In-Person Classes on Forum
Laura Ruiz avatar
Written by Laura Ruiz
Updated over a week ago

Different Forum class types (listed below) can be used in any lesson plan. The first two are the most common.

  • Virtual: All students are remote and attend class virtually in Forum.

  • In-Person with Forum: All students are in person with the instructor and use their laptops to engage in some class activities in Forum. The instructor can use the timeline in Forum to navigate the lesson plan.

  • Pre-class Work Only: All students complete the pre-class readings and work before attending an in-person session that does not use Forum in class.

  • Asynchronous: Students complete readings and activities in lieu of a synchronous class. The due date for the work to be completed is the date and time of the session.

Note: Forum does not support a mix of some students being in person and some students being online during the same session.

These different types allow for a hybrid experience as long as all students are using the same mode to connect, e.g., all remote or all in person.

We recommend working with your Minerva Course Manager to determine the best type of session structure for your course.

Making a Course or Session as In-Person, Pre-class work only, or Asynchronous

Courses are considered virtual by default. To change this to another type of class, you have the following options:

  1. Work with your Course Manager. The Minerva Course Manager of your course can indicate if it is an in-person or virtual course. They are able to see this in Course Builder, a software that you may or may not have access to. Course Managers can mark an entire course as in-person, and can mark all lesson plans under that course as in-person (and vice versa if marking a course “virtual” again). Course Managers can also mark something virtual or in-person at a session level, making a section partially in-person and partially virtual if desired.

  2. Lesson Plan or Session level in Forum. The other way to change the type of a specific session can be done by the instructor or Course Manager in Forum through the Class Edit page. If toggled as in-person or pre-class work only, you can also add a location to help direct students to the right physical space:

3. Change at the Course level. If you have access to Course Builder, you can update this status on your own. To do this, navigate to the syllabus in Course Builder, click on the pencil under class type (the default is virtual), select the session structure you would like, and save.

4. Lesson Plan or Session level in Course Builder. If you have access to Course Builder, you are able to change the type of class at a lesson plan or session level. To change the type of a single lesson plan, navigate to the lesson plan in the syllabus editor, click the pencil to edit the lesson plan title, select the session type you would like, identify the location of the in-person or pre-class work only class if desired, and save. You will see the changes reflected in the session in Forum.

Teaching with Forum In-Person

Teaching with Forum In-Person provides the same fully active learning experiences as virtual classes.


  • Instructor timeline and private faculty notes are only visible to the instructor, even when presenting.

  • Continued ability to run and feature polls, run and feature breakouts, and to use interactive resources (Forum Docs, Forum Workbooks, Forum Code Docs, whiteboards, spreadsheets, etc.)

  • Continued ability to use chat, reactions, checks and xs, and digital hand raises.

  • Continued ability to provide formative assessment on student performance after class has ended.


  • The instructor can open up a Presentation View tab that can be moved to a second screen and projected for the class. The Presentation View will show the main stage and all resources.

  • If an Instructor enables their microphone and camera, Forum will capture this as part of the class recording. Instructor A/V is not visible to students during the class. Student A/V is not enabled or recorded during class.

  • Reactions are shown in a roll-up at the bottom of the screen rather than on a student video pane.

  • It is not possible to assess verbal comments in class grader (although instructors could choose to give general comments to students based on their verbal participation in class).

  • It is not possible to capture or monitor student talk time.

Classroom Setup and Tips

  • Every student needs a laptop to participate in class.

  • Students should bring a charger and have access to an outlet.

  • Instructors need to work with their IT department to ensure successful presentation from their laptop to a projector or second screen.

  • Partner institutions should ensure that wifi strength and bandwidth in physical classrooms are able to support all learners on Forum.

  • Instructors should practice in the physical classroom before teaching students to ensure the hardware setup works as expected.

  • Instructors should unmute their microphones to ensure their audio is recorded.

Presentation View for Forum In Person

If you’re leading an in-person class, you may find it helpful to focus the class’ attention on a projected view of the classroom. This is called the Presentation View. It displays whatever content is currently on the Forum stage, but does not include the sidebar or top menu bar.

We recommend the workflow below once in the classroom you will use to teach with in-person Forum. We also highly recommend practicing the technology set up long before the first class time.

For a video walkthrough on setting up your class using presentation mode for in-person Forum, please follow this link.

  1. Connect your laptop to the external projection screen/monitor.

  2. Change the display settings on your laptop to extend to multiple screens (not “mirror”). Instructions for different operating systems are below:

  • Mac (note the section “Set up displays as an extended desktop”)

  • Windows (note the section “Choose a Display Option” to select “Extend”)

3. Ensure that your browser zoom is set to 100%. In Chrome, you can do this by clicking the three dots in the top right corner of your window. Confirm that Zoom is at 100% or adjust as required.

Once your projector is configured, enter the class session in Forum on your laptop.

Next, launch the Presentation View. The button to do so is located either in the menu bar at the top of the Classroom, or just below.

This will open a new tab with the presentation. Drag it to a new window, and then to the projector display. Ensure it fills the whole screen.

Note: Only users with the ability to control the classroom can open a Presentation View.

When you’re ready to start class, click the first step in the timeline to begin broadcasting content to the Presentation View. As you advance the Timeline or adjust the stage layout and content, the Presentation View will update to reflect the resources that are currently visible on the Classroom stage.

Scrolling and Zooming

Scrolling and zooming are not synced between the Instructor and the Presentation View.

To zoom in or out, or scroll a resource, navigate your cursor to the Presentation View and make your adjustments.

If you are presenting a Forum Workbook, you can scroll and zoom in the classroom and your position will be reflected on the Presentation View automatically.

Support for In Person Classes

For help please direct your questions to the people who can help you most:

  1. The hardware, screen, projector in your classroom: The IT team at your school

  2. General Forum and presentation mode questions: and your Minerva Project Course Manager

  3. Urgent Forum questions in class: Live Tech Support (in the question mark icon in Forum in the upper right of your screen)

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