Welcome back for another exciting school year, we can’t wait to be a part of your classrooms again.
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.
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
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:
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.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 ( ), 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.
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.
The first of our two major summer updates is out with some exciting new features.
You can now create and edit activities collaboratively by directly inviting other instructors. It is modeled after Google Docs, where you can give an instructor access by entering their email or by sharing a link that gives them editor access.
1 minute video:
Video Capture From Browser
You’ve been able to capture videos from mobile devices for a while, but from desktops you could only upload an existing video. Now students can directly capture video right from their browser.
Chrome and Firefox are currently the only browsers that support this new HTML5 standard (no flash), but other browsers will eventually build this functionality in as well.
Set Post Color
Giving everyone another way to group and classify posts was a requested feature, and you can now set the header color of specific posts. You can access the color option from the Options dropdown on every post.
Save and Export Rubric Grades
The student table has two new columns, a “Final Grade” and “Notes” columns. This allows you to adjust the automated grade more easily after reviewing the student’s work.
Grades are now saved automatically any time a change is made, but there is a save button as well. Students do not currently see their grade or notes, we are working to pass this information back to your LMS and will have that functionality in a few weeks.
Release and Due Dates
When creating a session, you are now required to set a release date. This allows you to schedule sessions to be visible at a date in the future. Students won’t have access to the session until midnight local time on the release date.
There is also a Due Date that is optional. Students can see the due date, but are still able to post after that date has passed. We are working on an option in the rubric to break out posts that took place after the due date.
Download All Posts
Some teachers (and researchers) want to download all the posts for a given session for classification or analysis. From the Session Overview page, go to the List View (top right), and there is a new button called “Download All Posts Excel” which will export all the text of the posts for the session.
August 14th, 2015
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.
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