Overview

A class’ main stage can be configured into many different layouts that display participants, slides, collaborative docs, and more.

An instructor, or any other starred participant, can manually configure the stage when they want to depart from the timeline or default configuration. Forum does its best to simplify these interactions by automatically keeping the stage filled with participants so as to equalize talk time.

This article makes reference to several terms described in the Classroom Key Terms article.

Using keyboard shortcuts

There are many keyboard shortcuts to help instructors manage the stage quickly and easily. To view these keyboard shortcuts while you’re in the classroom, use the keyboard shortcut “K”.

You can view this article on Keyboard Shortcuts for more information.

Who can change the stage layout?

Only instructors and starred participants can manually configure the stage. Forum does its best to simplify these interactions by automatically keeping the stage filled with participants, minimizing the actions required by an instructor.

How to change the classroom stage layout

To change the number of people on stage, use the 1-8 keys on your keyboard. This will create 1-8 panes on the stage. For instance, pushing the 5 key will change the stage to have 5 panes. The equally-sized panes (i.e. the four on the right side of the screen in the screenshot below) will be auto-filled with students, while the large pane is reserved for displaying resources.

How does Forum handle the automatic filling of panes?

Forum follows 4 rules when it comes to populating panes.

  1. Autofill Same-Sized Panes

    Anytime the stage is manually or automatically changed, Forum will automatically fill all same sized panes (the blue panes in the image below) with a participant.

  2. Leave Large Panes Empty

    Anytime the stage is manually or automatically changed, Forum will leave all single large panes in a 1, 3,5, or 7-up (the white panes in the image below) empty so that the instructor can choose a resource or other artifact to display.

  3. Pick the Right Random Participant

    Anytime Forum has to pick a participant to be displayed (either on stage or in the participant bar), Forum will prioritize these conditions:

    • Participants with the least number of times in the participant bar (for large classes)

    • Participants with the least amount of talk time for the current class

    • If there are empty panes left on the stage, these will be filled in with starred participants

    • Note: Participants with non-functional microphones (i.e. people who can't talk) will be the lowest priority in all cases

  4. Replace the Right Participant

    Anytime Forum has to pick a participant to replace (either on stage or in the participant bar), Forum will prioritize these conditions:

    • Participants with the most talk time

    • Note: Resources, polls, pinned participants, starred participants, or currently speaking participants are never replaced automatically

Managing stage content and the participant bar

Now that you know the basics of changing the stage layout, learn how to:

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