Teaching with Moodle

Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time

 
Picture of Donald Quimby
Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time?

 
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Picture of Murilo Timo Neto
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Try search for blue Button

 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

Moodle itself isn't a virtual classroom tool in that respect, but it does have plugins that link to and integrate web conferencing tools that can be used in that way, such as BigBlueButton

 
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Me at the Moodle Moot NZ11
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Have to agree with others - Big Blue Button is excellent - and it integrates really well with Moodle - so once setup you can just 'add an activity' for Big Blue Button just like other core activities smile

 
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Picture of Donald Quimby
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 
Thanks for your replies.  I will be interested in the Big Blue Button.  I have about 18 megabytes or gigabytes or whatever with my u-verse internet. 
It might help to know what I am doing.
I have been tutoring high school math students. I used to go to student's homes.
Now, I want to be able to tutor high school students from home.
And now after looking into this moodle, which I am falling in love with, I will probably want to set up courses that I can teach from home.
But back to this - for Big Blue Button what are the requirements?
Any of you have the experience?
Any advice on the hardware, bandwidth, speeds, etc.?
Thanks in advance.
 
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Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 
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Me at the Moodle Moot NZ11
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Yes, setup a BBB a few times.

It needs its own dedicated server - and has specific requirements for versions (which are all detailed in the BBB installation guide).

We've setup on Amazon AWS, which can be a bit awkward. If you are new to Moodle / servers I would advise getting someone to setup BBB for you.

As with any server, the speed, bandwidth etc. ... get the best you can, and monitor the performance.  There are some minimum requirements of course.  But you will of course need better specs for a 20 person webinar than basic one-to-one tutorial type use.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Donald, regarding Big Blue Button, Moodle HQ offers packages where it is all set up for you. You start with the ability to do a video conference with six users at the same time, but if you need to do it with more than six users at the same time you can upgrade for more: https://moodle.com/cloud/school/

 
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Picture of Miz M
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

And there's a free course that is being offered that includes a demo of BigBlueButton! Here:

https://learn.moodle.net/

Good luck!

 
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Picture of Olufemi Jeremiah Olubodun
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

I think using BigblueButton is the answer to your question. Although I have not used this but I think it will address your question.

 
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Picture of Jurgen Gaeremyn
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Hi Donald,

... surprise... my first choice would be Big Blue Button too... but that said...

  1. Big Blue Button requires quite a bit of server muscles and the skills to configure it. Your vocabulary suggests that you know a bit about servers but that you're not an expert.
  2. The more users you need, the more network bandwith you will also need - your server is sending a video stream to every single user and receiving one back from every person sharing screen or webcam too. That's quite a heavy load on the network.

Big Blue Button is open source - that's a great plus for me. And the developers and owner of BBB work great with the Moodle team (hence their great offer having BBB set up on their moodlecloud offerings). It's even free if you only have a small group.

If you feel techy or have a system administrator, you could query if your servers are up for that load (and if they are willing to allow it, since it will need some specific configurations)

But to pull it a bit wider, it's always perfectly possible to use different video stream providers and embed them in your Moodle site, or place links to these providers.

  • Google Hangouts can get you a long way if you want free video conferencing (though you're going through the Google servers, it's up to you to decide if you have issues with that, and to assess if your students would). You'll need a Google account for all your users if you want to apply this. Recently, you could also use Facebook for live streaming. Depending on your audience, this might also work.
  • There are the typical paid-for services like join.me - I have worked with join.me with 200 persons attending a lecture - there were some issues with firewalls blocking audio (and other quality issues which make me go away from it for the future)


 
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Picture of James Pearce
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Hi Donald,

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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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

I recommend Big Blue Button, but it is surprisingly rare that you actually need the video.

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
Particularly helpful Moodlers

I'm not sure what Marcus means "it is surprisingly rare that you need the video"  Maybe he is emphasising the need.  I use video all the time. 3 minute clips in an online session are you friend.  You, they get a break.  Why demo adding a fraction 200 times, when one nice recorded version can help?

I've not used BBB.

But I am a fan of Zoom.  To clarify James's comments: 

  • you can play video clips over the link
  • you can screenshare
  • there is a whiteboard - which can scribble on anything.  
  • I'm also experimenting with an Ipevo  document camera (which works superbly over zoom) and pointing webcam at a small whiteboard.
  • Recording the session is also easy.  I think it is 40 minute limits for the free version.

http://zoom.us 

-Derek
I have no association with Zoom.  smile

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

I meant that it is surprisingly rare to require interactive video where you can see the other person (videophone style).  For example, many people find that when using Skype (or similar) they don't need to see the other person and communicate fine with only audio. 

I am somewhat biased towards BBB because I have met Fred Dixon a couple of times, one of the people behind BBB and he is awesome.


 
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Picture of Jurgen Gaeremyn
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Hi,

if you just want to record small videos, you really don't need to use an online service. These strongly affect the quality of your videos. I use a tool called OBS (open broadcaster software) to create these. Allows to show webcam, screen, overlays of different kind, etc... It even allows me to stream my video in lower quality and record it in higher quality (though this is a burden on your CPU and needs a more powerful computer). The software is free (and open source) and poses no limitations on length or quality.

As for Zoom, the application doesn't support Linux - in my environment, that's a deal breaker. BBB works just fine under Linux (though I do hope they abandon Flash rather sooner than later). And indeed, the developer of BBB is a great person and a skilled technical expert.


 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Hi Jurgen. Actually, you can use Zoom on Ubuntu - I know a couple of Moodle people who have done so. But my vote goes for BBB smile

 
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Picture of Jurgen Gaeremyn
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Hi Mary,

Thanks for setting me straight. I think I mixed up zoom.us with join.me - that requires a Windows or MacOS program to host or present a session.


 
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Picture of Rahul Barpha
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

Moodle not have any plugin for  virtual classroom tool but with the help of  WizIQ and  BigBlueButton you can setup virtual classroom in your site.

Both tools have same functionality as below.

  • Both tool have whiteboard.
  • You can play video clips over the link
  • You can screen your share.
  • You can share/upload any document.
In BigBlueButton have one extra feature related to add multiple mentor at the time of  virtual classroom creation. Please refer below link for create virtual classroom with BigBlueButton.







 
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Picture of Chris Noblet
Re: Can Moodle be used as a virtual classroom - see/talk to - all students real time
 

You can use any third party Virtual Classroom plugin in Moodle to conduct live classes. You can try WizIQ Live Classes plugin or Big blue button. While WizIQ would have recurring cost, BBB is free. In case your budget allows, you can get your custom live classes software developed and use that in Moodle. 

 
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