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Using Classroom Tools
Last Updated: Aug 09, 2019 02:46PM EDT

This article applies to:  Echo360 Instructors
The tools available inside a classroom are designed to help you interact with the material in the classroom as well as with other participants in the class (students and the instructor). The toolset provided is nearly identical for students as they are for instructors/teaching assistants, with a few differences. This article provides information on all of the classroom tools you may see, depending on your role and which features have been enabled for your course or institution.

Classroom Toolbar

Most of the items in the Classroom Toolbar are the same for both instructors and students but there are a few differences. Students, for example, can take notes and bookmark content for review and study later; instructors/teaching assistants cannot. 

The figure below shows a Classroom Toolbar as seen by a student. Instructors and teaching assistants will see the same but fewer of the icons shown. The Toolbar buttons are described in detail below the figure and identifies if/where functionality between student and instructor differs.

NOTE: Q&A can be disabled for the institution as a whole, for an organization or department, or by an instructor for a course. If Q&A has been disabled, you will not see the Discussions or New Question button in the classroom toolbar.

Classroom toolbar for students containing icons for actions as described

The Top Bar of the classroom contains the following information and tools (hovering over each also provides a label in case you forget):

  • The Class Name and Date appear in the top left of the Classroom window.
  • The Notes icon is a paper and pencil and opens the Notes panel allowing Students to take notes in the class. Each entry is tagged with the video location and current slide showing when you began the note. Only Students have a Notes icon.
    Student classroom with notes icon identified and notes panel open
  • The double-balloon or conversation bubble icon opens the Discussions panel to the right of the media view, allowing you to view any questions or comments, and to respond or ask your questions as necessary. Instructors can also use the panel to monitor class discussion
    NOTE: Some institutions disable the Q&A functionality; if you do not see the Questions icon, Q&A may be disabled for the institution or the course.
    Instructor classroom with discussion button identified and questions panel open

  • The balloon icon with the plus sign opens the Discussions panel but with a New question entry box open and ready for input. This is the same view you would get if you clicked New Question from the top of the Discussions panel while viewing posted comments.
    instructor classroom with new question button identified and new question in panel showing
  • The Bookmark icon allows students to bookmark a video location or slide. The bookmark appears in the students' Notes and Study Guide and allows students to return to a specific location and review the materials later. Only Students have a Bookmark icon.
    student classroom with bookmark icon identified and notes panel open showing bookmark
  • The flag icon is for marking confusion (for students) or for noting that a location or slide has been marked as confusing (for instructors).
    • Students can click the flag to identify something in the class they do not understand. If the class has both a video and a presentation, the student can select which they found confusing. If both, they can click the flag a second time to mark the other media.
    • Instructors and Teaching Assistants will see this flag with a notification dot if any students have marked that location or slide in the classroom as confusing. Confusion flag locations are also listed with the Course Analytics, along with links to the media locations that were flagged. 
  • The speaker-with-page icon is the Transcription icon and opens the Transcription panel for the class. This icon only appears if the video has been transcribed.
    Student classroom toolbar with transcription button shown and transcription panel open
  • The list icon opens a class list tray listing all the classes in the section, allowing you to switch to a different class without exiting out to the main Class List.
    Class List icon for selecting to view a different class in the course as described
  • The Course/Section name in the top right corner exits the classroom and returns you to the section Class List page
    Course name for exiting classroom and returning to class list as described 

Classroom Playback Bar

The Classroom playback bar, located at the bottom of the classroom, is identical for students and instructors and contains all the controls necessary to control video playback as well as closed captioning and classroom media layout options.

NOTE: If the classroom only has a presentation, you will not see a playback bar, as the controls described here will not apply. Use the right and left arrows that appear on the presentation slides to page through the presentation.

Classroom playback bar with options as described

The left side of the playback bar controls the playback of the video itself, while the right side of the bar contains additional controls for playback and viewing. These controls are listed below in the order they appear from left-to-right.

  • Playback Controls: these include the standard play/pause button, fast forward, and rewind. Each click of the forward/rewind buttons moves playback 10 seconds in either direction; click and hold to scrub through playback.
    You can also click on a location in the playback timeline to move the playback to that location.
  • The video timestamp, located immediately to the right of the Playback controls, shows the total length of the capture/video, the current location in playback, and the currently showing slide if applicable.
  • The video view heatmap button, located with the tools on the right side of the Playback bar, toggles on/off a graphical overlay that provides a "viewing heatmap" showing which portions of the video have been viewed most/least often by users in this section.
    Classroom playback bar with video view heatmap button identified and heatmap showing in the classroom as described
  • The volume control button allows you to change the volume of the playback, including clicking the icon to mute the playback. 
    playback bar with volume control button shown
  • Use the Sources button to show/hide the visual items in the classroom. The below figure shows the Sources list for a classroom that contains two video feeds and a presentation. You can view all of them at once in the classroom, or hide some/all of them as needed.
    Playback bar icons with source selection shown

    You must use the Sources button to re-enable any visual feed you closed using the X icon in the top right corner of the media's panel. In the above example, the classroom is only showing the Video 1 and Slides. Video 2 has been closed, as indicated by the gray text in the sources list. To return Video 2 to the classroom, click on it from the source list.
  • If the video has closed captions, the CC button is active and clicking it presents a pop-up box with captioning options. There is a toggle for turning the captions on or off, and a variety of formatting options for the captions, to serve your viewing needs. These are listed below the figure.
    closed captioning options shown with CC button activation as described
    • The CC toggle turns the captions on and off.
    • Font size allows you to make the text bigger or smaller as needed.
    • Contrast allows you to select the text-to-background contrast needed to clearly read the caption text.
    • Location allows you to move the caption box to the top, middle, or bottom of the screen.
    • Alignment changes the justification of the text in the caption box, using left, centered, or right justification options.
  • The Settings button provides playback quality and speed controls. It looks like a gear, and when clicked presents a popup containing Quality and Speed options described below the figure. 
    playback bar with quality and speed controls shown
    • Click in the Quality box to change from Auto (the default) to either high-quality or low-bandwidth playback. If your network connection is a problem, you can switch to lower quality playback (or switch back to higher definition if applicable).
    • Click in the Speed box to change the speed of playback. You can playback the video at .5 (half) speed up to 2x speed, or anywhere in between, in .25 intervals as needed.
  • The media layout button allows you to change how the media items are displayed, viewing a single feed maximized with others in a thumbnail, or with all items at equal size.
    playback bar with media layout button shown

    Click through each option to see which layout works best for you. Keep in mind you can also use the Sources button to change which media feeds are being shown or hidden.
  • The maximize or "full screen" icon appears in the top right corner of each media panel in the classroom. It allows you to view that media feed in full-screen mode. 
    Press the ESC key to exit out of full-screen mode.
    classroom media panel with full screen icon identified
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