Virtual classroom training refers to the mode of training where employees and trainers interact in an online mode through a web based application. Most of our LMS prospects ask us whether Moodle supports virtual learning. These questions are usually asked by trainers who want to setup a LMS for online training for all their participants across the world. Other organizations want to train their employees online through the virtual web conference located at various locations.
Many of them already use one of the web-conferencing applications to provide virtual training. Some of the popular applications are GotoMeeting, WebEx, Adobe Connect, Skype, etc. All these applications, more or less provide similar features. These applications help to conduct virtual classes, making them more interactive with whiteboard options, desktop sharing facility, and option for the instructor to conduct opinion polls. As for the participants, they can communicate easily with the instructor through phone, chat, raise-hand option, etc.
When it comes to tracking and user management or grouping these virtual classes into a training curriculum, these applications may not provide the facilities that an LMS can provide. So a combination of LMS and the web-conference applications will be an ideal solution to provide online training and manage it effectively.
Moodle is an open-source application and has lots of free plugins and APIs (Application Programming Interface) available to integrate these applications. Some of the popular applications which can be integrated into Moodle are:
WebEx: It’s a recommended application for Moodle for virtual training. This is very helpful to the administrators to schedule meetings, and for the participants to join the meetings from the LMS. Moodle plugin is already available.
Adobe Connect: This plugin is available and can be integrated into Moodle easily. This is similar to WebEx in terms of integration. It also requires less developer effort as the plugin is already developed.
Go ToMeeting: It requires some amount of developers’ effort to integrate it into Moodle using the APIs. Once integrated, it will work seamlessly with the LMS.
Big Blue Button: It’s an open-source application that can be used in universities and also commercially. LMS administrators need to install the plugin and virtual classes can be scheduled and conducted online.
Skype: This may not provide the features that WebEx or GoToMeeting provide, but many trainers use this application for online training as it is free to use. Moodle has a Skype plugin which will help trainers to create and initiate calls quickly. Trainers do not have to select users or need to ask the Skype name. The LMS will automatically takes the Skype name from the profile and connect into the Skype call.
There are many other applications which can be easily integrated into Moodle, such as WizIQ, Live Streaming, Video Conference, Sookooroo, and OpenDesktop. So it is possible to integrate web conference applications into Moodle to provide a better. well-rounded trainer and participant experience. The advantage of Moodle is that you can use your existing web-conference application and integrate it into the LMS. This can become a complete solution for virtual training. With this application, you can conduct trainings online and use the LMS to track the number of participants, attendance, feedback, provide online assessments at the end of the class, conduct surveys, share course material and also provide online certificates to participants. If you want to integrate any of your applications into Moodle, you can search the Moodle plugins directory and install it on your LMS. And, if you do not find the plugin you want, share it with us so that experts and can provide suitable suggestions.