tools in many different ways for instruction, research, outreach, and general business meetings. Clients can use it to watch presentations together, share a digital whiteboard or other drawing tools, or do similar tasks online.

To learn more about Connect Pro at UC Davis, contact ATS at (530) 752-2133. The application is not free, but an Education al Technology Resource Grant can help cover the cost.