High School Professor Instruction Manual

  1. Creating an Account
  2. Providing Feedback
  3. TalkAbroad Support

Creating an Account

To create an account you need to access the TalkAbroad website located at www.talkabroad.com and click on the Create Account button in the middle of the page.

Fill out the registration form with all your details and then click on Create Account. It is important that you pay close attention when you register as an error with your timezone will cause problems when connecting with a conversation partner in the future.

You will be sent an email which contains a verification link. Click on it to finish the registration process.

Purchasing Credits

You are now at your high school professor homepage. Before reserving a time for a conversation you will need to purchase credits or redeem a pre-purchase code. Click on  Purchase Conversations on the navigation bar to the left..

A. Paying via Credit Card

Paying by credit card is the fastest way to begin. In order to pay via credit card you need to select the number of credits to purchase and confirm payment:

  • Credit Card Number
  • CVC Code: 3-4 number code on back of physical card
  • Expiration Date

You will be charged once you have confirmed the quantity of credits and entered your credit card information.

B. Paying by Invoice

To receive an invoice that can be paid by the school you work for fill out the invoice form. 

  • School/School District Name
  • Invoice Contact Person Name
  • Invoice Contact Person Email
  • Number and Language of conversations

We will email an invoice to the contact person you name. Once we receive payment or a PO number from the contact person we will credit your account with your purchase. This method takes significantly longer to begin.

C. Redeeming a Pre-Purchase Code

If you have a pre-purchase code from your school . Add the code on the space provided and click on Redeem Code. Upon entering the code your credits will be added to your account. You do not need to enter any credit card information.

Scheduling Conversations

There are many conversation partners available to you. To get started, click Schedule a Conversation on the left hand navigation bar or Schedule a 15/30 minute conversation  (see more information about student accounts in the next section). You can search for partners in several ways:

  • By Country
  • By Date/Time they are available – Use this if you already know the date/time you want to have your conversation and only want to view partners available at that time.

A. Selecting a Partner

Once you make your selection you will see a condensed list of partners. If one looks interesting you can view their full profile by clicking on their name.

Each time you have a conversation you can speak to the same conversation partner or select a new one.

The full profile will give you an idea of the interests, hobbies, and background of the partner. Spend time looking at the available conversation partners so you can find someone with similar interests.

B. Finding an Available Conversation Time

Once you have selected your conversation partner, take a look at their calendar of availability. Choose a time that works for you by clicking on the time in the calendar. All times shown will be according to the timezone you have selected on your profile. You can change your timezone under  Manage Account after clicking your name in the top right of the page.

Please be aware that conversations need to be made at least 36 hours in advance. This gives the partner enough warning to ensure they will attend.

Once you have selected the time you will be asked to confirm the time, the assignment you are completing (or if no assignments exist you will be prompted to add a new assignment), and the conversation partner.

C. Making a Reservation

To finalize this conversation click Confirm Reservation. You will be sent a confirmation email with details and instructions. To confirm that your reservation was successfully created, you can also look at the list of conversations on your homepage. You should now see the reservation at the appropriate day and time.

D. Canceling a Reservation and Updating an Assignment

Locate the conversation in the list of conversations on your homepage. Click details, which will display all the information for the upcoming reservation. Click “Cancel Reservation” or select the appropriate assignment. 

TalkAbroad’s Cancellation Policy allows you to cancel reservations up to 12 hours before the call is scheduled to take place. This provides enough notice so that the conversation partner can be alerted to the change. Your credit will be automatically replaced into your account.

Using Student Accounts

A. Overview

The allows a professor to manage accounts for their students and avoids students needing to register individually or provide any personal information. You can provide any name you like for your student accounts and it is very common to use unique identifiers to avoid providing any student information. (Molly S, TG, Group 1, Tom and Sue, etc). The name on the student account should be used so that you can keep track of your students or groups.

B. Creating Student Accounts

On your homepage click Add New Student Account in the "Active Student Accounts" box in the bottom left of the page. Provide a name for this student account and click Submit. You will land on your homepage and will see your new student account. Note that it has created a username and password for this account. This username and password can be used to log into the student account on our homepage. You can also log into this account clicking login in the "Active Student Accounts" box.

C. Scheduling Conversations for your Student Accounts

Often high school professors want to schedule conversations for their students to have during class. This is easy to do using your newly created student accounts.

Locate the correct student account in the "Active Student Accounts" box and select Schedule a 30-minute conversation or Schedule a 15-minute conversation. Follow the normal scheduling procedures listed above when scheduling for yourself. By clicking the link for a specific student the conversation will be created for your student account. You will be able to see the scheduled conversation on your homepage but you will not be able to join the conversation on your high school professor homepage. In order to attend the conversation you will need to click "login" for the student account or log into the account on a different device using the username and password provided.

D. Assign Credits to your Student Accounts

Other times, high school professors will want to assign a conversation credit that the school has purchased to a student and allow the student to choose their own conversation partner.

This can be done by clicking on student name and then Assign 1 30-minute Credit or Assign 1 15-minute Credit. This will remove one credit from your high school professor account and add one credit into the student account. The credit can now be used by logging into the student account with the username and password provided. If the credit goes unused you can always remove this credit from the student account and put it back in your high school professor account by clicking Remove 30-minute Credit or Remove 15-minute Credit.

You can assign only 1 30-minute and 1 15-minute credit to each account at any given time. If you want a student to complete more than one conversation you will need to add a new credit into the account after the previous credit has been used.

Preparing for a Conversation

In order to get the most out of your TalkAbroad conversation it is best to prepare beforehand.

A. Preparation for the Assignment

The assignment will be delivered to your conversation partner ahead of time. We suggest that you take 10-15 minutes to think about the conversation topic and a plan for the conversation.

If you are using TalkAbroad in a beginning-level course, consider writing out 10-15 questions to help structure the conversation.

B. Technology

Computer and Internet Requirements

In order to complete a TalkAbroad conversation you will need a computer with an internet browser that is WebRTC enabled. All modern browsers and phones with work with TalkAbroad (latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox Mozilla, or Safari are the recommended browsers for completing conversations). You will also need a functioning microphone and video camera. Please test your equipment thoroughly to ensure they work well..

C. Completing a Test on Your Computer or Device

It is very easy to complete a test to ensure that your computer and network will work. Before completing a test call please confirm:

  1. You are testing the computer you will use at the time of your conversation.
  2. You are connected to the same network you will be using at the time of your conversation

Live Testing with a Friend or by your own using two different devices:

  1. Navigate to your customized testing page
  2. Share the URL for your page with a friend.
  3. Confirm that you can see/hear each other.
  4. If you experience problems, reset your computer and try again.
  5. If you continue to have problems contact our support team using the chat at the bottom of your test 

Completing a Conversation

Plan to arrive at your computer and sign into your account 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. That will allow you to deal with any problems you might encounter before the call begins. The conversation will last 15 or 30 minutes but it is safest to be available for a bit longer in case of delays due to Internet problems.

A. Joining the Conversation

Click on the homepage 10 minutes before the scheduled time. Find your conversation and click Join.

B. Troubleshooting Steps

Troubleshooting steps are listed directly below the video of your conversation partner. If you experience any problems please follow the troubleshooting and contact our support team if the issue is not resolved.

C. Finishing a Conversation

After finishing a conversation we will process your audio recording and you will receive an email confirmation. The recording should be uploaded within an hour of the end of the call. The email confirmation will include a link to provide feedback on the conversation. There may be occasional delays in uploading the audio recording and you can feel free to send us an email to find out more information.

D. How Long are TalkAbroad Conversations?

TalkAbroad currently offers conversations of two different lengths: 15 minutes and 30 minutes. But you may notice that not every conversation lasts exactly that long. What can you expect for the length of conversations?

30-minute conversations

30-minute conversations will last anywhere from 27-33 minutes. Some will start a couple minutes late due to our support team helping sort out some technical problems, and many will last a few minutes extra if your student and the partner are having a good conversation.

15-minute conversations

15-minute conversations will last anywhere from 10-17 minutes. We guarantee that you and your students will get a full 10 minute of conversation time regardless of any technical problems our support team needs to help fix. If you feel you did not receive an appropriate amount of conversation time (and you arrived on time!) please let us know. We're happy to get you or your students some extra complimentary conversation time.

Providing Feedback

After the conversation partner has uploaded the conversation you will receive an email confirmation. Included in the email is a link that enables you to provide feedback. This feedback is extremely important. If there were any problems on the call (poor call quality, discomfort with questions/comments made by your partner, etc.) TalkAbroad would like to know to improve future conversations. Someone on the TalkAbroad support team will contact you shortly regarding any problems you report and to refund the credit and help you reschedule if necessary.

TalkAbroad Support

The TalkAbroad support team is committed to being very responsive and available. TalkAbroad understands that students will have questions and there are a lot of logistics involved in completing a conversation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us, chat with us through the direct chat on the website, or even tweet us @Talkabroad.

If you have questions, please contact TalkAbroad support before asking your professor as we are very experienced in helping students navigate the program. You can expect to receive a response within a few hours if not immediately.