How to Use Classroom for a Virtual Event

This article will walk through a few of the ways you can set up various components of a virtual event using Classroom. While this article offers options, feel free to get creative - there is more than one way to structure your event! 

Structuring Your Content

To start, it helps to understand how to translate Classroom site parts into terms that can help as you decide where and how to create and set up your event. The first thing you'll want to be aware of is the hierarchy of items within Classroom itself, and how each part fits into the others. 



Packages - Perhaps the most important thing to know about packages is that packages are the level at which permissions can be set (so if you want to restrict content, it must happen at the package level - not at any of the other levels of content listed below). Similarly, this means if you are charging for content, you will want to ensure that what you are charging for separately is represented at the package level (so if your attendees are paying separately for each speaker, you will want to ensure each speaker's session is contained in a different package.) Packages are the highest level of the setup structure, as they can house all courses in order to display them to your learners. If building course materials in the Learning Center is thought of as the staging area, creating a package can be thought of as the publishing hub where the course becomes visible and ready for consumption on the learner-facing site, your Classroom. Note: the course will not show on your learner-facing site without being published through Packages. An example of where a package lives on the frontend of your site is below





Courses - A course is where you are putting all the pieces together in order for your attendees to access the content within a package. The course can be further broken into chapters, lessons and assessments. Your learner cannot see these items until they are made into a Package, shown above. In our example above, you will see that one of our packages, "Morning Sessions" contains multiple courses - we set up a unique course for each of our sessions. Once you click into the package, you saw the courses all listed, like this:





Chapter - A chapter is the top item in a course under which all sessions fall, whether those sessions are lessons, assessments, or both. You can give your chapters whatever name makes sense within the context of your course offering. You can easily go back and rename chapters at any time for convenience and flexibility. Finally, you can have unlimited chapters within your course.





Session - A session is a part of a chapter which contains lessons and assessments. You can have unlimited sessions per chapter. Many customers have one or two lessons that need to be consumed prior to the learner taking an assessment to prove their proficiency in the presented content.



Lessons and Assessments - A lesson is where you present a file(s) to your learner in order to encourage mastery on a particular subject. An assessment is an exam or quiz you set up for your learners to take in order to prove their content mastery. 





Putting it all together

With the hierarchy in mind, your starting place will always be getting a course created (since your course will house all of your content, lessons, and assessments, but you cannot create a package until a course is ready). Within your course, you can begin to create chapters, which can then house your lessons and assessments. Once you have added all of your learning content to your course, when you are ready to make this offering visible on the front end of your site, you can then turn it into a package and you're good to go!

Setting up a Virtual Vendor Hall

There are several ways to set up a virtual vendor hall experience, but this section will review how we chose to set up ours for MC Thrive!
For our virtual vendor hall, we first set up each of our vendors as a course in the Classroom. Within the long description area of the course, we added in things such as their logo, a summary of their company, contact information, promotional videos, and so on


Once the course was set up for that vendor, we then added an assessment for each vendor. In this case, the assessment was simply a survey that we used as a tool to capture engagement and interest for our vendors, as well as a way to attendees to earn raffle tickets based on their submissions. 
To set up a quiz for each vendor course, you will just click into the name of the vendor course you've created, and click the "add assessment" option from there to name the assessment, add any configurations, and finally, add questions (more about setting up assessments here)


Once you have all of your vendors set up as courses, you can then create a package to house all of them - in our case, we called the package "Virtual Marketplace"




Setting up Speaker Sessions (Embedding via Crowdcast, TelSpan, or your webinar provider of choice)

When setting up your speaker sessions, one of the main things you will want to keep in mind is whether or not you need different permissions for different sessions. As a reminder, permissions can only be set at the package level, so if you need different permissions for different sessions, you will want to ensure you have put them into different packages!

For MC Thrive, access to our event was all-inclusive, so we didn't need a unique package for each speaker or session. However, since it was an all-day event, we wanted to break it up a little bit, so we chose to have one package for our morning sessions, and one for our afternoon sessions


Similar to our vendor marketplace, we chose to set up each speaker session as a course, and used the long description area of the course to include a speaker bio and what they would be discussing. 


For the actual webinar session itself, we just clicked into the name of the course/session we had created, and created a lesson to house the webinar. To do this, while you are in the editor of the lesson, you will click on the "insert" option from the toolbar, select "Media", and use the "embed" tab to drop in the embed code from your webinar provider for that session (Note: this method requires that your webinar provider offers embed codes. Some providers do not, in which case you can use instructions below to simply link to an external session) As a tip, for the best size and display on the Classroom page, we recommend selecting dimensions of 1200 x 800 in the general settings of the media configurations.




Linking to an external webinar provider without an embed code 

If you are using a webinar or live streaming provider who does not provide an embed code, you will instead want to create a link to that external session. The setup would be much the same as what was reviewed above - you will still want to set up a course for the session, and set up a lesson within that course to house the session. Instead of embedding the webinar in the page, however, you will want to include a link that takes the user to the external session. An example from another of our event Classroom sites is shown below, linking to a Zoom meeting:


To use this approach, you will just use the text editor and include all of the details of the session, and simply create a link using the link feature in the editor. In the example above, instead of simply creating a link over text, we found a small "click here" button graphic and added the link to that image to give the appearance of a button 

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