Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • May 12, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to the Academic Advising Video Chat Option

Until you can meet with an academic advisor via hologram or teleportation, you can get advising help through the next best thing: live, video web conferencing. 

Similar to a web conference at work or with your proctor during an online exam, the Office of Academic Advising launched a new video conferencing appointment option this past winter. The interactive video-based chat service offers advising help in real-time. All you need for your appointment is a webcam, speaker, microphone and reliable Internet connection.

Ready to video chat with an advisor? Here is how to get started.

How to Schedule Your Video Advising Appointment

Schedule a videoconference just as you would a regular phone appointment. Log into your myEdison® account and select the Appointment Desk feature. The video chat option can be found under the Counseling section. After you schedule your appointment, you will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to set up your video call.

At least 48 hours before your scheduled appointment, create an account with the University’s video chat service, Cisco Spark. Sign up is free. Include your full name and the email address you have on file with the University. Cisco Spark works on virtually any mobile device, computer or browser. Screen sharing is available via Windows, Mac or Firefox applications. Follow the onscreen prompts to download the appropriate web app for your device. You will then be guided through a test of your audio and video equipment. You can participate in a virtual meeting whenever your device is connected to a WiFi network or has access to a cellular network. Five minutes before your appointment, add your first and last name in the settings so your advisor can find and contact you quickly. 

5 Key Components for an Effective Video Advising Session

Keep these tips in mind so you get the most out of your appointment.

  • Aim for clarity:  Test your video and sound equipment before your appointment. Adjust the volume or location of your webcam as necessary.
  • Bring any questions or concerns: In order to have the most productive advising appointment possible, review your Academic Evaluation in advance. Have some questions prepared.
  • Choose an appropriate environment: Find a space that is quiet and distraction-free so your advisor doesn’t have to strain to hear you. Avoid any disruptive places that people often move about in the background, like a café or library. Last, but not least, position yourself so the light faces you, not behind you, so your advisor can see you clearly.
  • Be punctual: Log into your account and set up your video chat at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment time. This will allow you to ensure that your device is working correctly. If you arrive too late and experience any technical difficulties, it will only detract from the time you have to consult with an advisor.
  • Prepare your screen for screen sharing, if applicable: Turn off any programs that you do not need for your appointment. Other programs can slow down your connection. Close out all other tabs or windows that may distract you.

If you have any questions about this new video calling service, email the Office of Academic Advising at Be sure to include your degree program and student ID number in the subject line. Or, call the Advising Expressline at (888) 442-8372, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

As always, if you prefer to communicate with your advisor over the phone, this popular option is still available. Schedule an appointment through the Appointment Desk or call the Advisement Expressline at (888) 442-8372.

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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