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Joule Synchronous Manual

Table of Contents

1. Joule Synchronous Activity

1.1. Overview

The Joule Synchronous activity allows teachers to create synchronous meetings rooms. These meeting rooms allow for virtual discussion, screen sharing, document sharing and interaction with up to 100 virtual users. These meetings can have a high impact on a student's learning progression compared to other online asynchronous activities, allowing the user to get feedback in real time from multiple peers. Joule Synchronous allows for recording of sessions to enable users with time conflicts to review the same conversations and learn as much as they would if they had attended the session. Furthermore, Joule Synchronous allows teachers to assign a grade to the attendance of a session.

1.2. Benefits

The benefits of Joule Synchronous include:

  • Easy creation of synchronous sessions that allow users to:
    • Screen Share
    • Chat
    • Voice Chat
    • Video Chat
    • Share Documents
  • Easy session/presentation recording that can be shared to allow other students to gain the benefits of an impromptu student-teacher conversation
  • Visual and auditory connection to virtual students and teachers
  • Shared research and understanding across vast differences
  • Ability to real-time share information with students from multiple campuses within one virtual classroom

1.3. User Documentation

1.3.1. Joining a Meeting

To join a meeting, a user clicks on the associated activity link on the course page.

The Joule Synchronous meeting screen has five views, depending on when the user accesses the screen. The screens are:

  1. Before the meeting time
  2. During the meeting time, but before the host has joined
  3. During the meeting time and the host has joined
  4. After the meeting time
  5. No seats available
1.3.1.1. Before the Meeting Time

Before the meeting time, the Joule Synchronous meeting screen will display that the meeting is not scheduled to start until the specific date and time and how long the meeting is scheduled for. Clicking the Continue button will take the user back to the course.

1.3.1.2. During the Meeting Time, But Before the Host Has Joined

Students will see the Host has not yet joined the meeting message when the meeting is open, but the host (the user that created the meeting – usually the teacher) has not yet joined the meeting. The user can click the browser's refresh button until they see the message stating they can join the session. See the "During the Meeting Time and the Host Has Joined" section below for more information.

1.3.1.3. During the Meeting Time and the Host Has Joined

After the host has joined a meeting, students will be able to join the meeting. The image above is an example meeting. Students will also see a box showing who has joined the meeting already below the link to join the meeting.

1.3.1.4. After the Meeting Time

Once the meeting's duration has passed, students and teachers will be able to view when the meeting happened, who attended the meeting, and a list of recordings and files shared during the meeting.

After the meeting has ended you will see who attended as well as files uplaoded to the meeting and recordings

1.3.1.5. No Seats Available

The creator of the meeting (typically a teacher) determines how many seats are available in a Joule Synchronous meeting, and it is possible for a teacher to create a meeting that has fewer seats than there are students in the course who wish to join. In this case, any student who would be in a seat over the limit will see the message There are more enrolled users than the number of seats reserved for this course. Sorry this meeting is now at capacity. Students will be unable to join even if another student leaves the meeting after the number of available seats has been filled.

1.3.2. Meeting Content

After a meeting has ended or even during the meeting a user can download content that has been uploaded, view all recordings of the session and make a recording offline (save a recording as an FLV file to their desktop). If files have been uploaded or there is a recording for a meeting the Meeting Content table will be displayed below the Attendee History table.

After the meeting has ended you will see who attended as well as files uploaded to the meeting and recordings

1.3.2.1. Downloading Uploaded Files

To download content shared by the teacher click on the Download link next to the name of the file or recording in the Access column in the Meetings Content table.

1.3.2.2. View a Recording

A student can view the recording from the Web by clicking on the name of the recording in the Meeting Contents column off the View recording link in the Access column. This will connect the user to the meeting server and play back the session.

Recording playing back within the player.

1.3.2.3. Make a Recording Offline

A student or teacher can make a recording offline, which means to save the recording on their computer, by clicking on the Make Offline link in the Access column of the Meeting Contents table. Clicking this link will cause the Adobe Connect player to display and the user will be prompted for where to save the FLV file on their computer. The recording will play all the way through and at the end the file will be saved to the user's computer.

1.4. Teacher Documentation

1.4.1. Create a Joule Synchronous Activity

To create a Joule Synchronous meeting, the teacher must:

  1. Select "Joule Synchronous" from the Add an activity... drop-down menu
    select the Joule synchronous from the add an activity drop-down
  2. Add a Joule Synchronous name and description
  3. Adjust the number of seats
  4. Determine the language
  5. Determine the invitation type
  6. Configure the grade settings
  7. Configure the common module settings (optional)
  8. Configure access restriction settings (optional)
  9. Configure activity completion settings (optional)
  10. Save the form by clicking the Save and return to course or Save and display buttons

1.4.2. Activity Settings

1.4.3. General

general activity settings

  • Joule Synchronous Name: The name of the Joule Synchronous session that is displayed in the course, grade book and when viewing the Joule Synchronous meeting. There is a maximum of 45 characters allowed in the name of the meeting. Joule Synchronous also adds a unique ID to the end of the meeting name.
  • Introduction: The introduction text that appears below the activity title when a user is viewing the activity. This is limited to 1,000 characters, including HTML characters.

1.4.4. Meeting

meeting activity settings

  • Start time: The date and time that the meeting starts
  • Duration: How long the meeting will last. Once the duration is met, the meeting's seats will be open for other meetings.
  • Seats: The number of seats that the meeting is expected to use. This counts against the total capacity for the site if using a seminar room license.
    A teacher in the session takes up a seat. Always invite one more than the number of students you wish to attend the session in order to have adequate seats.
  • Conflict Status: This field displays whether the start time, duration and number of seats taken as a whole are in conflict with another meeting. For named organizers, there will be a conflict only if another meeting has been created by this user within the given time period.
  • Language: This sets the language that the menus and interface information within the meeting will be displayed in. The current supported languages are:
    • English
    • Spanish
    • French
    • Italian
    • German
    • Dutch
    • Portuguese
    • Turkish
    • Polish
    • Japanese
  • Access: This determines the type of meeting. Currently, only private meetings are allowed. This means the meeting is not displayed within the Joule Synchronous site, but is displayed within the course. It also means that only users that have been invited to the meeting can join.
  • Invite: This determines which users will be able to access the meeting.
    • All Users in the Course (default) - All users enrolled in the course are allowed to join the meeting, but no invitations will be sent. You must make sure the number of seats you requested accommodates the number of users enrolled in the course.
    • Number, First Come First Served - Any users on the Joule site are able to join the meeting until the specified number of seats is reached. The number of seats is the limiting factor. No users receive an e-mail invite for this option.
    • Specific Users - Add specific users to the list of invitees. After saving the Joule Synchronous activity, a link will display the next time you edit the activity. This link will allow you to select which users to invite to the meeting. Users invited to the Joule Synchronous activity are sent an e-mail invitation.
Joule Synchronous is a seat-based system that allows an allotted maximum number of users to access meetings at any point in time. If your meeting exceeds the number of seats available for the site, then an error will appear that prevents the meeting from being created and warns the user that the meeting exceeds the maximum seats allowed. Instant meetings will be prevented from being created.
1.4.4.1. Grade

activity grade settings

  • Grade: The maximum grade for this activity
  • Grade Category: The grade category that this activity is grouped within
  • Attendance Grade Mode: Course users who attend this meeting will get full credit. You may use the grade book to change grades after the fact.
1.4.4.2. Common Module Settings

  • Group Mode: This setting determines the display properties to users within groups
    • No groups - There are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community
    • Separate groups - Each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
    • Visible groups - Each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups
      Note
      The group mode defined at course level is the default mode for all activities within the course. Each activity that supports groups can also define its own group mode, though if the group mode is forced at course level, the group mode setting for each activity is ignored.
  • Grouping (Advanced): A grouping is a collection of groups within a course. If a grouping is selected, students assigned to groups within the grouping will be able to work together.
  • Visible: Determines if the activity is displayed to students or not within the course.
  • ID Number: Teachers who want to create advanced grade calculations within the grade book can create a unique ID number here. This allows the creation of formulas in the grade book that perform calculations using the grades within this activity. For example, the instructor might create a grade book calculation that multiplies the number of points in the Midterm (see the image above where the ID number is set to Midterm) by 2 in order to emphasize its importance to the course grade.
1.4.4.3. Restrict Access

An instructor can create conditions for the availability of a course activity. Dates, score ranges, and/or the completion of other course activities trigger these conditions. Note that ALL availability restrictions have to be met in order for the activity to be made available.

1.4.4.3.1. Date Condition

Identify dates when the activity is available and then made unavailable again. The difference between access from/to dates and availability settings for the activity is that outside the set dates the latter allows students to view the activity description, whereas access from/to dates prevent access completely.

1.4.4.3.2. Grade Condition

You can specify a condition on any grade in the course: the full course grade, the grade for any activity, or a custom grade that you create manually.

You can enter a minimum value (at least percentage), a maximum value (less than percentage), both, or neither. The activity will only appear if the student has a value for the specified grade, and if it falls within any specified number range. You can add more than one grade condition. All conditions must be met in order for the activity to appear.

  • The range numbers can be fractional (with up to five decimal places) if necessary
  • Be careful with the maximum value – if the maximum is 7, a student who scores exactly 7 will not see the activity. You could set it to 7.01 if you really wanted to include 7.
  • If creating several different activities that appear according to grade ranges, use the same number for the maximum of one activity, and the minimum of the next. For example, you might create one activity with a maximum of 7 and another with a minimum of 7. The first would appear to everyone scoring between 0 and 6.99999, and the second would appear to everyone scoring 7.00000 to 10. This guarantees that everyone will view an activity regardless of their grade.
1.4.4.3.3. Creating More Conditions

Click on the Add 2 grade conditions to form button to make more conditions for this activity. With multiple grade conditions the activity is shown only when all conditions are met. Leave a condition blank and it will not be saved, this is how you add only one more condition when clicking the Add 2 grade conditions to form button.

1.4.4.3.4. New Adaptive Learning Paths

Applying restrictions to activities provides the ability to create adaptive learning paths.

For example, after a quiz, any one of three different lessons might appear to a student, depending upon their score. The teacher can have one for low scores, one for high scores and one for average score ranges. The teacher could have a short quiz-like survey, with 7 questions asking the student to give their feelings on a 1 to 5 scale. A range of scores would reveal different activities. Students who liked dark colors might get the black and gray activities revealed. Those who liked light colors might get the white and gray activities.

On the other hand, you may have to design a certified training course that requires approval from government regulators. Conditional activities will assure them that the trainees have been exposed to everything in the course, in a fixed order, and that the trainees must meet certain quantifiable standards from time to time before being allowed to proceed in the course. Correct use and explanation of conditional activities may ensure validation of your course.

1.4.4.3.5. An Example

Students are required to undertake four tasks in a precise order. According to their score in a quiz, the fourth task - a Moodle lesson - is either at a lower or more advanced level. They must:

  • View a Web page explaining the course
  • Post an introductory message in a forum
  • Take a quiz
  • Move onto a lesson that is tailored based on their performance in the quiz
1.4.4.3.6. Admin Settings

To use conditional activities, the feature must be enabled by an administrator by checking the Enable availability box in Administration > Advanced features. A "Restrict availability" section will appear for teachers on the Edit Activity page.

Documentation elements from: Moodle Docs

1.4.5. Activity Completion

Activity completion works with course completion and enables a teacher to allow students to set their progress in a course or automatically update progress in a course based on conditions for activities. The settings available vary based on the chosen activity.

Requires Completion Tracking to be Enabled
Activity completion requires that a course have completion tracking enabled before these settings will appear for an activity.

The Activity completion settings are dynamic for each course activity, therefore different settings will be available based on the selected activity.

The following is an example of some of the activity completion settings:

  • Completion tracking: If enabled, activity completion is tracked, either manually or automatically, based on certain conditions. Multiple conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only be considered complete when ALL conditions are met. A tick next to the activity name on the course page indicates when the activity is complete.
    • Do not indicate activity completion - Activity completion is disabled for this activity and will not report on the activity completion report.
    • Students can manually mark the activity as completed - The student informs the teacher when the activity is completed.
    • Show activity as complete when conditions are met - Setting this enables the optional settings below and completion of the activity will be marked when the student meets all of the enabled conditions.
  • Require view: If enabled, the activity is considered complete when a student receives a grade. Pass and fail icons may be displayed if a pass grade for the activity has been set.
  • Require grade: If enabled, the student must receive a grade (any grade) to complete this activity. This is only displayed in the activity settings for activities that can be graded. If a passing grade is set in the grade book for the activity, then the activity will be marked as passed or failed.
  • Expect completed on: This setting specifies the date when the activity is expected to be completed. The date is not shown to students and is only displayed in the activity completion report.

1.4.6. Inviting Users to a Meeting

Selecting Specific users from the Invite drop-down menu for a Joule Synchronous meeting will add a new tab called Invite Attendees to the right of the View tab.

click the invite users tab to invite users to the Joule synchronous activity

The Users to Invite tab allows the teacher to invite specific users to the Joule Synchronous meeting. The only users that show in the list are users with a role in the course.

table list of all users who can be invited to the Joule synchronous activity

To invite a user to the meeting, click on the checkbox next to the user's name and then click the Invite Selected User to the Meeting button.

1.4.7. Uninviting Users From a Meeting

The Invitees tab allows the teacher to view what users have been invited to the session and allows the teacher to uninvite users from the session.

click the invitee tab to see all users who are invited to the Joule synchronous activity

To uninvite a user from a meeting, click on the checkbox next to the user's name and then click the Uninvite Selected User from the Meeting button.

1.4.7.1. Invitation E-Mail

Each user invited to a session receives an e-mail -- similar to the e-mail below -- with a link to the session.

Dear {User's Full name},
You have been invited to attend a meeting on {Meeting date}, {Meeting time} please
follow the link to join the meeting.
<link>Join Invite user Joule sync</link>

1.4.8. Recording a Meeting

Joule Synchronous meetings allow for multiple recordings to be created for a meeting. These recording(s) are then shown to the students in the course after the meeting has closed. To start a recording, select the Meeting menu in the Joule Synchronous meeting and select/check the "Record Meeting..." menu item.

Select record meeting form the meeting menu in Adobe Connect

A pop-up window will appear asking for the name of the recording, which will be displayed to the user after the meeting ends, and a summary of the recording, which will not display to the user.

To stop recording a session, a host can uncheck/unselect the "Record Meeting..." option from the Meeting menu or click Stop recording in the pop-up window that displays after placing the mouse on the red record circle in the upper right-hand corner.

stop the recording by clicking record meeting a second time in the meeting menu

roll the mouse over the recording image and click the stop recording text to stop the recording

You can make multiple recordings of a session by starting and stopping the recording. This is useful if you want to segment the information within the session or make downloading the recordings simpler.

1.5. Global Settings

1.5.1. Named Organizer Licenses

named organizers licensing area settings

  • Named Organizer Licenses: A table displaying the named organizer's licenses installed on the site
    • License - The license key for a number of named organizers
    • Number of organizers - Number of users who can be set to be a named organizer on the site based on the license key
  • Named Organizer: List of users who have been configured to be allowed to create Joule Synchronous sessions. Clicking the red x icon will delete the user from the list but keep all of their past sessions. This is a type-ahead field that searches for users as you type.

1.5.2. Seminar Room IDs

seminar room ids global setting area

  • Seminar Room IDs: This table lists all of the Seminar rooms that have been purchased, with the capacity for each room.
    • Seminar Room ID - This is your seminar license number or, in technical terms, your seminar sco-id.
  • Capacity - This setting matches the number of Joule Synchronous seats that have been purchased and can be active at any point in time. Joule Synchronous is a seat-based system that allows an allotted maximum number of users to access meetings at any point in time. Default: 100
  • When Capacity is Exceeded: This setting determines what happens when a meeting is created with more seats than are available for the site.
    • Warn User - The user creating the Joule Synchronous meeting is informed that the site's capacity is exceeded but the meeting is created.
    • Prevent Meeting From Being Created - The meeting is not created
  • Notify Users When Capacity is Exceeded: This setting determines who is notified via e-mail when the capacity is exceeded. Default: Administrators - Site administrators

1.5.3. General

global settings general area

  • Buffer Time: The number of seconds before a meeting that Joule Synchronous should begin sending meeting invitations. Must be long enough to run on the cron prior to the meeting start time. Current default is an hour. Suggested time is approximately twice as long as the interval that you run the cron so as to ensure the cron sends the invitations. Default: 3600
  • Goto Conflict Resolution Interface: This link brings the user to the conflict resolution screen, which helps to resolve meetings that conflict or cause overcapacity issues.

2. Joule Synchronous Instant meetingBlock

2.1. Overview

The Joule Synchronous Instant Meeting block is used to create, update and display instant Joule Synchronous meetings for the course. The block uses the settings from the Joule Synchronous activity to create instant meetings for synchronous discussions with users enrolled in the course. This allows for easy one off conversations with students who are online at the time or the creation of instant office hour sessions at a given period of time only if students are interested.

2.2. Benefits

The benefits of the Joule Synchronous Instant Meeting block are:

  1. Easy to create instant synchronous sessions that allow users to:
    1. Screen share
    2. Chat
    3. Voice Chat
    4. Video Chat
    5. Share documents
  2. Recording of meetings
  3. Viewing of expired sessions recordings to allow other students to gain the benefits of an impromptu student teacher conversation.
  4. Easy presentation recording that can be shared with student.

2.3. User Documentation

2.3.1. Current Meetings

Current meetings are Joule Synchronous Instant Meetings that have not passed their duration period. These are meetings that the student maybe able to join if enough seats are available. To access an instant meeting click on the Current tab if it isn't already selected and then click on the name of the meeting you want to join.

The Joule Synchronous instant meeting has 3 views depending upon if the host has joined and if there are seats available. The screens are:

  1. The host has joined
  2. No seats available
2.3.1.1. The Host has Joined

Students will see the Host has not yet joined the meeting message when the host (the user that created the meeting usually the teacher) has not joined the meeting. At this time the student's only course of action is to click the browser's refresh button until they see the message stating they can join the session, the host has joined section for more information on joining a meeting.

2.3.1.2. The Host has Joined

After the host has joined a meeting students will be able to join the meeting. The image above is an example meeting; students will also see a box showing who has joined the meeting already below the link to join the meeting.

2.3.1.3. No seats available

A teacher determines how many seats are available in a Joule Synchronous Instant meeting and it is possible for a teacher to create a meeting that has fewer seats than there are students in the course who wish to join. In this case any student who would be in a seat over the limit will see the message The are more enrolled users than the number of seats reserved for this course. Sorry this meeting is now at capacity. Students will be unable to join even if another student leaves the meeting after the number of available seats has been filled.

2.3.2. Expired Meetings

Expired meetings are Joule Synchronous Instant Meetings that have passed their duration period. These meetings are used to display recordings to a student who was unable to attend the instant meeting. To access an expired meeting click on the link with the name of the meeting you would like to view.

An expired meeting will display the date and time the meeting happened, who attended the meeting and links to view a recording of the meeting.

2.3.3. Viewing Recordings

If a teacher has started a recording for the meeting then the recording will appear in the meeting after it has expired. A student can view the recording from the web by clicking on the name of the record in the Meeting Contents column. This will connect the user to the meeting server and play back the session.

2.4. Teacher Documentation

2.4.1. Create an instant meeting

To create an instant meeting the teacher must:

  1. Click on the Create tab in the Joule Synchronous Instant Meeting block
  2. Click on the Create Instant Meeting link
  3. Add a Joule Synchronous name and description
  4. Adjust the number of seats
  5. Adjust the language
  6. Adjust the invitation type
  7. Save the form

2.4.2. Instant Meeting Settings

2.4.3. General

general activity settings

  • Joule Synchronous Name: The name of the Joule Synchronous session that is displayed in the course, grade book and when viewing the Joule Synchronous meeting. There is a maximum of 45 characters allowed in the name of the meeting. Joule Synchronous also adds a unique ID to the end of the meeting name.
  • Introduction: The introduction text that appears below the activity title when a user is viewing the activity. This is limited to 1,000 characters, including HTML characters.

2.4.4. Meeting

meeting activity settings

  • Start time: The date and time that the meeting starts
  • Duration: How long the meeting will last. Once the duration is met, the meeting's seats will be open for other meetings.
  • Seats: The number of seats that the meeting is expected to use. This counts against the total capacity for the site if using a seminar room license.
    A teacher in the session takes up a seat. Always invite one more than the number of students you wish to attend the session in order to have adequate seats.
  • Conflict Status: This field displays whether the start time, duration and number of seats taken as a whole are in conflict with another meeting. For named organizers, there will be a conflict only if another meeting has been created by this user within the given time period.
  • Language: This sets the language that the menus and interface information within the meeting will be displayed in. The current supported languages are:
    • English
    • Spanish
    • French
    • Italian
    • German
    • Dutch
    • Portuguese
    • Turkish
    • Polish
    • Japanese
  • Access: This determines the type of meeting. Currently, only private meetings are allowed. This means the meeting is not displayed within the Joule Synchronous site, but is displayed within the course. It also means that only users that have been invited to the meeting can join.
  • Invite: This determines which users will be able to access the meeting.
    • All Users in the Course (default) - All users enrolled in the course are allowed to join the meeting, but no invitations will be sent. You must make sure the number of seats you requested accommodates the number of users enrolled in the course.
    • Number, First Come First Served - Any users on the Joule site are able to join the meeting until the specified number of seats is reached. The number of seats is the limiting factor. No users receive an e-mail invite for this option.
    • Specific Users - Add specific users to the list of invitees. After saving the Joule Synchronous activity, a link will display the next time you edit the activity. This link will allow you to select which users to invite to the meeting. Users invited to the Joule Synchronous activity are sent an e-mail invitation.
Joule Synchronous is a seat-based system that allows an allotted maximum number of users to access meetings at any point in time. If your meeting exceeds the number of seats available for the site, then an error will appear that prevents the meeting from being created and warns the user that the meeting exceeds the maximum seats allowed. Instant meetings will be prevented from being created.

2.4.5. Joining an Instant Meeting

To join a meeting the teacher can click on the join link under the join column of the Current tab that appears after the teacher has created an instant meeting.

Alternatively a teacher can click on the instant meeting name in the Current tab in the Joule Synchronous Instant Meeting block.

2.4.6. Recording a Meeting

Joule Synchronous meetings allow for multiple recordings to be created of a meeting. These recording(s) are then showed to the students in the course after the meeting's duration has passed. To start a recording select the Meeting menu in the Joule Synchronous meeting and the check the Record Meeting... menu item.

A pop up window will appear asking for the name of the recording, which will be displayed to the user after the meeting ends, and a summary of the recording, which will not display to the user.

To stop recording a session a host can uncheck the Record Meeting... from the Meeting menu or click Stop recording in the popup the displays after placing the mouse on the Red record circle in the upper right hand corner.

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