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 window will show the main stage and all resources, but no A/V feeds.

  • Forum does not capture any audio/visual feeds other than the instructor.

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

  • Class recording only captures the instructor’s audio and visual feed.

  • 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.

Presentation View Setup for Using Forum In-Person

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:

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

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

  1. Enter the class session in Forum on your laptop.

  2. Click on “Open presentation window” in the upper right of the stage.

  1. Navigate to the new tab that opened with the presentation view.

  2. Move the presentation view tab to another screen.

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)

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.

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