Internet connection issues are inevitable – whether it’s your first session or your hundredth session here is your perfect troubleshooting guide. Based on your connection issue, follow the steps below.
1. Can’t connect at the beginning of a session (black screen or choppy video)
This is usually a connection issue. Check the student’s PING and see if there is an obvious issue (THEIR PING much higher than 500)
→ Yes: Write to them in the chat to trouble shoot (explained below).
→ No: There must be another issue
High PING: If the video is very choppy, frozen, or not connected at all then use the chat on the left sidebar to contact your student. Write something like “Hi (NAME)! I can see that your connection is a little weak. We can fix this! Close out of any other programs or windows/tabs that you have open. Then close and reopen Google Chrome and reconnect to the session. Let’s see if that works.”
→ Yes: it worked! Then you can carry on with the session
→ No: still having problems. Follow these instructions:
If you’ve already tried to close everything and refresh a few times and the video quality isn’t any stronger, then at this point you can ask your student if he/she would be willing to switch to Zoom. Zoom is extremely easy to use and you don’t need to share your contact details with the students, and also your students don’t need to download the app to join the call. Make sure YOU install Zoom on your computer as a back-up. Alternatively, you can use Skype (not recommended). You can either share your personal account or create a specific Fluentify/ English Teaching account. If you do switch to Skype or Zoom always make sure to write a note to the customer service (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the end of the session informing them that you had to switch and give the name and ID number of the student.
Normal PING: This could be a few different things.
The student isn’t using Google Chrome → make sure to clarify that the Fluentify platform is designed specifically for use with Chrome and that he/she should switch to it or download it. This should solve your connection issues.
The student is using a tablet such as a tablet or a phone → First, make sure the student is using the Fluentify App (Fluentify Live) if using an Apple device because it is usually impossible to connect via Chrome.
If the student is using a non-Apple device (i.e. Android), he/she should be able to access Fluentify via the Chrome app.
While Fluentify tends to work pretty well via mobile, you are more likely to experience connection issues when not using a computer. Inform your student of this and recommend that he/she try to use a computer for the best possible quality session. If the student can’t switch, try to complete the session as much as possible. You might need to refresh from your end often and the student may have to close out of the app and login again if you experience more issues.
2. Can’t hear the student or vice versa
This is usually a simple issue of microphone connection. For the side whose microphone isn’t working- close chrome and reopen. This will solve the issue 99% of the time. If it still doesn’t work, the person should go into their personal computer settings and check for the ‘sound’ options to make sure that the ‘output’ sound is connected to the headphones rather than internal microphone (or vice versa if the student isn’t using headphones).
It could also be a headphone problem- try to unplug or plug in headphones to see if there is a change! Finally, there is sometimes a bigger connection issue. If none of these things work, try to switch to Skype to see if the audio works there.
3. Can hear the student but can’t see them
This is usually a connection issue from one side. Check the PING numbers and follow the steps above (refreshing, closing chrome and reopening, etc.).
Stay calm and patient. Sometimes you’ll be working with students who may not be very tech savvy so make sure to explain slowly and clearly how to complete the steps above. Remember, worst case scenario- switch to Zoom or Skype. When there are major issues or you can’t complete the session at all, ALWAYS write to the customer service (via the chat box or at email@example.com) and leave a note about the session time, student + ID, and what happened.
Are there any other connection issues you guys have experienced? Share them with us here so we can add them to the article!