Aula’s aim is to make it easy for all educators to engage all students, even when they’re not on campus. There are lots of ways that you can make sure students are still learning, wherever they are.

We've put together some ideas of how you can use different third-party tools on Aula, as well as when you might use them, all designed to promote online and remote teaching and learning.

Which tools can I use to conduct remote seminars or lectures?

Video conferencing tools allow you to replicate face to face synchronous conversations, remotely. 

Zoom is a video conferencing service that enables users to collaborate and engage remotely, making it a great option for virtual classrooms, including breakout rooms to split students into smaller groups.  With a few limitations, the below is included in their free license:

  • The ability to have 100 participants in one meeting room for up to 40 minutes
  • Screen sharing capabilities
  • Record meetings for future use and viewing
  • Ability to dial into calls when users are without internet access
  • To find out more about how to use Zoom for virtual learning, take a look at the Comprehensive Guide to Educating through Zoom

System Requirements - full list can be found here

  • An internet connection - broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) with  800Kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high quality video on group calls
  • For slower internet, video can be turned off to save bandwidth
  • Typically works better than BigBlueButton for users with slower internet

Get started on Zoom

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BigBlueButton is a web conferencing system designed specifically for online education, and as such, is great for virtual class meetings, especially if you want to split students into smaller breakout rooms or do whiteboard activities. This option is currently only available to universities with their own instance of a BigBlueButton server. Contact us for more information! 

  • Integrates directly into Aula - click here for more info!
  • Ability to dial into calls if users are without internet access
  • Screen sharing capability with built in whiteboard function 
  • Split users into breakout rooms for smaller group discussions
  • Cannot record meetings (coming soon!)
  • BigBlueButton recommends a 100 user cap on all sessions

System Requirements - full list can be found here

  • An internet connection - 500Kbps up and 1Mbps down
  • For slower internet, video can be turned off to save bandwidth
  • Preferred browsers are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

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Google Hangouts is another great option for virtual classrooms, giving users the ability to meet in larger groups, without time limits. They are currently offering their enterprise plan for free until July 1, 2020, including:

  • Larger meetings, up to 250 participants per call
  • The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive
  • Ability to dial into calls when users are without internet access
  • Ability to screen share with participants

System Requirements - full list can be found here

  • Updated web browser, including Chrome,  Firefox, and Safari
  • An internet connection - 3.2 Mbps upload, and 1.8 Mbps download for HD video
  • For slower internet, video can be turned off to save bandwidth

Get started with Hangouts

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Which tools can I use to conduct remote office hours?

Why not also make your office hours remote? While the above applications are great for larger groups, Whereby works in a similar manner, but for smaller groups. By quickly creating a free account, students can hop into your virtual office during set office hours.

  • Ability to set up your account to require students to virtually "knock" in order to enter your Whereby office
  • No login needed for students, they just need your specific URL

Just paste your Whereby link on the feed and students can 'pop-in' when they can.

System Requirements - full list here

  • Stable internet connection with 3.2Mbps up/down for video
  • Up to date web browser like Chrome or Firefox
  • Not recommended for use with VPNs

Set up virtual office hours

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How can I use these video tools on Aula?

Schedule a meeting on Zoom and paste the link into the feed, or send your Whereby URL to the class. Check out the below video on how to do just that:

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How can I work with my students asynchronously?

As well as doing 'live' lectures on Zoom, you can also record yourself going through your lecture slides and send to your students to watch in their own time using Loom:

Once you've recorded your lecture, just paste the link onto your Aula feed for students to view on their own time.

Get started on Loom

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Once you've recorded your lecture, you could then ask students to feedback their ideas on an interactive Padlet, that will be embedded onto your Aula feed.

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How can I build collaboration between students?

It's important that students are still being collaborative and bouncing ideas off each other, even remotely. 

  • As well as using group messages and the feed on Aula, why not encourage students to use the video-call feature on Google Hangouts to discuss their recent work or ongoing group project?

To find out more about teaching remotely on Aula, have a look at our quick-start guide.

Question? Press the '?' below or reach out to us via support@aula.education 

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