Introduction

Congrea is a new generation scalable, open source online virtual classroom environment. It has been packaged with several value added features such as, audio-video interaction, chat, poll, quiz, collaborative editor and much more. Congrea also enhances the user experience by allowing the users to share media, documents or even screen with their fellow participants. It has been designed to enable real time knowledge flow in all the categories of institutions such as, school, college and corporate organizations.

Its unique feature of getting integrated with other software makes it an easily acceptable and reliable product. Moreover, Congrea provides a safe platform to its users, as all the end to end communications are encrypted via SSL. Being an open source application, Congrea is highly customizable and can be modified according to the different requirements of the user. It’s a lightweight, browser based application and has no dependency on Flash. Also, Congrea’s cloud services are offered from twelve different locations across the globe.

Pre-requisitions

Network

An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE). Minimum bandwidth is 600kbps (up/down) and recommended is 2 Mbps (up/down).

Hardware

Congrea has a very basic hardware requirement which includes,

  • Quad-core processor with minimum 4GB RAM
  • Camera
  • Microphone

*Note- If a person owns a system (e.g. Laptop) wherein the build in camera is either damaged or its picture quality needs to be enhanced then the person will have a choice to add in another external camera to the system which can be enabled in the settings section of Congrea.

Software

Software requirements for Congrea includes,

  • Latest version of modern browser (e.g. Google Chrome)

Understanding the UI

Before understanding the UI one must note that Congrea is meant for two type of users, i.e., presenter and learner. Presenter will be the person, having all the access over the different features of the application, However, learner will have limited access as well as different look and feel of the application.

Once you login to Congrea as a learner, you will land to a page which will look like the screenshot below.

Right Side Panel

   User List

   Common Chat

   Raise Question

   Add Notes

User List

Provides a quick list of all the participants who are present in the session. To have a private chat you can click on the name of that particular user that you want to have a discussion with.

Common Chat

A common space to send and view messages of the classroom.

Ask Question

A space to ask and answer the questions during and after the session. 

 

 

 Add Question

 Upvote

 Number of Answers

 Reply

 More Options

 Number of Comments

Add Notes

It provides the participants with a space to add private notes during and after the session.

Left Side Panel

Additional Information and Control

  Recording Status: Red icon depicts recording is on whereas yellow denotes as off 

    Connection Strength: This icon aids in understanding the bandwidth of your network. The colour of this icon changes with the speed of your internet, wherein Green reflects good connectivity, Yellow means satisfactory, Orange means poor and Red denotes no connectivity 

    Validate system requirements: Click to check that all the system requirements (such as camera, microphone, internet etc) are working well 

      Microphone: Click here to mute or unmute your sound 

      Camera: Click here to enable or disable your camera 

      Bookmark: Click to pin or bookmark a particular context during and after the session

      Full Screen: Click to view your Congrea’s screen on full screen mode

Additional Features

Collaborative Editor

Your presenter may allow you to participate in the collaborative text editing session. Once permitted you can use the toolbar and can write anything over the text editor, you can also choose font, size, colour and alignment of the text. To add a picture just click on the Image icon present on the toolbar, add the URL and click submit to upload it.

Poll

Presenter can run a poll anytime during the classroom session. However, you will get notified before it gets started. The closing of poll can be either controlled via instructor (presenter) or by a preset timer. If it says that “teacher may close the poll anytime” then it is being controlled through the instructor, else via timer.

Quiz

The Presenter can also run a random quiz which you will get notified before it starts. The questions presented will be in multiple choice format. After clicking the answer of a question you can click next to view other questions of the quiz. You can also change your answers by clicking on the question numbers present on the top.

Screen Sharing

The presenter can ask you to share the screen, once the presenter requests, you will get a message asking “Do you want to share your screen?” if you click yes then you will get a choice to share the whole screen or just the application window. The presenter might then share the screen with the whole classroom. 

Chatroom or Private Chat

Both the presenter and learner have the option of having common as well as private chat with any of the member present during the classroom session. You can simply click on the Chatroom option present on the bottom right of your screen to start a common chat. Whereas, for the private chat you can click on the name of the participant that you want to have a discussion with. 

Ask Question

It is a dedicated space for the queries of participants, wherein anyone can post questions related to the ongoing context during and after the session (recording), the same can be answered by anyone during and after the session.

*Ask question is not available during the poll and quiz feature of Congrea.

Functionalities

  • Context linking – The question posted will be mapped with the ongoing context of the classroom. For instance, all the questions asked during page 1 of the whiteboard will be mapped with it and will be visible whenever the context shows up, during the session or while viewing the recording. Context in simpler words is the content that is being displayed on the screen, be it the pages of whiteboard, document; slides of a ppt; screen being shared, text editor or video.
  • Upvote – To promote collaboration participants will get the functionality to upvote someone’s question as well as the answer.
  • Comment – To encourage discussion participants can comment on the answers posted by others.
  • Mark as answer – Teacher will get the functionality to mark any given answer as final which will in turn close that particular question i.e., no further answers can be posted on that question. However, participants can still post comments on the answers of that question. By default the answers posted by the teacher will be marked as final answers.
  • View all questions – While viewing the recording the viewer can use this functionality to view all the questions in one go without mapping the context.

Notes

This feature provides the participants with a dedicated space to add their personal notes which gets linked with the ongoing context of the classroom. These notes can be added and viewed anytime during and after the session (recording). 

Functionalities

  • All the users will get a separate writing space in the right side panel once they click the notes icon 
  • This will allow them to add notes to a particular context 
  • For every context different notes can be generated and same will be reflected using the pagination, the total count of which will reflect the total number of notes being added
  • User can easily navigate between the added notes in the live session as well
  • Once a particular note has been cleared using the clear all button the total number of notes will also get reduced by 1  

*Notes is not available for poll and quiz

Bookmark

Designed to enable the participants to pin any ongoing context of the session both during the live session and while viewing recording for their later reference. 

Functionalities

  • Anyone in the live session or recording can click this button present in the bottom panel to create a bookmark of a particular context for their later reference
  • Bookmark icon will change the colour (from transparent to blue) once clicked
  • Re-clicking the same would allow them to umark the bookmarked context 

*Bookmark is not available for poll and quiz

Session Recording

While viewing the recording the seek-bar will show different pins reflecting either changing context, question posted on raise question or notes or bookmark added by you. Refer below screenshot for better understanding.

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