If you would like to learn more about using our online classroom and see a demonstration, we are running an online seminar fortnightly on Wednesdays showing you how it works and answering any questions you may have. You can book onto our online classroom seminar using the following link:
We very strongly recommend trialling the Online Classroom before giving your first online lesson to make sure you are familiar with how it all works. Experiencing the classroom first-hand and experimenting with all the different features will ensure you are properly prepared when you come to teach your first student! To access the demo version of the Online Classroom, simply select Demo Online Classroom from the drop-down underneath your name in the top right of the website, or from your ‘Teaching Preferences’.
When you access the demo classroom you'll also be given the option to test your browser. This just makes sure that you are set up correctly for your lesson. You can see how to complete a browser test in this article.
Entering the classroom
Once you have entered the classroom, you will see a page looking something like this - if your camera and microphone do not appear to be working, please ensure that your browser settings are set to allow for both, and refresh the page.
The online whiteboard is a fantastic interactive tool which you can use to enhance your lessons. You'll have this open automatically when you enter the classroom. On the left-hand side, you'll see a list of the whiteboards that you have open. You can delete a board from the classroom by pressing the cross in the bottom left-hand corner of the board in the list.
To the left-hand side of the whiteboard, there is a toolbar that allows you to draw, write, add images and shapes to your lesson! The image below shows which button does what:
We know that sometimes, you may need to make text that you've added into the classroom a little bit bigger - to do this, all you need to do is to click on the text to select it, and you'll then see a few boxes around the text box. If you click and drag the ones on any of the corners or sides, you can make the text bigger or smaller!
Maximising Whiteboard Space
It is quickly and easily possible to maximise the amount of whiteboard space you have, should you wish to by using the small arrows.
There are quite a few keyboard shortcuts that exist in the classroom. These include:
- Zoom: use cmd+[ or ctrl+[ to zoom out and cmd+] or ctrl+] to zoom in
- Undo and redo: cmd+z or ctrl+z to undo and cmd+shift+z or ctrl+shift+z to redo
- Snap to grid: hold down the space bar
- Skew shape: by holding down the Shift button while dragging the corner or side handles on a whiteboard shape you can skew the shape
Teaching & Collaboration Mode
We know that for tutors, sometimes you may need to really focus in on a particular topic or area, and it can be difficult if you’re teaching a younger student to stop them from losing concentration. For that reason, you’re able to switch between Collaboration and Teaching mode easily in the classroom as a tutor. By default, you’ll be in collaboration mode when you enter the classroom, and in this mode both tutor and student will be able to draw on the whiteboard, add documents and screen share as needed, so you can provide a really interactive lesson!
To switch to teaching mode, you’ll just need to click the padlock symbol in the top left hand corner of the classroom - once you do this as a tutor, it will remove the ability for students to draw on the whiteboard, add in documents and share their screen - you’ll be able to take control of the lesson, and really focus in on a particular topic! If, after going through a topic for example, you want the student to be able to draw on a board, you can just click on the same padlock symbol to ‘unlock’ the classroom, and switch back to collaboration mode!
If you have any problems with the performance of the online classroom, please visit this link to try and identify the cause: https://lesson.tutorful.co.uk/en/troubleshooter
You can also check the quality of both yours and your student's connection by having a look at the connectivity gauges in the top right hand corner of the classroom. If your bars are in red, you may need to follow some of the tips mentioned in this FAQ.