+ Instructor Guide: Teaching a Live Class

 

 

_Signing In

To access your virtual newrow_ classroom(s), you will log in either through your LMS (if newrow_ has been integrated) or from newrow.com.

If you log in through newrow.com, you will land in your Course Directory post login, where you will see the names and thumbnail images associated with each of your virtual classrooms. Simply click on a thumbnail to enter the course.

If you log in through your LMS, there are a variety of places you might find the newrow_ module, depending on how your integration was configured. Your system administrator will show you how to enter your newrow_ classroom(s).

 

_newrow_ Anatomy

 

When you enter your virtual newrow_ classroom, these are the sections you will see on the screen.

 

 

The square or rectangular section of the classroom where you see a newrow_ background (or your own custom-branded background, if purchased) is called the “stage.” Like a physical stage, this is the synchronous presentation space, where all webcams and content appear when the instructor puts them live or “on air.”

 

To the right of the stage is the Chat portal and Participants List. By default, the Participants List is only visible to instructors. That can be changed in the classroom settings.

 

Along the top left of the stage is a toolbar that allows the instructor to upload & search content, access tools like screen share and whiteboard, change classroom settings, etc. These are available only to the instructor, with the exception of the webcam button on the far left. All participants have access to their own webcam and microphone controls.

 

On the bottom left of the stage is the Playlist. This allows the instructor to arrange and keep track of files they plan to share during their next class.

 

At the top left above the classroom interface itself is a menu of additional spaces outside the virtual classroom. This includes a file sharing space, an Analytics portal and breakout sessions.

 

_Preparing For Class

 

Because your newrow_ classrooms are available to you at all times, just like a physical classroom, you can load content and create overlays at any time in advance of class.

+ Technical Specifications

Before using newrow_, take a look at the basic platform recommendations to optimize your experience and prevent technical issues.

 

+ Meeting On/Off 

If you want to prevent students from entering the classroom, such as while you’re preparing for class, you can turn the classroom off. Simply click “meeting is on” at the top right of the stage to change the status to “meeting is off.” Be sure to turn it back on before your live class.

 

+ Test Your Webcam & Mic

When you first enter the classroom, you can click the “Activate Your Webcam” pop-up, or you can start your webcam by clicking the camera icon on the toolbar at the top left of the stage.

 

Once your webcam is engaged, you can click this camera icon at any time to see your webcam preview (before you go live) and to select between various cameras and microphone inputs that may be attached or built into your computer. Be sure to plug in any hardware input you want to use before entering the classroom in order for it to be recognized.

 

Check “Loopback” in your preview window to make sure you can hear yourself. Be careful to always un-check “Loopback” before going live during a class, or you will create an echo in the room.

 

*You can find more information on webcam and mic controls here.

 

+ Content/Files

To populate content for class, enter your classroom and click on the document icon on the toolbar.

 

From there you can upload files from your computer and see a list of all previously-uploaded files and classroom recordings. (You can also delete files when you are finished with them by hovering over the file icon and clicking the ‘X’ that appears on the right.)

 

A single click on any file on your list will add it to the classroom Playlist, on the bottom left of the stage.

 

You can also search for image and video files directly from YouTube, Flickr and Photobucket by clicking on the Globe icon on the toolbar and entering your search term.

 

Again a single click on any video or image result will add that video or image to the Playlist. Note that YouTube videos must be public in order to show up in search results.

 

When you click on “Playlist” on the bottom left you will see all the files you have added and can drag and drop them into the order in which you plan to present them during class. You can also ‘x’ any file off the playlist by hovering over the file icon and clicking the ‘x’ that appears top right on the icon. It will still be available in your file library under the document icon.

 

 

Once your playlist is populated, you can call any file up to the stage, where it will be seen/heard by everyone in the room, by simply single-clicking on the file icon on the Playlist. You can watch your videos, click through your presentations and review any other content, to ensure everything is displaying properly on stage.

 

*You can find more information on playing content here.

 

+ Create Quick Polls and Overlays

Once you have uploaded/searched content and populated your Playlist, you may want to create layers such as quick polls and timers to use during class.

 

A layer is an image or interactive widget that appears on top of all webcams and files that are currently on stage when you put the layer “on air.”

 

A quick poll is a widget that poses a question and a series of answers, allowing each student to click on an answer.

 

 

To create layers, open the Control Room from the Tools menu (wrench icon) across the top.

 

 

 

 

Navigate to the “Layers” tab of the Control Room and click “Add New Layer.” Once your layer widget is created, click “Edit” to customize it. You can pre-populate as many layers as you’d like.

 

*You can find more information on layers here.

 

+ Classroom Settings

 Click on the gear icon on the toolbar to access the Settings menu.

 

Here you can configure your classroom settings, such as:

  • Give all students select moderator permissions, like the ability to play content or view the participants list

  • Remove the chat or questions sub-tabs of the Chat section from student view if you prefer that they post in only the (public) chat or (private) questions sub-tabs

  • Disable hand-raising

  • Etc

*You can find more information on settings here.

 

_Holding Your First Class

+ Start the Recording

Before class starts, select “Record” from the Tools menu to initiate a screen capture recording of the stage area. You’ll be prompted to choose a recording length, though you can stop a recording at any time before the allotted time limit. When the recording has begun, you’ll see an indicator of time elapsed at the top right of the stage.

 

To stop the recording at the end of class, hover over the time-elapsed indicator and click “Stop.” Then ‘X’ out the pop-up that says “Stopping.” The recording will save as a .mov file to your cloud-based file library, alongside any files you’ve uploaded. You can then download it and share it with students.

 

*You can find more information on recording here.

 

+ Managing Students - Participants List

As students sign into the classroom, their names will appear on the Participants List on the right-hand side of the room. It’s up to each individual student to activate their webcam. Once a student has activated their webcam, the “Live” and “CR” buttons under their name will become clickable for the instructor.

 

No participant, instructor or student, is seen and heard by others in the room until an instructor or moderator clicks “Live” under their name to put them “on stage” or “on air.”

 

If you’d like to preview someone’s webcams to make sure you can see and hear them before they go live: click “CR” under their name, open the Control Room from the Tools menu and select the “Video” tab.

 

You can assign any individual student custom or full moderator permissions at any time by clicking the “V” to the right of their name. Selecting “moderator” will give that student all instructor permissions within the classroom. (Note that they still won’t have access to instructor-only portals outside the classroom such as Analytics and quick polls.) Selecting “Custom” allows you to assign specific permissions to that user like the ability to screen share or share or manage the chat.

 

Whenever someone clicks the raise-hand button in the chat, their name will go to the top of the Participants List and you’ll see the raise-hand icon next to their name. You can click that icon to put their hand down once you’ve answered their question.

 

*You can find more information on managing participants here.

 

+ Managing Students On Stage

To avoid background noise, you might want to use the “mute all” button to mute everyone on stage and then un-mute whomever is presenting. Simply click the microphone icon next to the word "All" at the top of the Participants List. Your cursor will turn into a select tool, allowing you to click anywhere on one webcam on stage (such as the instructor's) to un-mute it.

 

From there you can un-mute users one at a time when they have a question or comment and then mute them again. Here is how:

 

When you put student webcams on stage, you can hover over any webcam to reveal a set of controls:

 

Click the gear icon to open volume controls on that webcam. Then click the microphone to mute or unmute that person.

 

If you click the “S,” You can drag that webcam on top of another webcam and drop it to swap the positioning of the two. (Wait until you see a green circle with a plus sign to drop the webcam.)

 

Click the chat bubble icon to open a private chat with that student. Once you have typed them a message and hit “enter,” the private chat window will appear on their screen.

 

Click the “X” to take the student off stage.

 

*You can find more information on managing participants here.

  

+ Managing the Chat

The chat area has 3 sub-tabs: chat, questions and flagged. Only Instructors and moderators see the flagged column. The chat is public, so everyone in the room sees everyone else’s posts. The questions tab is private, so only instructors see all users’ posts; students see only their own posts.

 

As an instructor, you can flag any post in chat or questions by clicking the gray flag on the bottom left of the avatar next to the post. The flag will turn red and the post will be copied to your flagged column. (Flags are by machine; they’re not synced for moderators on different machines.)

 

You can delete any individual chat/questions post by clicking the ‘x’ on the top right of the post. You can clear all posts from the tab at once by clicking the trash can icon.

 

Chat & question posts can be dragged to the stage from any of the three tabs. Just click the avatar next to the post and drag it to the stage, where it will appear as an overlay that you can position anywhere on stage.

 

Note that you can copy text from a chat post by double-clicking on the text.

 

*You can find more information on the chat here.

 

+ Presenting Files

To display the files and videos that you pre-loaded to your playlist, simply click the Playlist button and then single click on the file you want to share with students. The file will appear on stage, where everyone in the classroom can see/hear it in real time.

 

You can hover over your file once it’s on stage and click the diamond/arrows icon at the top right of the file to expand it to full-stage mode. It will cover the webcams on stage, but everyone on stage will still be audible.

 

Clicking the pen icon on the bottom right of the file once it’s on stage will open up a live annotations tool that allows you to mark up the file in real time for your audience. Your changes will be saved to the playlist so you can return to the same annotations even after switching between files.

 

You can also pull up a blank whiteboard for annotating from the Tools menu. This will generate a whiteboard file on the playlist so you can switch between the whiteboard and other files without losing your annotations. Using a Wacom tablet or touch-screen computer with a stylus will allow you to write on the whiteboard by hand.

 

*You can find more information by searching “files” at http://support.newrow.com.

 

+ More

There are many more features in your newrow_ classroom. You can find more information on all features and functionality at http://support.newrow.com.

 

_Breakout Sessions & Study

You can send students to virtual breakout rooms for small group discussions during class, and they can use virtual study rooms to collaborate outside of class.

 

+ Sessions

To send students to breakout sessions during class, select “Breakout” from the Tools tab. You will be prompted to set the duration for the breakout session and to choose from 3 options for organizing the students into groups:

  1. Automatic – randomly assigns students to groups

  2. Open – allows students to choose which breakout room to enter

  3. Assigned – sends students to groups you’ve pre-selected from the “Sessions” page

Once you click “breakout,” students will automatically be moved to their virtual breakout rooms and will see a countdown on their screens for the duration of the time you selected. When the time runs out, they will be automatically pushed back to the main classroom.

 

To pre-assign students to groups so you can choose who works together, navigate to “Sessions” from the menu bar at the top of the classroom page.

 

 

On the Sessions page, you can click and drag the names of the students in your class into breakout rooms A-J.

 

When students are in their breakout rooms, you can send them messages and join any of the groups from the Sessions page.

 

Note that students can navigate to “Sessions” at any time to access their assigned groups, even if they aren’t pushed to breakouts by the instructor.

 

*You can find more information on Sessions here.

 

 + Study

Students can navigate to the “Study” tab from the top menu to access open, unassigned virtual rooms. This allows them to form their own study groups in between classes and meet virtually to discuss assignments, work on group projects, etc.

 

The virtual study rooms are identical to the Sessions rooms. Study is distinguished by the lack of specific group assignment and lack of professor-to-student communication while students are in a study room.

 

_Post-Class: Analytics and File Management

+ Files

Select “Files” from the menu at the top of the page to leave the classroom and access a full file library where you can upload, download and share files with your students.

 

Note that the list of files on this page will always be synced with the list of files under the Documents tab in your classroom (from which you can add files to the playlist).

 

On the Files page, you can click on any file to review it in the preview window on the bottom right. You can also edit the file name, create folders and move files into folders. Most importantly, you can select any file(s) from your library on the left and click “Add” to add the file(s) to the list of “Shared Files” on the right. You can then click the button to the right of the file to allow students to download that file.

 

When students navigate to this Files page, they will see the list of shared files on the right and a larger preview window on the left. They will be able to download any files that you’ve marked for download.

 

+ Analytics & Quick Polls

The Analytics and Quick Polls pages also take you outside the classroom to separate spaces. On the Analytics page you can specify a date and time range and see attendance and engagement statistics for that time period. The Quick Polls space allows you to select a quick poll and see how each student answered it.

 

The Analytics space includes an attendance list that shows when each student entered and left the classroom, statistics like average viewing time and a full log of chat/questions posts. You can also see a graphical representation of attendance and questions to see when engagement spiked and dropped.

 

*Find out more about Analytics and Poll Results.

 

+Video Editor

After you have successfully uploaded or recorded a video file, you may wish to edit the video - for example to cut out extra time at the beginning and end of class if you started the recording early or ended it late. 

 

Select "Video Editor" from the menu a the top of the page, and then select the video file you wish to edit to the right of the Video Viewer. Then you can select the start and end points of your clip, illustrated in the timeline at the bottom of the video as two red bars.

 

Click “Trim,” enter the title and description of the video, and then select the file type (mov or avi) to save your clip automatically to your account as a new video. Note that the full length video will still be available. Therefore, you can make multiple smaller clips from a single video.

 

_More Information

You can find more information on all account features and functionality at http://support.newrow.com, where you can also chat with a Support representative or Submit a Request.

 

Have more questions? Submit a request

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