Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.



Elluminate is an online web-based platform for hosting classes or meetings. A free version of Elluminate allows up to three people to have a virtual meeting online. Participants can view a shared screen, presentation, white board, web page, and discussion board.

Research findings from faculty and student interviews and surveys have shown that faculty-student and student-student engagement is one of the main challenges in online courses. Providing opportunities to engage through video conferences is one way to foster communication with and among students.


Please click below for an audio of the introduction to Elluminate.


Instructions on How to Use Elluminate

Please click here to download a pdf of the instructional guide to Elluminate.

Technical Requirements and Where to Access Elluminate

No specific hardware or software is required to use Elluminate. Elluminate will work with any operating system and Internet browser.

Access Elluminate at: http://www.elluminate.com/


Every e-Tool in the e-Toolbox was reviewed by either a UDI Online Project research and design team member, or one or several faculty at five partner institutions who incorporated a specific e-Tool into an online or blended course they taught. Faculty from these partner institutions also requested that students review the e-Tool included in a course or products created through the use of the e-Tool (e.g., documents, videos, audio clips, or other items). Likert scale surveys with open-ended questions were used by respondents.  Feedback from the reviewing UDI Online team member or faculty who used a tool is presented in addition to student ratings when available. 


e-Tool Review Results

Faculty e-Tool Review Results
Number of faculty reviewers: 1

The reviewer of this e-tool reported that it was easy to find on the web and incorporate into her course. She used the e-tool to assist students to demonstrate their understanding or mastery of content, to facilitate communication with and between students, and to allow students to communicate with and learn from educators from around the world. She strongly agreed that this e-tool exemplified the Principles of Universal Design for Instruction within her course. The professor commented that the benefit of this e-tool was that “Moderators (session facilitators) have multiple interactive presentation options (all of which can be concurrent): audio, video, webcam (up to 6), text chat, whiteboard, drawing, polling surveys. Moderator can give granular privileges to participants (e.g., text chat and audio but no video, lock or unlock the whiteboard area for participants to navigate on their own or with the instructor). The moderator can also randomly or selectively assign participants into private rooms for small group discussions, which the moderator can also listen to and participate in. Sessions can be recorded and archived for later review. Participants can also save the text chat and whiteboard presentation section on their own if they wish. Full Elluminate recording automatically generates 'bookmarks' whenever a new activity in session occurs, making it easier for students to review pertinent sections.” The instructor also commented that a drawback of using this e-tool was that “Folks need to remember to do the audio set up wizard prior to speaking and have headsets on to prevent an audio feedback loop. Some people hesitate to speak but then they can text chat if they wish instead.” The reviewer would use the e-tool in another course to allow her students to demonstrate understanding or mastery of content, to facilitate communication with and between students, and to allow communication with learners outside the class.


Student e-Tool Review Results

Number of students who took the survey: 8

Number of students with learning disabilities who took the survey: 1

1. The tool was easy to use.

Picture of the result -13% of student reviewers strongly agreed that this e-tool was easy to use. 88% of student reviewers agreed that this e-tool was easy to use. 

2. The tool assisted me with the following: (Select all that apply)

 Picture of result of -13% of student reviewers used this e-tool to understand course requirements.  75% of student reviewers used this e-tool to reduce physical demands and to allow maximum attention to learning.  88% of student reviewers used this e-tool to facilitate communication with other students in the class. 88% of student reviewers used this e-tool to facilitate communication with their instructor.  63% of student reviewers used this e-tool to demonstrate their understanding of the course content.

3. Please comment on the benefits of using the tool in the course.

  • It allowed us to meet and attend information sessions with people from all over the world; participation in sessions, globally.
  • It was a good way to introduce us to the online world and allow us to experiment with the virtual classroom.
  • I was able to attend class regardless of where I was (physically). It also allowed me to ask questions from fellow classmates, the instructor and even other participants that were in the session.
  • A very easy way to have an online session. It doesn't require too much effort to understand how to navigate through the interface.
  • Enforcement of knowledge leaned in class, alternative platform that brings an authentic change to the traditional classroom setting.

4. Please comment on any drawbacks of using the tool.

  • It's a really awkward interface, and there's always a lot of time wasted to sorting out the technological issues (I'd say we lose about 15 minutes/hour to technical difficulties every hour).
  • Lots of people seem to have problems with software settings; lots of presenters are not very skilled in using it; virtual environment is not as good as physical environment.
  • It is sometimes difficult to navigate and sometimes makes communication more challenging.
  • It requires minimal practice in order to feel comfortable with the tool.
  • Sometimes I had technical problems that slowed down my participation in the session. It took a while until everyone was comfortable using the tool, and I think it is only useful for smaller groups so that everyone has the chance to use the microphone. Otherwise there is the option to use the chat, which is also great.