After receiving a multitude of requests from our users, we decided to implement a very simple chat widget, which is available throughout your session.
With this simple little chat widget, you can see the online status of all your students and/or instructors to whom you can open a direct chat with
at any given time.
In addition to have the ability to direct chat with individual students and instructors, you also have access to class chatrooms. These chatrooms provide you the capability to participate in group chats with students from a particular class.
To avoid situations where the chat widget obscures your view from other important features, we provided the ability to drag the chat window anywhere on you're screen. If it still gets in the way, you can simply hide the widget from view completely.
Anytime you get a new chat message, you will see an alert within the chat window, provided the chat widget is open. If the chat widget is closed, you will see a count inside the chat icon button (As depicted in the image to the right). On mobile devices, you will see a smaller white icon at the top of the screen in the menu bar.
We intentionally made the chat as simple as possible, only providing the capability to send simple text messages. However, if you think it would be helpful to include more functionality, please let us know in the comments below. If the feature request becomes popular, we will most likely implement it as swiftly as possible.
With our recent Zoom integration, users can link their Zoom account with their SimpleVLE account, providing the ability to share meetings or webinars
with their classes and students.
When modifying an existing meeting or creating a new one, the user is given the option to send an invite to the students' registered email. The meetings and webinars will show up on the instructor's calendar, the students' calendars, and within the students' class pages as well.
If you don't have a Zoom account, you can sign up for free at zoom.us/freesignup With a basic free account, you can host meetings for a duration up to 40 minutes for group meetings with up to 100 participants. However, 1 to 1 meetings are unlimited. You can host an unlimited number of meetings.
Click here to view the tutorial for linking your Zoom account. If you have a question, post a comment below, give us a shout on our contact page, or email us at email@example.com.
We are pleased to announce that we have started accepting Venmo as a payment method. For those that don't know, Venmo is a peer-to-peer mobile
payments app that you can obtain from Google playstore or Apple's App Store. You can also manage your Venmo account from
venmo.com. You can upgrade to premium with your Venmo account using money you have in Venmo, or link your bank
account or debit card quickly.
After installing the app on your phone, then linking your Venmo accounts to your credit card, debit card, or checking accounts, you can instantly begin exchanging funds among other Venmo users and Venmo merchants, with Venmo functioning as a virtual fiscal intermediary. In other words, Venmo may be seen as a middleman between the two bank accounts of the two users or merchant conducting a payment transaction.
If you are having trouble paying with Venmo, you may have to open your Venmo account, click settings, then click Payment Methods. You then have to select a payment method and then put a check beside online purchases from authorized merchants. You may have to visit Venmo's webpage to see this option. Click here to see a screenshot of that setting. If you have a question, post a comment below, give us a shout on our contact page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With everyone staying at home waiting for the pandemic to pass, many find themselves looking for a simple online teaching solution.
Whether you are a teacher looking to move from a traditional classroom to an online setting or a group of parents banding together
as a homeschooling coop, SimpleVLE can help facilitate your learning objectives.
There are a wide variety of technology tools online to choose from. We don't pretend to be best for everyone, we just try to deliver a simple but comprehensive product that meets the needs of a variety of users. While SimpleVLE has everything you need to manage an online class, we try not to overwhelm with functionality that users rarely use. Designing lessons, uploading files, creating and assigning tasks such as homework or quizzes are all very easy tasks to accomplish on our platform. Most sites have these basic capabilities as well, but what sets us apart is the simplistic natural delivery of these capabilities.
Another thing that sets us apart from similar sites is our customer support. While we do provide phone support for our premium members, we also provide quality email support to our free users alike. For example, a basic user requested a capability that we considered to be an important feature that did not exist on our platform. We immediately made it an implementation priority and now its a feature available to all of our users. In contrast, according to site reviews, many of the top LMS/VLE's customer support teams do very little for their free users and quite often have a 'pay for what you get' attitude about everything. Thats not why we got involved in education.
So, be careful, stay healthy during these troubling times, and if you have a question, post a comment below, give us a shout on our contact page, or email us at email@example.com.
Interested in offering premium courses? We now provide the capability to accept payments directly through SimpleVLE. This is done simply, by
connecting your existing Stripe Account, or if you don't have one, you can create a new Stripe account and connect it afterwards. With ease,
prospective students will be able to register and pay the course fee through our platform, while the payment is deposited directly to your Stripe
SimpleVLE only takes a 15% fee, while the remaining 85% will be deposited into your Stripe account. The Stripe fee is paid from our 15%, so you don't have to worry about any unexpected additional Stripe fees. So for example, if you charge $10 for a course, a student can sign up and pay $10, you get $8.50, and Stripe and SimpleVLE split up the remaining $1.50, which equates to $0.59 for Stripe and $0.91 for SimpleVLE.
You do not have to be a paying member to connect a stripe account. However, you will still have the same limitations that a free account has. We encourage our users to purchase a premium membership from SimpleVLE to provide an unlimited experience with no ads and if you start to sell courses on a regular basis, we will waive your membership fees.
Contact us with questions or concerns regarding merchant accounts.
Attention all Users! There will be several major updates coming this week on 10/12/2017. These new updates will affect all of
our users, hopefully in a positive way. Please read this blog post so that the changes will not come as a surprise.
Most importantly, users will be able to create courses and all classes will be derived from those courses. This will mostly help those instructors that teach the same material more than once to multiple groups of students.
For example, an instructor can create a course titled Calculus II and then create a class from that course called Fall Semester 2017. After creating a grade scale, making some announcements, assigning homework and quizzes for the first class, the instructor will no longer have to create another class from scratch. He/she can duplicate those announcements, assignments, etc when creating a 2nd class called Spring Semester 2018 as an example. The only thing that would need to be altered is the due dates for each assignment.
So what does that mean for current instructors? Current instructors will notice that their current classes will be encompassed within a course. The name of the course will be the original class name and the class name will be defaulted to 'Class 1.' Don't worry because users will be able to rename their classes and/or courses to whatever they like.
The 2nd site update may not apply to all instructors, only those who intend on offering premium courses, or paid content. Now, instructors who want to sell their courses, SimpleVLE offers a Merchant Account. See the following blog post for more details on merchant accounts.
Finally, we have upgraded our user interface and enhanced the mobile experience. Users will notice that the site displays better on mobile devices as well as traditional PC sized monitors. Please let us know if there are any problems or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!
We are very pleased to announce that SimpleVLE has just completed an initial integration of the open-source web-conferencing/learning tool - BigBlueButton.
Our premium members now have access to the most comprehensive open source web-conferencing tools available. Most, if not all other e-learning sites only offer
the service to its enterprise members and most LMS systems like Moodle require you to install Bigbluebutton on a server of your liking. We provide an extremely user-friendly
BigBlueButton integration at no additional cost outside of our normal membership fee.
What exactly is BigBlueButton? BigBlueButton is an amazing tool that provides real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, and desktop. Built-in polling makes it easy to engage students and recording your lectures means that you can make them available for later review. When using the whiteboard tool in BigBlueButton, annotations are automatically displayed back to the students in real-time. Presenters also have the ability to zoom, highlight, draw and write on presentations making your points clearer to remote students. There is no limit on the number of webcams you can share in a session (only limited by bandwidth).
BigBlueButton is open source, and the community of developers are still very active in its continuous development. They are making improvements on a daily basis. While the current iteration requires Flash, there is an HTML5 client in development that is extremely promising, especially for mobile users. While the meeting presenter must use the Flash version to create a meeting, we do allow the meeting attendees to choose between the HTML5 client and the Flash version. For more information about BigBlueButton, check out the website. For more information about our specific integration, contact us here or if you are a member, you may contact us by phone.
Data visualizations such as graphs and charts can help a teacher tremendously when making decisions. Most of the time, data displayed in a graph and/or chart
can be analyzed much easier than that same data presented in a table. SimpleVLE provides simple but effective graphs and charts to
visualize test and overall student performance in several different ways.
One of the most useful is the test performance graph. This line graph is very useful in determining which subject areas the class or group is having trouble with. A spike in this line graph may indicate that the instructor needs to concentrate on that question's relevant subject matter. To make things easy, the graph is interactive allowing the instructor to click the points of the graph to get additional information, including the question text, correct answer, and which students answered the particular question incorrectly.
In addition to the test performance graph, there are the student performance graphs and charts that give the instructor the ability to track individuals while comparing their performance with the class as a whole. These graphs and charts are only applicable after the teacher has created a grade scale. Overall student performance can not be calculated without creating weighted grade scale categories that apply to each test or task.
All charts and graphs can be exported into various file formats such as pdf,png,svg, and jpg. These charts can be used to create detailed reports on student progress for example. We are always looking for new and effective ways to present the data so if you have any suggestions on other methods so please contact us here.
For those who want an inexpensive class management solution which includes live phone support, unlimited file and content sharing, and no advertisements,
we have created several options just for you. These options along with other new features, coupled with exciting enhancements scheduled for future deployments,
require us to charge a small premium to the users that wish to utilize them. Everything stays the same for our existing user base, however now users have
the choice to pay a small fee for the additional features and support.
For only $9 per month, a single instructor can enjoy all of the functionality that comes with a basic account plus the following:
Due to many requests, we have implemented the class wall. Each and every class you create will contain a class wall,
aka blog for instructors and their students to discuss current events, problems, solutions, suggestions, or whatever floats
their boat. The class wall is a great place for open discussions with the entire class.
The instructor has full control over the class wall. This means that the instructor will be able to delete all posts and replies regardless of who created them. Students will only be able to delete the posts and replies that they create themselves. This is to guarantee that the class wall does not contain anything that the instructor thinks is inappropriate.
You can access the walls in two different ways. Students and instructors, both can access the class walls by clicking the blog menu at the very top of the page and selecting the class associated with the wall you wish to view. Another way to access the class walls for instructors, is to click the classes tab on the Instructor Panel, select a class, and click the 'Class Wall' button. Students can access the class wall by first entering the class from the student panel and clicking the link 'Class Wall' at the bottom of the page.
As with everything else implemented on this site, we want feedback about the class wall, including any errors, problems, or any suggestions on how to improve the functionality of the wall and/or the website in general. Please take the time to reply to this post or send us a message. Thank you.
One of the biggest complaints about the website has been the lack of tutorials and instructions on how to use it.
While the functionality of SimpleVLE is relatively Simple(hense the name), there can be some confusing elements that
come with the territory of hosting dynamic web content and providing the tools that allow users to generate
that content. In other words, a site with this much functionality can't be but so simple, right?
Finally we had some time to create some very detailed step-by-step tutorials that go through how to use the many tools that SimpleVLE provides. The tutorials can be downloaded in pdf or powerpoint format or you can try the interactive HTML5 version. We will continue to create new tutorials where we see the need. We also upload videos of the tutorials on our Youtube channel. Click here to view the tutorials and let us know if we missed anything or if there is any other subjects you wish us to touch on.
A Frequently Asked Questions section has been added as well. There are not many there at this time, but we will provide a form that you can easily ask us more questions and we will post the ones that are the most frequent. If it is a question that only you seem to have, we will answer you by email if you leave us one.