Web-Conference Course Guidelines, Harvard Extension School

Web-Conference Course Guidelines

Participate in a web-conference class at Harvard from anywhere in the world. At a scheduled time each week, you connect to a web-conference classroom and interact with faculty and fellow students online in real time. For expectations regarding student participation, see Attendance and Participation.

Learn about the practice of web-conference courses from faculty in this movie.

Prepare to Use the Software

Web conference courses use either Zoom or Adobe Connect software as indicated in each course description.

All first-time web conference students must learn to use the software before their very first class. Please go to the web conference information page, and select the link on the left (example ‘Zoom’) to find upcoming training dates and times.

You may also go after the links below to learn the software.

Once you are registered, you can find the URL for web conference classrooms in online services and on password-protected course websites a week before the commence of classes.

System Requirements

1. Computer minimum specifications:


  • 2GHz Intel Core™ Duo or swifter processor, 8GB RAM
  • Windows eight or Ten
  • Web Browsers (versions): Chrome v50 or later, Firefox v45 or later, Internet Explorer 11.0.9 or later, Edge for Win10


  • 2GHz Intel Core™ Duo or swifter processor, 8GB RAM
  • Mac OS Ten.Ten and Ten.11
  • Web Browsers (versions): Chrome v50 or later, Firefox v45 or later, Safari v8 or later

We do not support

  • Beta versions of any software
  • Taking courses or viewing movies on mobile devices
  • Linux

Two. Internet Speeds

Download/upload: minimum three Mbps, use a wired connection

Trio. Headset

Logitech H390 USB headset

Sennheiser PC230 USB headset

(Similar quality USB headsets available, which may be adequate)

We very recommend the use of a headset with microphone. Do not use the microphone that is built into a laptop or webcam.

Four. Movie Camera (Two options)

Adequate: Most built-in camera and basic webcams will be fine.

Best: Logitech 930e webcam; a little more expensive but much better movie quality.

Five. Audio

Your instructor may primarily limit your use of movie and/or audio until the students are better acquainted with the software. You will always be able to communicate with the instructor and other students using the talk window provided.

Zoom will automatically download when a user connects to the correct URL. In most cases, an applet will open upon download. If your web browser prohibits the auto-launch please double-click on the downloaded file. Zoom courses are movie intensive; a good webcam and headset are significant.

Getting embarked with Zoom has basic feature and setup advice. This website also has a Zoom-specific help talk.

Adobe Connect

Visit the Connection Test page on the Adobe website.

The contraptions on this page will:

  • Check to see that your operating system and version of Java meet the minimum requirements
  • Help you get the correct version of Flash if you do not have it
  • Give you a brief orientation to the software

The Quick Begin for Participants will give you information about the various contraptions available in the interface.

Getting Help

After completing the steps above, if you still have problems either in configuring your computer or when you attempt to attend class call:

Online Support (Technical Questions and Computer/Software Troubleshooting)

  • (617) 998-8571 Monday–Thursday, ten am–11 pm; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, ten am–8 pm
  • or e-mail [email protected]

Enrollment Services (Registration, Access, and General Questions)

  • (617) 495-4024 Mondays–Fridays, nine am–5 pm, eastern time
  • Or e-mail [email protected]

Online Technology Status Page

Click "Report a Problem" link from within course movie to send an incident report to Online Support. You can expect a response within ten minutes to twenty four hours.

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