Conduct Online Meetings and Webinars with Course Offerings

 
Many organizations prefer to use online meetings or webinars to conduct instructor-led training sessions, leveraging the benefits of a classroom learning environment while controlling the travel- and time-related costs of bringing people to a physical classroom. With the Latitude Learning LMS, Portal Administrators and Instructors can set up webinar-style sessions and manage attendance records using classroom course Offerings. This document explains how to create Offerings that include links to training events established in online meeting applications such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, Join.me, Google+ Hangouts and more.


Prepare the LMS for Online Meeting integration

There are some requirements to fulfill before you can take advantage of the Offerings feature to conduct online meetings. You must first have an online Facility and a related Classroom Course established in the LMS, as well as a meeting scheduled in your preferred online meeting application. 

Create a Facility

When adding an Offering for a course, specifying the Facility is required. If you plan to use offerings for webinar enrollment, you should utilize a “virtual” Facility, or create a new one if none exists. Once created, you can use this facility for any offerings that use online collaboration tools rather than a physical training space. 

To create a virtual Facility:
  1. From the left navigation menu, select Facilities => Add Facility
  2. Complete all required fields in the form, and for Facility Type, select Webinar
  3. As with any facility, ensure it is available to the necessary organizations by selecting the appropriate Owner Organizations and Locales. If you need to review the common elements of the Add Facility functionality, please see related document: Create and Manage Training Facilities.
  4. Click Submit.

 

Create a Classroom Course

Classroom courses are designed to function as Instructor-led Training (ILT), either at a physical location or via webinar. Once a portal administrator creates a Classroom course, he or an authorized instructor can create Offerings through which students can enroll in the course for a specific date, time, and location. You can create a new course, or use one already in your catalog, to schedule multiple webinars offered from your new virtual facility. 

For details on creating a Classroom Course, see the linked document: Adding Classroom Courses and Offerings. In the Delivery Method field, be sure to select Classroom.


Schedule the Online Meeting or Training Webinar

If you have an online Facility and Classroom course established, the final step you must take before creating the Offering is to schedule your session in the online meeting application. Most online meeting/webinar tools send an email confirmation to the host with the link to the session and any login/password details – you’ll need this information when creating your offering. An example from WebEx is shown below.




Create the Webinar Offering

When all of the preliminary requirements are in place -- a facility, a classroom course, and online meeting details -- you can create the offering.  For detailed instructions on creating an Offering, see the linked document: Adding Classroom Courses and Offerings

To make the offering web-based:
1.  From the the left navigation menu, select Courses => Add Offering.
2.  Complete the form as you would for any offering, giving special attention to the fields noted below.



  • Description: Information available to all attendees. Enter information such as meeting access codes, passwords, phone numbers or other information students may need to successfully join the session.
  • Administration Notes: Information available to portal administrators and instructors. Provide information that only the instructor/facilitator should see, such as the meeting host password or special access instructions. 
  • Facility: Enter the Webinar-related Facility Code, or click Select Facilities to search the Facilities Picker and find the correct code.
  • Link to Classroom: Paste the meeting/webinar URL from the online meeting confirmation, normally sent by email from online meeting/webinar applications.
  • Additional Note: If you decide to Create Reminder Messages, use this field to provide any additional instructions to be included in the reminder emails sent to attendees.
3.  Click Submit and Continue. The system will create the Offering, and then display the “Actions” tab, where you can enroll students or use the new offering as a template for others.


Attending and Facilitating the Offering

When a student is enrolled in the webinar offering, it displays in the “Live Courses” section of his or her homepage. Otherwise, users can search for the course and enroll themselves in the offering from the Course Details page.
 
To view the offering and attend the session:
1.  Click View Offering.
 


2.  Click Link to classroom to launch the webinar. Use credentials and other information provided in the “Description” section to access the online meeting room.

 



Documenting Student Attendance  

When using the Link to Classroom feature, the LMS does not register whether or not a student has launched the offering. As a result, the system cannot monitor training progress or record how long the student stayed in the session. If you want webinar attendance added to the participating students’ training history, the instructor must manually process the Offering Roster in the same manner they would for regular Classroom courses. For detailed information on this topic, see related document: Process Rosters to Document Attendance in Classroom Course Offerings.

Note: If your organization requires more robust and versatile online training options, consider our Virtual Classroom (VCO) Add-On. This add-on provides automatic roster processing and will track how long a user stays in the session. You can also set the criteria for how long a learner needs to attend a session in order to obtain a passing credit on their transcript. Furthermore, the VCO feature automatically saves recordings of your session in the LMS, allowing learners to review class content for up to 90 days.