Today’s review Module is the Moodle 2.0 Activity Module: OpenMeetings. This module provides the integration between Moodle 2.0 and the free browser-based OpenMeetings software that allows you to set up a training or classroom conference in the Web.  

Background
This module for Moodle is maintained by Sebastian Wagner from Germany. This is available for Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.0.  The actual Open Meetings software is open source so you can either download it and run it yourself or use a hosted service.

To be able to use this plugin either you must have your own OpenMeetings server, or have a hosted one. You can sign up to see Open Meetings working but the demo account wont be usable to test the integration on your own Moodle site.

I spent quite a bit of time building a full test server for OpenMeetings just to try this with the latest versions of everything, loads of fun, and loads of coffee.

What does it do? (to write)

This plugin provides a simple interface between the OpenMeetings server and Moodle. The teacher can create a room or link to an existing recording.  When creating the room, the teacher can control the type of room and size, and a few other classroom settings. However, unlike some of the integrations available it does not have the option to add an entry to the course calendar.

Teachers, admins and course creators are automatically made a moderator in the OpenMeetings platform.

Is it simple to install?

The zip available on the plugin database holds just one folder openmeetings and this needs to be uploaded to your Moodle  /mod folder.  The code is managed in GoogleCode and can also be downloaded there.

When upgrading through the notifications page, I got no errors and it just installed.

There was some new global settings which need to be completed so this is where you need your server details.

Global Settings

 

Once this is configured, you can then add the activity to the Moodle course.

Activity config options

Is there documentation for it?

The plug-ins page has a simple overview on the module but it links to a very detailed support site for the OpenMeetings software and the plugins. This covers the introduction to the plugin, features, installation, information for moderators and support information. There is also a video showing the integration.  There are links to the sourcecode and to the bug tracker. The README file has key links to the information sites, the code and to a demo site.

Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?

It was quite straight forward to add a class activity after installation the options included:

  • setting the room type
  • Maximum users
  • Language
  • Moderation Status (whether users need to wait for teacher or not)
  • Whether recording is available or not
  • If you want to select a recording to show instead of a live room

Once the room was set up, it was very easy to go in and use the room for your training, or virtual classroom.

Open Meetings Room

Is it easy for the learner/student to use?

This is very easy for the student to access and use, there was no complications. It uses a flash interface for the classroom, which was easy to follow. It would be nice to see how it performs with a full room.

Does it do what it promises?

Yes. This is a good integration which provides the ability for the teacher to create a room or provide access to a recording. It has some nice features including room size management through the config.

I would however like to see a date/time control so this can go into the students Moodle calendar (like the Adobe Connect Pro integration and BigBlueButton do) as I think this is an important feature.

It would also be nice if they could have a very limited (2 person room?) as the default test settings for the mod – the same way that Blindside networks do for BigBlueButton.

 

Stars: 3 out of 5 stars for this activity.

**Standard Reminder**

These reviews check out the plugin for usability not for security. If you are considering installing any module on your site you should also check that is secure and does not impact the server performance.

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