To access your virtual newrow_ classroom(s), you can log in either through your institution’s LMS or from newrow.com, as directed by your instructor.
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 instructor or system administrator will show you how to enter your newrow_ classroom(s).
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 school’s custom-branded background) 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, with two tabs: a public chat and a private questions stream.
At the top left of the stage is your webcam preview window that allows you to see yourself on webcam, select your webcam and mic inputs, turn off/on your webcam and mic and adjust your volume. You can expand and collapse this section at any time.
*You can see yourself in your webcam preview before you’re visible and audible to the rest of the class. You’re only visible and audible once the instructor puts you on stage.
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, breakout sessions and virtual study rooms.
_Preparing for Class
Before using newrow_, take a look at the basic platform recommendations to optimize your experience and prevent technical issues.
Make sure to update Adobe Flash, use an up-to-date browser (Firefox, IE and Safari are recommended) and use headphones if appearing on webcam.
+Setting Your Password
If you’re logging into your virtual class through newrow.com and not through an LMS, you’ll receive an activation e-mail from email@example.com some time prior to the first class. Be sure to click the link in the e-mail and choose a password. Thereafter, you can log in with your e-mail and self-selected password at newrow.com.
_Attending Your First Class
+Test Your Webcam & Mic
When you first enter the virtual classroom, you can click the “Activate Your Webcam” pop-up, or you can start your webcam by clicking the camera icon 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 in to your computer. Be sure to plug in any hardware you want to use (such as a USB-connected webcam) before entering the classroom in order for it to be recognized.
Once the instructor puts you on stage (or “live”), you’ll see your own webcam on stage and will no longer see it in the preview window. If you don’t see your camera preview coming through before you go live or other people can’t see you after you go live, try selecting a different webcam from the camera drop-down menu.
Check “Loopback” in your preview window to make sure you can hear yourself. Be careful to always un-check “Loopback” after verifying your audio, or you will create an echo in the room once you are on stage.
*You can find more information on webcam and mic controls here.
+Interacting Through Chat
The chat area has 1 or 2 sub-tabs depending on what your instructor has chosen to enable. If both sub-tabs are enabled, you’ll see both chat and questions. The chat is public, so everyone in the room sees everyone else’s posts. The questions tab is private, so only the instructor sees all users’ posts; you’ll see only your own posts unless the instructor drags a questions post to stage during Q&A.
+Raising Your Hand
If your instructor has hand-raising enabled, you can click the person icon to the right of the chat tabs to raise your hand virtually.
The instructor will be notified when you click this button.
+Checking Your Network Speed
Your internet network should have a download and upload speed of at least 1.5mbps in order for you to appear on webcam clearly and see other webcams clearly (without freezing or interruptions).
You can check your network speed directly from the newrow_ meeting room. Hover over the colored meter icon on the top right of the stage, and click “Start.”
This will give you your download and upload speed as a snapshot in time. Keep in mind your speed is always fluctuating and will slow down with more internet windows and applications running on your machine, so you may want to run the speed test again if the virtual classroom seems to slow down.
The instructor might choose to give you and/or other students select or full moderator permissions. If so, you might see additional sections or buttons appear on your screen. For help using any of these additional tools, you can refer to the newrow_ Instructor Guide or search the full library of resources at http://support.newrow.com.
Your instructor might send you to virtual breakout sessions to do small group work during class. If so, when the instructor selects “Breakout,” you will automatically be moved to a new virtual room (a “Session”) where all participants have the same permissions to appear on webcam and share files.
+Webcams in Sessions
Once the breakout session loads, you’ll be prompted to reactivate your webcam. Once activated, you’ll immediately appear on stage where everyone else in your group can see and hear you. When the breakout session has timed out or the instructor brings you back to class, the classroom will load and you will again have to reactivate your webcam.
+Sharing Files in Sessions
You can upload files to share with your group from the document icon on the Toolbar at the top left of the Session stage.
After uploading a file, a single click on the file icon will bring it up to stage where everyone in your session can see/watch the file. Your uploaded files become your own personal file library and will remain available to you every time you log into Sessions or Study groups. You can delete uploaded files by hovering over them in the list, clicking the ‘X’ top right and clicking “Delete.”
You can also search YouTube, Flickr or Photobucket for files to share by clicking on the globe icon on the Toolbar.
You’ll see a list of search results after entering your search term, and again a single click on any result will pull that video or image up to stage for everyone to see.
*Note that all participant microphones are automatically muted when playing a video on stage.
You can also choose to share your screen or pull up a blank virtual whiteboard, where all students in the Session can make live edits together, by selecting screen share or whiteboard from the wrench icon.
*Note that screen share requires a one-time install on your machine.
+Chatting in Sessions
In Sessions, you can access the expandable/collapsible chat from a toolbar that “floats” on the stage.
Simply click “Chat” to expand your own individual view of the chat stream. Then click “Hide” to hide the chat again.
You can reposition this floating toolbar on the stage by clicking the cross icon on the right of the toolbar and dragging it.
You can also choose to enter an open study room with your classmates at any time. Simply select “Study” from the menu at the top of a newrow_ page and then choose which virtual room to enter.
These virtual study rooms look and function exactly like Sessions. They’re a great way to accomplish small group assignments or collaborate on homework in between classes.
Navigate to the “Files” page from the top menu in newrow_ to see all the files your instructor has shared with you. You’ll see a list of files on the right and a preview window that allows you to cycle through slides, play videos and view images on the left. Simply click the file name to pull up that file in the preview window.
Your instructor may set some files to be downloadable, at which point those files will have a clickable download arrow to the right of the file name.