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Creating an Ad Hoc Capture
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2019 01:41PM EDT

This article applies to:  Echo360 Instructors

Ad hoc captures are impromptu recordings, generated by telling the capture appliance to begin recording immediately, to capture the teaching opportunity.

Ad hoc captures have historically been enabled by interacting directly with the appliance, either through the device web UI, the Classroom Capture interface, or through the front panel of the PRO or touchscreen of the POD. Some institutions use a device monitor light configured to allow for instructor-initiated ad hoc captures.

If enabled by your system administrator, Echo360 also provides a Start Capture button for instructors, allowing them to initiate an ad hoc capture from within the Echo360 UI. Teaching Assistants do not have access to this method of starting an ad hoc capture. Also note that you may have a button that reads Universal Capture instead.

If you do not see a Start Capture button, refer to the links in the note below for alternate methods of initiating an ad hoc capture for your class.

instructor class list with start capture button located at top of page as described

As with any appliance-generated capture, there are certain limitations and configuration options you should be aware of. These are listed in the Additional things to know section below.

The Start Capture button initiates an appliance-generated capture in the selected room, for the selected section; it does not launch Personal Capture. The Start Capture button has been designed as an alternative to using the Device Web UI, the CCAP Interface, or the front panel of the Echo360 PRO or Echo360 POD appliance to initiate an ad hoc capture. It is not designed as a launch-method for Personal Capture.

To generate an ad hoc capture:

  1. Log into Echo360 as an instructor, and click START CAPTURE from the main menu bar.
  2. In the Start a new capture dialog box, select the room and the duration for the capture.
    The maximum duration depends on the type of device doing the capturing; the duration drop-down lists will not allow you to exceed the maximum for the device.
    Start a new capture dialog box with options as described
  3. The room selection may pre-populate the Inputs and Quality fields. Change these if appropriate or select them if they are not set for you based on the room.
  4. If appropriate, select a Section for this capture. If a section is selected, the ad hoc capture will  be automatically published to the section, and it will appear in the Content pages of your Echo Home page (because you initiated the capture so you own it).
  5. If you do not select a section, you will need to manually publish the capture to the section(s) whose students you want to view the capture. Alternately you may be able to post a public link to the capture for students to view.
  6. When finished, click Start. Recording should begin within a few minutes. The capture appliance should indicate when recording has begun.

The capture will continue for the duration you set, OR until the next scheduled capture for that room/device is set to begin. If you attempt to set the duration of your ad hoc capture beyond the start time of the next scheduled capture, you will receive a warning notifying you of the conflict. You are given the option of generating the ad hoc capture for the truncated duration instead or canceling and selecting a different room.

Additional things to know about ad hoc captures

Generating an ad hoc capture through the UI is quite easy, but there are additional options and tricks you should know, to take full advantage of the functionality.

Ad hoc captures can be streamed Live

While you can live stream your ad hoc capture, keep in mind that Live streamed captures are designed for students not currently present in the room. You will need to somehow notify remote students that there is an ad hoc live stream to watch. For this reason, we expect instructors to more typically generate non-live ad hoc captures.

In addition, (and somewhat logically) students in the classroom where you are running the capture should not try to connect to the Live stream, as network and bandwidth limitations may interfere with viewing performance. They can, however, open the classroom without showing the live stream, to participate in Q&A discussions or to take notes.

Otherwise, the same limitations apply to instructor-generated live captures as they do to admin-generated live captures. Those are:

  • The room you select must contain a capture appliance that supports Live streaming. The only appliance that does not support live streaming is a CCAP installation on Windows 7.
  • You MUST select a section for the capture; the Live stream toggle is disabled until both a section and a room are selected.
  • You will need to allow 5 minutes for the Live stream to begin. This is to accommodate the necessary server configuration and allocation of the ports required to stream the capture live to students.

Ad hoc captures appear in your Content home

Regardless of whether you select a section to publish the capture to or not, the capture, once completed, will appear in your Content home because you own it. From there you can publish the capture to one or more sections, or if enabled for your institution, generate a public link to post for viewing.

Because you generated the capture, you are the owner of the capture and can control it as you can any other kind of owned content. The only limitation may be that you cannot delete the capture if your system administrator has restricted the ability for instructors to delete appliance generated captures.

Selecting a section will auto-publish the capture to the section

If you select a section for your ad hoc capture, a class is automatically created to hold the capture and will contain the capture for student viewing once completed. You can set the availability for the capture if you need to limit when it can be viewed, but the class is automatically created in the section and the capture is auto-published there when complete.

Note that if your institution provides closed captions for captures, AND captures are not made available until they have captions applied, your ad hoc capture will not be available to students until closed captioning is complete.

Ad hoc captures cannot interfere with scheduled captures

As stated in the procedure above, the ad hoc capture cannot interfere with a scheduled capture currently slated for the same room/device. If you attempt to run an ad hoc capture whose duration will conflict with a scheduled capture, you will receive a warning message. You will be given the opportunity to run the ad hoc capture for the available time, however, if this meets your needs. Otherwise, you will need to run the ad hoc capture in a different room or using a different capture appliance.

Ad hoc captures cannot have a duration beyond the allowed maximum

The maximum duration of capture, scheduled or ad hoc is enforced by the system and is dependant on the device being used.

Device Type Maximum allowed Duration
SafeCapture HD 4 hours
Echo360 PRO 8 hours
Echo360 POD 8 hours
Classroom Capture 8 hours
Universal Capture 8 hours

Start Capture button does not launch PCAP

As stated in the note above, the Start Capture button initiates an appliance-generated capture in the selected room, for the selected section; it does not launch Personal Capture. The Start Capture button has been designed as an alternative to using the Device Web UI or the front panel of the Echo360 PRO or Echo360 POD appliance to initiate an ad hoc capture. It is not designed as a launch-method for Personal Capture.
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