Monthly Archives: August 2015

Welcome!

new-home-cake-5Welcome To Our New Home

The move last Friday was a success and we are settling into our new home.  While we have thoroughly tested everything I’m sure there will still be some minor bugs that pop up, so please send support@visualclassrooms.com an email if you run into any problems or see something that is out of place.

The help documentation is in the process of being updated and we will soon have many “How To” videos to go along with the updated help.  We appreciate your patience and if you have any questions or confusions while the help is updated, please don’t hesitate to send us an email.

Student Subscriptions

Teacher accounts are still free, but students will need to have a subscription.  Students can pay with a credit card, or schools/departments/teachers can purchase a bulk set of licenses to allow students to join for free, see the pricing page for more information.

Changes to Individual vs Small Team work

Instructors have always loved that students can quickly create and contribute as part of a small team, with each student getting “credit” for those posts.  Last year the type of activity determined whether students should join as a team or an individual.  This was confusing to new teachers.  Now, when creating a new session, there is a dropdown that allows the instructor to specify whether the activity should be completed as an individual or small team.

new_sess_drop

For students, the “Group Password” option is no longer available due to security and privacy concerns.  Students will always login with their individual account.  For Small Group sessions, students will get the familiar screen that allows them to form a team from the class roster.  The logged in user MUST be a part of this group (see Robert M below, he cannot be un-checked).

new_team

Thanks and Please Contact Us

I will be creating more posts about some of the other changes, but these were the major ones that might cause some confusion for existing users.  We are confident that the changes will allow new visitors to start using Visual Classrooms more easily.  Remember that if you have any problems please email support@visualclassrooms.com and let us know.

We are looking forward to another great year in your amazing classrooms.

Eric Coopey

eric@visualclassrooms.com

Moving Updates

August 14th, 2015
moving-truck
We are officially moving all data from InterLACE to Visual Classrooms on Friday August 14th.  Updates and announcements will be added to this post as they become available.

 

STATUS:  Complete

9:40AM – InterLACE taken offline, maintenance message up

11:15AM – Uploads (both student and teacher) successfully copied over to new environment, MySQL migration in progress

1PM – Database restored, SSL certificate installed and tested, application files posted.  Initial testing underway.

2PM – Public access restored to VisualClassrooms.com, final testing underway and looking great

4PM – We’re calling it, everything has been tested, have a great weekend

LMS Integration

We are excited to announce that Visual Classrooms can be seamlessly integrated with Learning Management Systems (LMS) like BlackBoard and Canvas. Leveraging an industry standard called Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), we can be added to any LMS in minutes.  Instructors and students won’t need another login or separate system, with Visual Classrooms LMS integration they quickly and easily share a superior collaboration and discussion environment.

Our HTML5 based responsive design does an amazing job fitting Visual Classrooms to the size of the embedded frame inside the LMS, and Visual Classrooms can also be launched in a separate tab as well.

The video shows exactly how it works, using Canvas as an example, but we’ve tested all of them and the experience is very smooth. If you are interested in integrating Visual Classrooms with your LMS please contact us at support@visualclassrooms.com

Rubric Based Analytics

We are excited to release a new reporting tool that will save teachers time by giving them ways to automate certain aspects of their assessment while still providing them opportunities to inspect and respond to individual student work. The video walks you through creating a Rubric for an activity, which auto-grades based on the criteria you develop.

We see this really as just the first version of this tool and are already working to let the teacher provide individualized feedback to a student and to export the grades/notes to their LMS or external grade-book.