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The course element Virtual Classroom allows the author to conduct online conferences and webinars in the course. Using such a classroom, authors can communicate online with the participants of their courses. They can, for example, share documents and their screen with them. Online meetings can also be recorded and made available to the participants.

There are various systems that can be integrated in a virtual classroom (e. g. Adobe Connect).


Content

Usage: Learners' View

Overview

The course elemen  Virtual Classroom  gives you the opportunity to attend online conferences and webinars. Depending on the settings of the course author, you will also be able to access older online meetings.

Overview course element virtual classroom
Functions for users

As a user, you can enter a virtual classroom to take part in a meeting. Depending on the configuration, different conference systems will be available.

Enter virtual classroom

The classroom can be entered as soon as it has been opened in the course element Virtual Classroom .

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Virtual Classroom .
  2. Click on Enter virtual classroom .

    The classroom will open in a new tab. Please make sure that your browser allows pop-ups.

Enter virtual classroom button

Functions in Adobe Connect

Please find below a brief overview of the most important buttons/functions in Adobe Connect.

 Click to expand for more information about Adobe Connect ...
MeetingClick on this button to configure general settings for the current meeting. For example, you can manage access and admission, record the meeting, or end the meeting.
Layouts

Here you can specify various layout settings. Click on this button if you, for example, wish to create a new layout or manage or reset existing layouts.

PodsThis button allows you to manage existing pods and, if necessary, place them on the screen. Click on it to get an overview of all existing pods.
Audio settingsClick on this button to configure general audio settings. For example, you can decide about the microphone permissions of the participants or  enable the single speaker mode.
SpeakersClick on the speaker icon to  unmute the speakers . If successful, the icon turns green. Using the expand icon, you can also  adjust the speaker volume.
AudioClick on the audio icon to connect your audio. If successful, the icon turns green. You can also use the expand icon to select a microphone.
WebcamClick on the webcam icon to enable your private webcam. If successful, the icon turns green. The expand icon takes you to further webcam settings.
Set statusHere you have the option to  set a status. To do this, click on the expand icon and choose between statuses such as agree, disagree, and speak out. The status can be changed or deleted at any time.
Share screenThis button allows you to share your screen with the other participants. You can also use the expand icon to choose between other options such as share document or share whiteboard.

Functions in BigBlueButton

Here you will find an overview of the most important buttons/functions in the BigBlueButton conference system.

 Click to expand for more information about BigBlueButton ...

After the virtual classroom has been opened, BigBlueButton provides the following functions:

1

In the middle of the page is the presentation interface. On all sides of this interface, you will find all available functions and setting options (2-5).

Overview

2

At the top right, you can change basic settings or log out at the end of the session.

Settings

3

On the left, you will find the list of participants as well as access to chat options (public chat with all participants, private chat with individual participants). The list of participants can be extended or minimised using the appropriate icon .

Moderators can give participants additional rights.

User rights

Participants can show their current status and change it as they wish. The selected status will be displayed in the list of participants.

Show status

Chat functions

4

At the bottom of the page, you can start or stop audio and video functions, as well as upload and share files for presentation if you have presentation rights. To share your screen, use the last icon .

Actions

5

On the right, the presenter sees tools they may use to accompany their lecture. Depending on the tool you choose, further selections change accordingly. The last icon in the toolbar is for starting the multi-user mode. This mode allows participants to actively participate in the presentation and to add notes or markings themselves.

Tools

If you have moderation rights, additional functions will be available to you. For more information, refer to the last section on this page

Configuration: Authors' View

In the course editor

The following functions are available to you in the course editor:

Add a course element virtual classroom

 Click to open instructions on how to add a course element ...

To integrate a course element into your course, proceed as follows:
1

Open the course you want to edit.

Use the pencil icon at the top of the page to open the editing mode.

Switch from the course view to the editing mode

2

Select a course element from the menu on the right.

Select course element

3

In the new window, you can define the position of the new course element within your course structure (left navigation pane). The available positions are marked with an insert icon.

To insert the new course element into an existing substructure, you need to open the substructure by clicking on the small triangle symbol next to its title. The area will open and you will again see insert icons at the positions which are available.

Click on the insert icon at the desired position within the structure. The selected area will be highlighted.

Confirm your choice with Insert course element.

Insert course element into the course tree

4

The element will be inserted into the course structure at the selected position.

Depending on the course element, you have to make additional configurations or add content in order to complete the configuration.

For these changes to take effect, you must publish the course. The course element will then also become available in the course view.

Configure and publish course element



General configuration settings

In the course editor, you will find the following configuration tabs:

Title and description
 Configuration options in the tab title and description ...

Course editor settings in the tab title and description
ElementsDescription
Title

You need to enter a title for the course element. The title can comprise a maximum of 100 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear in the navigation menu of the course and also as a heading in the content area.

 Changes to the title of the first course element, the so-called main course node ...

(warning)  If you change the title of the first course element, the new content will only be applied to the main course node and then displayed in the opened course. If you wish to edit the course title or description, you can do so using the more settings menu of the course.

SubtitleYou can enter a subtitle for the course element with a maximum of 255 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear as a tooltip in the navigation menu and - if selected and configured accordingly - as a subtitle in the content area.
Description

Here you can describe the course element. The description will appear in the content area below the title.

Depending on the settings configured in the element Display, this additional text is displayed to the user when opening the course element. The user can expand or collapse the view of the text.


Display

Define which information about the course element should be displayed in the course view. In addition to the content, you can optionally display the title and description. All course elements are provided with a reasonable presetting, which mostly includes the setting Title, description and content. You can adjust this setting in accordance with the options available for each course element. For an example of the different setting options, refer to the help page Displaying information about the course element.

Set link for this course element

Each course element can be accessed via fixed link addresses. Therefore, an internal and an external URL is assigned to each course element. These direct links to concrete elements can be used within courses or provided to learners. The URLs are located below the title and description of the element and will appear upon selecting Set link for this course element.  

  • External link: To refer to this course element from outside of the course or learning platform, you can use the external link and insert it, for example as a href attribute, into the desired HTML page.
  • Internal link: To set a link to another course element within the same course, you can insert the internal link as a href attribute into the desired HTML page.
IDYou will need the ID number of the course element (on the bottom right), for example, if you wish to use the expert mode in the visibility or access tab.


Visibility
 Configuration options in the tab visibility and access ...

In the areas Visibility and Access, authors and course owners can individually determine the presentation of course elements. If no input is made in the access area, the content of a course element will by default be visible to all course participants after publishing the element. Apart from the general options listed below, additional configuration options are available depending on the course element.

The following general options are available for the configuration of visibility and access:

Course editor - Tab visibility and access


General configuration optionsDescription
Blocked for learners

If you select this checkbox, all other configuration options will disappear. The course element content is now exclusively accessible for tutors and administrators of the course.

Block access or visibility for learners
Depending on dateMark this checkbox to specify a particular access time. You can set individual dates or date ranges by filling in only one or both input fields respectively. You can also create or delete dates via the + and - buttons.

Set access or visibility rights depending on dates

Depending on group

Select this checkbox to restrict the accessibility of the course element to learning groups or learning areas. You can then select existing groups and areas or create new ones.

If you set restrictions with the configuration option "depending on group", the corresponding course element will be restricted for all non-members of the group. This includes, for example, users who have not yet confirmed the group invitation or who are on the waiting list for a group. Such users cannot yet see or access the restricted course element.


Set access or visibility rights depending on groups

Depending on assessmentHere, you will find all assessable course elements. These include, for example, the elements test, assessment, task, or structure. 

If you select the option Check for "passed", you will be able to choose a course element from the input field Course element, which the user must have passed as a prerequisite to accessing this course element. 

If you select the option Check score, you can indicate a number of points in the input field "Passing score", which have to be achieved in order to be able to access the course element.

Set access or visibility rights depending on assessments

Depending on attribute

The visibility of this option is system-dependent.

Via this option, you can set visibility or access rights according to user attributes. Only users who meet the predefined attributes will be able to see the course element or have access to its content. Multiple attributes need to be linked with an operator (AND/OR).

Different kinds of relational operators might be available depending on the selected attribute. For example:

  • "contains the value"
  • "does not contain value"
  • "has exactly the value"
  • "does not have value"
  • "starts with value"
  • "ends with value"
  • "greater than" (>)
  • "less than" (<)
  • "greater than/equals" (<=)
  • "less than/equals" (>=)

A list of all available attributes of several selected institutions can be found on the page Overview of the OPAL-Shibboleth attributes.

Set access or visibility rights depending on attributes

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutorThis option does not become visible until one of the other options has been selected. If you activate the checkbox, the same access rules which apply to users will also be valid for tutors and course administrators.

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutor

PasswordThis option is only available in the area Access and can either be applied to the whole course or a structural element of the course. Enter the desired password, which users will need to use in order to gain access to the course content, in the text field.

Set access or visibility rights depending on passwords

Display expert modeClick on the button Display expert mode to open an input field, which allows you to perform a more complex configuration according to your needs. For more detailed information about the expert mode, see the help page Publishing within Courses (Expert Mode).
Set access or visibility rights in the expert mode
Advanced configuration optionsIn the case of individual course element types, there are further attributes to configure access to editing rights for course participants.

If various restrictive single options are set, they will be linked with AND, i.e. all conditions of the single options must be met for the user to see and have access to the course element. The only exceptions are the single options Attributes. In this case, various restrictive single options can also be linked with OR. The OR linking only requires the fulfilment of one condition in order to enable visibility or access, unless other restrictive single options prevent this.

All restrictions are also automatically valid for all subordinate course elements.

Note about hiding access restrictions

If a course element is visible, but there are

  • current or future access restrictions or
  • restricted rights for the course element,

the user will be informed accordingly when accessing the course element. This information helps the user to learn more about the functions available, e.g. which functions will be available at what time and under what conditions.

If required, however, you can hide this information text (from the user) for each course element individually.

 How to do that? ...

Notification message about existing access and authorisation restrictions in the course view:

Course element with notification message about authorisation restrictions

1

To hide this message, open the course editor and switch to the Visibility tab of the respective course element.

In the section Information if course node is visible but not accessible (max. 248 characters), remove the check mark in front of the entry Show access restrictions below the text field.

Publish your changes.

Course editor setting to hide notification message

2

The note will no longer be visible in the course view.

Course element without notification message about authorisation restrictions


Access
Configuration

In this tab, you have the possibility to configure settings for access permissions and moderators of the course element.
Detailed instructions are given in the following section Special configuration settings .

MultilingualismIn this tab, different translations can be added to individual course element areas.

Special configuration settings

In the Configuration  tab of the course element Virtual Classroom , you have the following options:

 Conference system Adobe Connect ...
Access permissions

Virtual classroom shall only be available at defined dates: Enable this checkbox to restrict access to the virtual classroom to defined dates. Enter a title and description as well as the start and duration of the meeting in the appropriate text fields. Using the plus symbol, you can add as many dates as you like. Confirm your entries with Save when you are done.

Ansicht Zutrittsberechtigungen im Kursbaustein Virtuelles Klassenzimmer
Settings for moderators
  • Add moderator:
    Click on this button to search the system for a specific user and add them as a moderator. Enter the last name, first name, and email address in the appropriate text fields and click on Search .
  • Import moderators:
    Click on this button to add multiple users to the group. A wizard opens to guide you through the process.
  • Moderator must be in classroom to grant access to users:
    If this option is enabled, participants can enter the classroom only if a moderator is already present. If the opposite is the case, users can enter the classroom at any time.
  • Only moderators are allowed to open this virtual classroom :
    This option determines whether the virtual classroom can only be opened by a moderator. If it is enabled, a closed classroom cannot be entered by a participant. Otherwise, the virtual classroom will be opened as soon as a participant enters it.
Settings for moderators
 Conference system BigBlueButton ...
Template for virtual classroom
Choose between the templates: consultation, meeting and lecture. Depending on the selected template, a meaningful pre-assignment of the following advanced configuration settings is automatically made when you click Save.
General configuration for the conference system BigBlueButton

Add moderator
Specify those users who should receive moderation rights in the classroom. Moderators can grant presentation rights to others within the classroom.
Access
Configure general moderation rights. Select the desired checkboxes to determine or restrict who may open the room.
Recordings
Select the checkbox to record the meeting.
In the course view

The following options are available to you in the course view:

Open and enter the virtual classroom

This option allows you to open and enter a classroom to create an online meeting.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Virtual Classroom .
  2. Click on Open and enter the virtual classroom .
Open and enter the virtual classroom button

Restart virtual classroom

This option allows you to restart the virtual classroom.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Virtual Classroom .
  2. Click on Restart virtual classroom .

Restart virtual classroom button

3. Confirm the restart with Yes .

Note that closing the virtual classroom will delete all added files, and users will be logged out automatically.

Confirm restart

Close virtual classroom

Click on this button to close an open virtual classroom.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Virtual Classroom .
  2. Click on Close virtual classroom .
Close virtual classroom button

3. Confirm the process with Yes .

Note that closing the virtual classroom will delete all added files, and users will be logged out automatically.

Confirm the process