Some Little Updates

Control The Flow

For use cases like interrupted case studies and structured discussions, you can now make sure that groups don’t work ahead. We’ve made it easier to control when students can and can’t see prompts.

The image below shows the session overview page, where the edit prompt button has been moved down a little, and there is a new On / Off switch that controls whether students can see the prompt.

Small Team Names

When you create a new session and have students work as “Small Teams In Class” their team name would default to the students first name and last initial, so “Samantha P, Albert D, Ryu K.”

For larger classes, we understand that you may not actually know who any of those students are and it can be beneficial to allow students to designate their team name, like “Team Blue” or “Way Back on the Right.”

The updated screen where students declare their group members is below with an option for them to Set Team Name. They can also just leave the default name as is.

Spring 2018 Updates

Welcome back for another great semester with Visual Classrooms. We’ve got a couple updates we’d like to share.

1) Improved Text Analysis – We’ve moved the word cloud to inside each individual prompt and added a vocabulary list. Click a word in the vocab list and it will filter in the discussion space. Identify what words students are using and in what context.

2) Name Hiding – We introduced “anonymous” posts last semester (students can’t see names on posts) but now it’s easier than ever for instructors to hide/show names.

Watch the 80 second video on Vimeo for a quick demo of the updates:

Informational Webinar

Did you sign up for an account and never get around to trying Visual Classrooms? Did we meet at a conference and you want to know more?

We’ll be holding a webinar on Tuesday, January 23rd, at 1:00 pm Eastern Time. You don’t need to register or install anything to participate:

Join the call: https://www.uberconference.com/visualclassrooms
Optional dial in number: 585-632-5861
PIN: 82396

Fall 2017 Updates

Welcome back for another exciting school year, we can’t wait to be a part of your classrooms again.

Anonymous Posts

We have added another visibility option for discussion and sketch prompts, the option for “Anonymous After Post.”

It follows the same rules as “After Post” so students can’t see peer ideas until they submit, but now student names are hidden (obviously instructors can see names).  The green still shows up so the student/group logged in knows which one was theirs.

Points Based Grading

Instructors wanted to be able to easily hand out points to students as they read posts.  Using the dropdown (three horizontal bars) on the top right of every post, there is a new option for assigning points. These “points” are integrated into our rubric based analytics page for quick and easy auto-grading.

If you choose to set points on discussion/sketch prompts, students can see this on the session overview page. Watch the short 1 minute video to see how it works.

 

LMS Grading

We are piloting LMS gradebook integration with several institutions this semester but are not ready to roll it out to everyone. We apologize for this delay and if you require gradebook integration let us know and we will prioritize your request.

 

Thanks again, looking forward to another great school year.

Eric Coopey – CEO & Co-Founder

New Instructor Webinar – Aug 16

We’ll be hosting a webinar for new instructors on Wednesday, August 16th at 3pm EST

The webinar will last approximately 30 minutes with time for questions and answers afterward.  We will cover features for active learning, how to get started, and where to go for help.

There will be another webinar on Thursday, September 7th at 3:30pm.

How To Join

https://www.uberconference.com/visualclassrooms
Optional dial in number: 585-632-5861
PIN: 82396

You can use your computer audio or dial in.

Amazon S3 Down – Upload Issues

** Wed March 1st UPDATE **

All services have been restored and operation is normal. Contact support@visualclassrooms.com with any concerns or questions.

 

Tues Feb 28th, 2:15 pm – User uploads temporarily unavailable

Amazon S3 is down, and they host most of the internet, including our uploads.  Please be patient while service is restored.

 

** Feb 28 8:00 pm UPDATE ** – We took down the banner warning across the entire site.  Uploads are once again working, but image thumbnails are not being generated.  You’ll need to click the hyperlink to see the image.

 

 

Spring 2017 Semester Updates

Welcome back from the holiday break, I hope everyone is refreshed and excited for a new semester.  While you were away we made some great new changes to support formative assessment and generate in-class discussion.

As we’ve working with instructors, they felt that our traditional discussion forum/whiteboard was a great collaboration tool but there were times they just wanted to get a quick read on student understanding. Virtual sections work great to support collaboration in large classes, but auto-graded elements were also necessary.

We’ve introduced two new prompt types to join the existing discussion whiteboard:  Multiple Choice and Concept Maps.  You can now build activities that have elements of true collaboration and clicker-like voting.

Multiple Choice Questions

Ditch your clickers! We know you have them, we know you aren’t crazy about them. Get all of their functionality with our research validated collaboration tools as well.  Options that allow students to see the correct after they submit, and/or cumulative results from the entire class.

Auto-grade student responses from the Session Analytics page:

Concept Maps

The concept map is still somewhat experimental, but we felt like the only way to get great feedback was to turn it on and see how teachers used them and what information we could give to them.  So please send me your thoughts and ideas for improvement – eric@visualclassrooms.com

Here is how it works – as the instructor, you define the values of the nodes and links, and the students connect them. Cumulative totals of the linkages across the entire class are displayed.  The ability to bring up individual maps for in-class discussion will be there soon.

Here is the video of the Concept Map in action:

 

As always, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Eric Coopey

eric@visualclassrooms.com

Fall 2016 Webinars

Forty-five minute demonstration and discussion on using Visual Classrooms to support active learning instruction.  Flip your classroom, implement social homework, support collaborative labs, crowdsource exam review and more.
Jump-start in-class discussions by bringing virtual student work directly into the dialog.

August 26 – Friday – 1pm EST
August 30 – Tuesday – 2pm EST
September 6 – Tuesday – 3pm EST

How To Join – No login required, works best with Chrome browser
https://www.uberconference.com/visualclassrooms

RSVP appreciated but not required to Dr. Leslie Schnieder –leslie@visualclassrooms.com

 

New Features: Multiple Instructors and Virtual Sections

The final update of the summers is out.  While we have tested and tested there could still be some issues that pop up, please email support@visualclassrooms.com with any problems or suggestions.

Multiple Instructors For Group

You can now have multiple instructors for a single group.  From the groups page, click on icon for Managing Instructors ( https://visualclassrooms.com/images/add_teacher_20.png ), and on the popup simply enter the other instructors email.  If they don’t have an account, we’ll ask if it is OK for us to email them an access link.

We modeled it after Google Docs sharing, so there is also a link you can share with people that gives them instructor access.

AddTeacherPopup

Virtual Sections

We originally developed Visual Classrooms for smaller hybrid/blended classes, where the number of students kept the amount of discussion manageable.

Aimed at larger class sizes, virtual sections lets you break your class up into online cohorts that work together on collaborative homeworks, virtual labs/simulations, and real world data collection.

Just set the desired size of each section when creating your group, and new sections will be automatically added as students join.

You can assign specific TA’s to specific virtual sections.  Watch the short Vimeo video below to get a better understanding.