With Coronavirus shutting schools, colleges, and universities worldwide, how has it affected your online learning experience or initiatives?
It has certainly caused inconvenience to millions of students around the globe. But let’s all be positive as this pandemic can reshape education approaches in many ways.
Now is the time to make the most of Moodle and put innovative e-learning solutions in practice. One of them being video-conferencing based learning.
Have you explored this method yet? Yes? wise step!
No? We will help you 🙂
Working from home or Learning at Home are the trending buzzwords now. And why not! Leveraging online learning in the wake of such a crisis makes sense. Right now, apart from being cheap and convenient, it is a safer alternative too.
How video-conferencing can help at the moment?
Video-conferencing is a great way to connect with your Moodle audience live and in-person. No barriers at all!
At present, COVID-19 has become a major stimulant for business organizations and educational institutions to give this avenue of e-learning a serious thought. You should think about it too!
Video-conferencing gives you the option to:
Conduct flipped classrooms wherein students could watch the recorded video sessions as per their own schedule – helps with improving exposure and learning-on-the-go
Create virtual field trips in order to bring the world to the classrooms – no physical tour or extra expenses to incur
Have real-time, face-to-face discussions or review sessions with teachers, instructors and subject matter experts – enhances clarity
Implement collaborative as well as blended learning – provides flexibility
Allows for Self-paced learning and remote-based problem-solving – No learning barriers
All you need is a decent internet connection and you’re good to go!
So, all in hopes of easing this transition – We have some of the best video-conferencing plugins for Moodle, listed out for you for the year 2020.
Zoom is one of the most cost-effective and feature-rich plugins for Moodle. It is quick and easy to use with a great interface and also works well in low bandwidth situations. With Zoom, you can be at two different meetings simultaneously. Zoom Rooms is another important feature to look out for. This is to facilitate discussions in smaller groups before taking it up with a large number of people via video conferencing. Moreover, it has great aesthetics and a sleek look on mobile as well as desktop. It thus offers a stable video conference calling alternative for many people.
Some of the key features are :
High-quality audio and video calling – no buffering and automatic adjustment
Record and review option for calls for future reference
Easy conference calls with 10+ parties
Easy screen sharing with 2-way annotation for more interaction
Effortless event scheduling
Breakout Room for specific instructions to a select group of students
Waiting room feature for overlapping meetings
Improvement of call quality from admin dashboard itself
supports 100 attendees at a time, 25 on each screen.
Adobe Connect is a robust virtual training tool apt for video-conferencing and collaborative learning on Moodle. It provides integration of an external conference line in addition to VOIP.
Moreover, it supports uninterrupted access to add-ons like clocks, timers, interactive word clouds, random participant selectors, etc. Therefore, it is an ideal option for meetings and creating webinars. However, it could be a little on the expensive side but great on the learner engagement front.
Some key features are:
Supreme recording functionality with the feature to put markers on recordings
Send recorded webinars link to those who could not attend the webinar
Off-loading ‘of recordings in case you want to host it somewhere else
Provides flexibility to organize different types of meetings
Live Polls and easy sharing of videos and handouts
Supports whiteboard feature for easy creation of a collaborative environment
Highly customizable – personalize multiple virtual classrooms with specific branding
Reusable room layouts with appropriate pod and content
Pod types supported – surveys, file shares, Q&A, whiteboard, etc.
BigBlueButton is the most popular of all the Moodle-based videoconferencing plugins. It is open-source video-conferencing software, great for Moodlers on budget. It is a good plugin to start out with. For teachers and instructors, a little technical understanding of Java and Flash may be required as some BigBlueButton elements use them.
Some key features are:
BigBlueButton activity can be integrated into Moodle courses
Whiteboard feature to highlight important things (whiteboard-style presentations)
Supports screen sharing and use of microphones or webcam interchangeably
Recording sessions and storing them online
Broadcasting classes on Moodle to be watched/rewatched in person or from home
Breakout rooms wherein you can listen without entering the room
On Windows, it allows for sharing a specific region of your desktop and placing the window within that region. However, you can’t choose a specific window
BigMarker is a cloud-based webinar tool. It is the first plugin that can integrate Twitter chat into a webinar. It has an extensive library of webinars for learners with recorded webinars of experts and thought leaders
Some key features are:
Addition of 1000 attendees to a webinar
Supports HD audio, video, screen sharing, recording, and video-conferencing
Allows for promoting and monetizing your content/webinars, building a community
Intuitive interface with a prompt feature to start recording webinars in case you forget
Easy to use with support for multiple integrations
Suitable for training and internal communications
All things Considered
It’s best not to lose hope. Learning should not stop, come what may! So, we encourage you to continue imparting top-quality online education with the plugins mentioned above.
Video-conferencing is convenient, effective and good for people on a budget. Not to forget, it’s even more engaging than textual content.
Let’s remind ourselves that in the midst of a pandemic, adaptability matters. So, we need to embrace the idea of learning anywhere-anytime to make sure learning goes on seamlessly. There are many inspiring examples across the globe and you as educators might want to follow suit.
Keep learning and innovating 🙂
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.