Topic: News

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.

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.

 

 

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

InterLACE ➡ Visual Classrooms

In August, InterLACE (http://int.erlace.com) will become Visual Classrooms.

logo_700x150

 

InterLACE was coined way back in 2011 and stood for Interactive Learning And Collaboration Environment, which was a research project at Tufts University studying the effect of technology and pedagogy on student learning and engagement.  It was an NSF funded project that used pre/post testing, interviews, video analysis, and a variety of methods for reporting and interpreting data about the effect of using InterLACE in blended and online classrooms.  The results were very exciting, with statistically significant gains in content knowledge over comparison groups.  The social network and engagement levels were also changed in positive ways.  Several members of the research team have spun the technology off into a corporate entity.

As much as we have loved “InterLACE” through the years, the name has become somewhat problematic.  It doesn’t capture the wonderfully expressive and engaging environments we’ve created, and people quickly forget the name (not good for a business!).  After much deliberation (and a lot of frustrating searches for available domain names), we are excited to make the change to Visual Classrooms.

All teacher data (activities, collections, groups) will be copied from InterLACE to Visual Classrooms in August, we’ll send out an email letting everyone know when.  Any student data over a year old will be archived and not copied over.

The NSF is no longer funding the platform, so we are moving to a student based subscription model.  We have reached out to many existing teachers personally, but if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me directly to talk about options for ensuring you don’t lose this valuable resource for your students.

We want to thank all the students, teachers, and administrators who have helped us get this far, and we look forward to providing even better service and results to your wonderful (visual) classrooms.

Eric Coopey

CEO and Co-Founder

eric@visualclassrooms.com