Internet connection issues are inevitable – whether it’s your first session or your hundredth session here is your perfect troubleshooting guide. Watch this video tutorial during which Katie will show you how to troubleshoot the most common tech issues!
If you still have doubts, read through the article.
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 troubleshoot (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 orange 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. At this point, write to the Customer Service team (online 8am-6pm UK time) and give them the name and ID number of your student in addition to a short description of what’s happening. They will help you troubleshoot the issue.
→ Panic! Customer Service is offline! → 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 Skype. You can either share your personal account or create a specific Fluentify/ English Teaching account. If you do switch to Skype always make sure to write a note to the customer service 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 an iPad or a phone → First, make sure the student is using the Fluentify App because it is usually impossible to connect via Chrome from a device. While the Fluentify App tends to work pretty well on the Apple devices, 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 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 and customer service is offline, 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. Always rely on the customer service if you’re really struggling and then worst case scenario- switch to Skype. When there are major issues or you can’t complete the session at all, ALWAYS write to the customer service (via the chat or at firstname.lastname@example.org) and leave a note about the session time, student, and what happened.