Troubleshooting Strategies

The following material is reprinted with some adaptations with permission of The Training Institute of the United States Training Office. The original material (available on the web) is linked at the end of this section.

Preventive Measures

Taking the following measures can help you prevent problems before a session starts or avoid problems during a session, saving time in the long run. Schedule time in the conference room to allow for room setup and equipment checks before participants are expected to arrive.

Using preview, check that all cameras are working. If you can see all the preview images, you can rule out power and cables as sources of problems that may arise. Test the audio with remote rooms, and adjust the volume as needed. Test sending and receiving still graphics with remote rooms, confirming that all were received. Know how to contact technical support. Bring to every class a list of sites involved and the telephone number of each remote videoconference room. You can get this list from technical support. Having these numbers handy will allow you to contact remote rooms quickly and inform participants of actions you will take and about how long they need to stand by.

Troubleshooting Audio Problems:

Problem Solutions
Muffled, crunching or rustling sounds Clear the table of papers or other objects around the microphones
Make sure that microphones are not obstructed
Make sure that participants are not touching or moving the microphones
Low or distant sound Check the volume. Increase it, if needed
Make sure that participants are sitting within 5 feet of the microphones and are speaking directly into them
Deterioration of sound quality during class Reset or refresh the audio system
*Call IT Support Services
Inability to hear Confirm that the remote room’s audio privacy is not on and that the microphone is unmuted
Check the volume. Increase it, if needed
Make sure the remote room microphones are all properly placed and plugged in
Echo Check that the microphones are pointed toward students and not the speakers
Poll sites to identify a room not hearing the echo. Ask someone in that room to turn the volume down
Cutoff or “clipping” of words or syllables Let the on-screen room finish talking before you begin
Eliminate background noise and side conversations at your site
Don’t talk too loudly
*Provide your name and location to give others enough time to pick-up your reception. There can be a 3-second delay on audio between sites

Troubleshooting Video Problems:

Problem Solutions
Blurred or out-of-focus image *Zoom in our out as needed using the remote
Minimize excessive movement by participants and of objects or visual materials. *Our cameras tend to focus on the source of sound, so movement may pull the focus from one person to another.
*Any other video issue *Contact IT Services for support

Full, Original Source available here:


Designing Activities 

 Day 1 Expectations