Give your learners a voice with this RecordRTC plugin

August 31, 2017

Take a look on Twitter or Facebook at any time and it’s clear that nowadays we express ourselves in a variety of media, from text to video. As a new participant in a Moodle course, you can introduce yourself in a forum with short description, a photo and -since Moodle 3.3 – some cool emojis. But wouldn’t it be even better if you can add a short video or sound file too? With a new plugin from the guys who brought us BigBlueButton – you now can!

What is RecordRTC and how do I get it?

RecordRTC is an easy to install and simple to use plugin that lives in Moodle’s text editor. There’s a version for Atto editor and a version for the TinyMCE editor. It lets you record yourself, either in sound or video and then share the recording with other course participants.

A Moodle administrator who can add plugins to their site needs to install it, either manually or directly from the Install plugins link in Site administration. The RecordRTC plugin is new, but as its developer is Jesus Federico from BigBlueButton, our open-source friends and supporter – we’re confident it’s a winner! (If you have a MoodleCloud site you’ll already know BigBlueButton’sweb conferencing feature is available as part of the MoodleCloud packages.)

Once installed, icons display in Atto or TinyMCE editor, depending on which plugin you’ve installed. The plugin uses WebRTC technologies and recording is done immediately in the browser. From the plugin’s settings page, the admin can:

  • change the target bitrate
  • change the recording time
  • choose to display only the audio icon, only the video icon or both as shown here:

How does it work?

Simply click the icon from whichever editor you are using (such as Atto for us here) and a record button will appear:

When you click the button,it will turn red and you can record yourself. When you’re finished, you stop recording and you have the option either of recording again or saving the recording as an an attachment:

And that’s it! So let’s go back to our new course participant and see how this can be used in an Introduce yourself forum:

Teaching tips

Forums are a great way for learners to work together. In a previous post about the Corrections plugin we looked at using forums for peer assessment. The Record plugin can also facilitate informal peer review, as we see in this forum, where foreign language student Frances has recorded her speaking assignment for others to comment on:

In situations such as language teaching, where the spoken word is important, or in situations where learners have difficulty typing text, the Record plugin is a great solution. (Note that it can’t be used for formal assignment feedback, however.)

The RecordRTC plugin is already arousing interest in the Moodle.org community forums and offers great potential for improving communication in a wide variety of situations. How do you think you might use it?

Share your thoughts, ideas and use of this plugin in our forums!

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