Teaching with Moodle

Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?

 
Picture of Tom GG
Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
 

Complete newbie to Moodle, and wonder if someone could help summarize the capability of Moodle to create live virtual classrooms. I would like to create a course with scheduled times such as Monday/Wednesday/Friday 2-3 pm, where students attend live, and I could go through the course material in powerpoint with a live webcam on myself, as well as have myself draw using a Wacom tablet (e.g. a digital "blackboard"). 

Can Moodle support this? Is it built into the core, or must it be attached as an add-on? If add-on, which ones are best? 

Generally I like to avoid add-ons because I never know if the developer will be around in a year or two to keep things updated. The worst case scenario would be adopting an add-on then finding out it no longer works because the core changed, and the add-on didn't adapt. 

Also, can the course be archived for students to access temporarily (a few days) if they miss a class?

Appreciate anyone's comments on this topic, to help steer me in the right direction. Links to further information would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Why not get a free MoodleCloud site (link) and try out Big Blue Button? It is not part of Moodle but is open source and recommended to use with Moodle for exactly what you want to do. With the free MoodleCloud sites a limited version comes that you can try with up to 6 students at a time, but the session can't be recorded.

Of you can use  the included, increased options available with our paid-for option, Moodle for School

 If you set up your own Moodle yourself, you can add in  the full version of Big Blue Button including recordings.

 
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Picture of Tom GG
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
 

Thanks Mary,

As far as I can tell, Moodle for School has the same limitations regarding Big Blue Button (e.g. 6 students and no recordings) as the Free plan. Is that right?

Regarding the limitation for Big Blue Button (e.g. 6 students), can you tell me if the following would be supported? Suppose I have 25 students in the class, and I just want them all to see me. I don't want to see any of them, and none of them need to view any other of them. Does this fall within the capabilities of MoodleCloud?

Also, another silly question. I'm mainly interested in offering a live virtual classroom offered at specific times, rather than a pre-recorded course that people can attend anytime. Does Moodle support that out-of-the-box, or do I need Big Blue Button for that?

Same question for using a Macom tablet as a blackboard (supported out of the box, or requires Big Blue Button)?

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

The Moodle software doesn't include a live virtual classroom so you need some sort of add on for that. Big Blue Button is a popular option. I  only suggested MoodleCloud because it is a package that includes BBB and saves you the hassle of setting up Moodle yourself. But there is nothing preventing you setting up Moodle yourself and then adding in Big Blue Button for as many users as you want, and scheduling times for the class to run. Moodle is open source and available for anyone to use. Within BBB as with other video conferencing programs, you don't have to use the webcams - you don't need to see them or for them to see you -you can just use your audio and they can watch you do your presentation. 

 
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Picture of Just H
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

If you are sure your requirements are as stated then you don't actually need Moodle and can just use BigBluebutton (obviously it would come in handy for tracking purposes and potential requirements creep).

Re the tablet, BBB allows screensharing so I guess that'd be a yes.

 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
Group Core developersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

It sounds like what you need is Moodle  linking to some web-conferencing software such as Big Blue Button

https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_bigbluebuttonbn

 
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Picture of Greg Rudl
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
 
We've been using WizIQ Live Class plug-in. We have an administered account with 10 teacher accounts paying about 10 dollars each per month.
 
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radney
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
 

I have used Big Blue Button (BBB) for the last couple months to support students who cannot (or choose not to) attend my classroom at the university where I teach an entry-level composition course. BBB has worked very well for virtual classes. Students can participate in group work with others off campus and/or located in the classroom. The interface allows for a video as well as a 'whiteboard' area on screen where presentation videos and slides can be shown. The text chat that runs concurrently with the other parts of BBB provide a 'back-channel' for students to use, along with or instead of (their choice) a live audio microphone.

I have used Blackboard Collaborate and WizIQ for similar course support in past years, and I find BBB to be equivalent in all the ways I am concerned about.

One additional feature such an approach to classroom instruction offers is that of recordings that can be provided for students who struggle with language fluency issues or learning difficulties that require repeated viewing of classes. Recordings also allow students to participate in the course when their work, family, or other commitments do not allow them to attend live classes.


 
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Picture of James Pearce
Re: Newbie question: Can Moodle be used to create live virtual classroom?
 

Hi Tom

You might like to have a look at Zoom, which is excellent software which can be used to create a virtual classroom. Basic accounts are free (sounds like this will do for your requirements), and paid accounts are very reasonably priced.

There is a Moodle plugin for Zoom, which allows you to set up meetings, embed a "Join" button and more.

You can share your screens, share webcams and audio etc. It also records your meetings so you can review them later.

Highly recommend it.

 
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