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Teach Collaborative and Engaging Classes

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 min

Teach Collaborative and Engaging Classes

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Open vs private rooms for your classes

Learn how to use both open and private rooms for your MURAL classrooms

Decide whether to create open rooms or private rooms for each of your courses
Create rooms and distribute murals

What is the difference between open and private rooms?

Open rooms: These rooms are open for all workspace members to join. They allow all members of the room to collaborate with one another. Open rooms are ideal for classes you want visible to anyone in your workspace.

Private rooms: Collaborators need an invitation to access the private rooms. These are best for the courses and work you want to keep private from students in other courses. If you would like your students to collaborate in a private room, you will need to invite them to that room as members or guests. 

Whichever room type you choose, we suggest naming it with your course name and ID.


Prepare and distribute murals to your class rooms

We suggest creating a personal private room to prepare class murals in. When a mural is ready to share, you can either duplicate it or move it to a different room. Click the drop down arrow on the mural thumbnail and choose duplicate or move. Make sure to choose the room you would like to move the mural to before clicking the “move mural” button.



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Hi, Sasha here, transformation manager for education and nonprofits at MURAL. Today I'm going to share with you some best practices for setting up your courses in MURAL.

All right, so you've probably seen when you first log in, you see every single mural that you created or been given access to on the screen. These are under the cleverly titled section, all murals. When you set up your courses, you're going to want to create a unique space for each course and mural. You do that in what we call rooms. Rooms can be found on the far left here. And you'll notice that there are two types of rooms, private rooms, and open rooms, open rooms are going to be rooms in which anyone that has access to your workspace can access that room. Open rooms are essentially discoverable for everyone, as well as the content in that room can be found and open and accessed by everyone in your workspace, private rooms, however are just that private. When you create a private room, only you have access until you explicitly invite in your students or colleagues directly into that room or to the murals that are in that room. So again, open rooms accessible to everyone. Private rooms only accessible to you until you decide to invite other people into that room.

 To create a room, you click the little plus button next to either private rooms or open rooms, depending on what you need. So if I click plus here, I then give it a title. We suggest that you include the course ID, as well as the course name in the room, name. That way it's really easy for your students to find when they log in. So in this case, we're going to do MU101 and then I'm going to click create room. Okay? So now I have this private room. If this was an open room, I wouldn't need to do the next step because any student would be able to log in and discover and find any content in this open room. But because this is a private room, I could either come here and click share and invite my students in by adding their email addresses or I can click create, and then share this link. Either posting it in the LMS or sharing it over email, et cetera.

Now I can start adding my content into this course, private room. One thing I like to talk about too, in relation to any room is you'll notice that you have, when you enter into MURAL, your own personal private room. If it's not there, you can always create it. What I like about the personal or personal private room is that this is where you can go to kind of have a staging area or creation area. So you can start building out your course or class murals before you actually move them into the course private room. That way you can make sure everything's, you know, ready to go before you actually move it in and make it live. Once you have your murals ready, you can either duplicate them or copy them into your course room or you can move them entirely.

 To duplicate you just click a little drop down here, click on duplicate, update the name. If you want, we typically suggest that you include the date for each mural or each class that you're moving into your course private room, or course open room. Then you just choose the room you want to move it into and click duplicate. So now you have a copy in your private room, as well as in your personal room as well. If I go back to the personal room, if you didn't want to make a copy, you just wanted to move it, you just click the dropdown and choose, move, and then choose the room you want to move it into, click move and that's it.

So again, just to rehash, you're going to create a room for each course you're teaching. You're going to give it a title that includes the course ID, as well as the course name that way it can differentiate if you create extra rooms for projects and things like that and everything is easily find-able when your students log in to access open rooms or those that are going to be available to everyone in your workspace, whether that's your own personal workspace or a university workspace that you're using versus a private room or in which you only, you have access until you explicitly invite in your students or colleagues. Hope this has been helpful. Appreciate your time. See you again soon.


Inviting your students to collaborate

How to decide whether to invite students as members, guests, or visitors

Learn about members, guests, and visitors in MURAL and understand which will best fit your class needs

Learn about members

You should invite your students as members if you want them to have full access to MURAL. As a member, students can access all open rooms and create their own rooms and murals. Students will also be asked to sign in and create an account. This will give them the ability to revisit the workspace whenever they want. We suggest making everyone on your teaching team a member even if you decide not to invite your students as members.

Why choose members?‍

  • You have a smaller class where students are doing a lot of independent work in MURAL
  • You would like students to have the ability to sign in on their own and create their own murals and rooms as part of your class  

Learn about guests

Invite your students as guests if you have created a specific room for your class or for a particular team, and you would like the students in that class or team to have access to all the murals in that room. As a guest, students will be asked to sign in and create an account so they can revisit the room or rooms they were invited to whenever they would like.

Why choose guests?‍

  • You have a small to medium class size
  • You would like students to have the ability to sign in on their own and access any rooms they have been invited to and the murals within those rooms
  • You prefer that students don't have access to the entire workspace and can’t invite people to the workspace

Learn about visitors

Use the visitor link if you anticipate using MURAL for specific exercises in class or using one mural per class session. As visitors, students will not have to sign in or create an account. They can participate anonymously or enter their name before collaborating. With the visitor link, students can't sign in on their own, but they can revisit the mural using the same visitor link. You can send the visitor link via your video conferencing tool, email, or your LMS prior to class.

Additionally, a view-only visitor link is available if you would like your students to follow along in MURAL but not collaborate themselves.

Why choose visitors?‍

  • You have a large class
  • You don't want to have students create MURAL accounts
  • You don't want your students to have access to any part of your workspace


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Hi there, my name is Emma, and I'm going to discuss how to invite your students to collaborate in MURAL, either as members, guests, or visitors. The reason I say discuss is because it's not an easy answer. It really depends on your class and how you'd like your students to collaborate in your class. The good thing is that no matter what you choose, everyone can collaborate. So let's dive into the different options. If you are thinking of inviting your students as members, these are some things to consider. If you'd like your students to have a high level of collaboration and autonomy, then member might be the right choice. As a member, the students would be able to access multiple rooms and they actually would be able to create their own rooms and murals as well. This is probably best if your class is a small class or a studio class because then the students can have more access and collaborate further. One thing to note is that when you invite your students as a member, it will ask the students to sign in and create an account. So one benefit to inviting students as a member is that the students can access the workspace on their own. You don't need to send them a link every time you want them to collaborate.

You could also invite your students as guests. Guests are what you should choose if you want your students to have access to a multiple murals in a single room. So you can invite guests to specific rooms, but they won't have access to the entire workspace. One thing to note here is that it will also ask students to sign in and create an account. So again, students would be able to revisit the specific room and go into the multiple murals in that room and collaborate in those murals without you having to send them the link each time. Again, this is probably best for smaller classes or studio classes, where you are going to be collaborating a lot in mural and wanting your students to come in and out of mural.

 Okay. Now the last option is visitors. So this is great for larger classes. When you want to use MURAL either for specific exercises in your class, or when you're using one mural for your specific class session. This is because you can just send the visitor link in the chat of the zoom, or you can include it in your LMS for the specific class session. And with the visitor link, your students don't need to go through a sign on process or create an account. They could either enter anonymously or they can enter their name in and just start collaborating right away in the mural. One thing to note here is that the visitors won't have access to the entire backend of your workspace. You will have to invite them to each individual mural. The other thing to note is that with visitors, you can send a view only link. So, if you, for some reason, do not want the students to be collaborating in MURAL, but instead just watching you and your teaching team, adding things to the mural, you can send the view only link instead. So those are all the different options for how you can invite your students. I hope that it might be more clear for you, which option you can choose that will work best for your class and how you would like your students to collaborate. 


Introduce MURAL to new students

Our advice for bringing new visual collaborators into the app.

Operate zoom settings
Locate objects to the mural
Identify how to follow someone in the mural

Easing into visual collaboration

We realize that learning a new way of collaborating and a new application is exciting, but might be daunting for some educators and students. You need everyone focused on the content of the class session, not features. Simplify the experience by giving an opportunity for the group to do a low-risk activity together, like a warm up exercise, before the class starts. This not only sets expectations for the level of participation in the session, but it also gives everyone a chance to build confidence with MURAL and the other apps you’re using in the class.
Some educators prefer to do a pre-work, asynchronous energizer or warm-up activity that they send out to students prior to class. Other educators use the early part of a session to give the students time to learn and meet one another. Find your new favorite MURAL warm up activity template.

Show and tell the essentials

To get collaborators feeling confident using MURAL, we recommend you introduce these four key parts of the experience.

  1. Moving around the MURAL

MURALs are large spaces for you to work together. Demonstrate how to move around the MURAL and how to adjust the settings in the MURAL for their device.

  1. Add sticky notes to the MURAL

Demonstrate and show collaborators how to add objects like sticky notes to the MURAL from the left toolbar. You can also teach them shortcuts for speedy collaboration.

  1. Add icons and other objects

Help them build confidence by adding more objects from the toolbar. Your warm up activity can help them learn the features of MURAL and show them how to work visually.

  1. Following collaborators

As the group moves through the class, they will need to follow the activities and people in the MURAL. Demonstrate and explain how to follow other collaborators so everyone is aligned and focused. As the facilitator, you can also guide participants by summoning them throughout the session.

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Hey there, it's Daniela, and I'm here to tell you how to train new mural. So let's say you're running a meeting, or workshop and a few days, and some people are brand new to MURAL, we know it's awesome. But to be honest, it could be pretty daunting for somebody brand new. 

So, what can you do as a facilitator to ensure the success of your session? Well, first off, you want to make sure you're allocating time to run a quick Energizer to have everybody on the same page. Now, there are a couple things that you need your participants to be comfortable with for the session to be successful.

So the first one I would say is, make sure they adjust their zoom settings, send them to the bottom right of their screen, so they can choose how they want to navigate the canvas. This may take a few moments. For each person to be comfortable with their zoom settings, you're good.

Next step, make sure they know how to add stickies. Just double click anywhere on the canvas to add your stickies. If they're able to do this, they will be able to collaborate no problem. Good with it. 

Next step, make sure they can add icons. They can use the ones we have in the library, or they can search for new ones. Hopefully they can also change the size and change the colors and then you're really ready to collaborate and do some fun things together. 

Last step, I would say they need to know how to follow somebody. In order to follow someone they just need to click on their avatar to see what they are seeing. Like in this case, I'm going to follow visiting bear and see what they are seeing. Still confused? It just takes a little time.

Guide students around the mural

Keep participants focused in the mural when you’re working together in real time.

Differentiate follow and summon
Introduce collaborators to follow and summon

Creating alignment and focus in murals

MURAL allows each participant to choose what they see in the mural when collaborating in a live class. This gives collaborators autonomy, but sometimes you want to bring everyone to view the same content on the mural. This is especially critical when facilitating since you might need to explain an activity or share examples. To help the class stay in sync visually, MURAL provides two features: Follow and summon.

Following collaborators

The follow feature invites participants in the mural to share your view. Anyone in the mural can ask collaborators to follow them in the mural. However, collaborators do not have to accept the invitation to follow. To invite collaborators to follow you:

  1. Go to the avatar at the bottom of the mural. The avatar represents everyone collaborating with you on a specific mural.
  2. Hover over your avatar for a menu of options for your view of collaborators.
  3. Click Ask to be followed. This sends a notification in the mural to your collaborators to follow you.
  4. If a collaborator follows you, you will get a notification in the mural.

Follow other participants

You can also follow other collaborators in the mural. Follow anyone on the mural by clicking on their avatar and “Follow.” You will be able to see what the person is looking at in the mural. This provides clarity as you’re working in a space with others. To unfollow a collaborator, you can zoom out or move away from their view. You are not locked into their view in the mural.

Summon participants

As the facilitator in a mural, you can keep the team focused by summoning participants. Bring their attention towards one part of the mural. Before you summon collaborators, let them know so they aren’t alarmed by the sudden change of view in the mural.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on your avatar, at the bottom of your mural
  2. Click Summon everyone. Participants will automatically be brought to your view in the mural.
  3. You will see a notification in the mural for which participants are summoned to your view. However, collaborators can still zoom out or move away once summoned in the mural.

Need to ensure collaborators remain in this space in the mural, maybe while you are presenting? Manage their view with the take control capability. This means that collaborators will not be able to navigate away from your view until you release them.

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Hello there, I'm Hailey Temple, and let me share with you how to use the follow feature. What I can do to ask people to follow me, is go to my avatar at the bottom of the Mural right here, and a menu will appear. Now I'm going to click Ask to be Followed, and what that does is send kind of a beacon to everybody in this Mural with me, to come share the same view. So if the visiting hippopotamus, for example, wanted me to follow it, I would see this beacon, and what I can do is click Follow, and now I'll see the hippopotamus and what they're looking at in this Mural.

Now, what if I want to see what somebody is up to in the Mural, like the visiting bird? I can click the visiting bird's avatar at the bottom, and now I see that it's looking at this view in the Mural. When you need to share your view or see what somebody else is seeing in a Mural, use that follow feature and get everybody aligned.

Summon is a facilitation superpower, meaning that only people who have the ability to facilitate on your Mural, can actually use it. And use it wisely, because here's how it works. When you want to summon people, go down to your avatar at the bottom of the Mural, and hover over your avatar, a menu is going to appear. You're going to click Summon Everyone, but not yet. Before you do, announce to everybody, "I'm going to summon you in this Mural, so you can see what I'm seeing." I do this because it's kind of a courtesy thing. It can be a little bit alarming for people to suddenly shift from one space in the Mural to another.

Now I'm going to show you the view of a participant, so you see what happens. So I'll go to my avatar, click Summon Everyone, say, "I'm going to summon you now," and snap. Everybody is looking at the same thing. So the participant knows now they are following me, and I know how many people are following me. It's great because now everybody is on the same page, and is looking at the same thing in the mural.

Breakout groups in MURAL

How to incorporate murals into your breakout groups

Decide if participants will be collaborating in separate murals or in one main mural
Create breakout areas in MURAL

Use MURAL and your video conferencing software for breakout rooms/groups

Integrating MURAL into your breakout groups is easy. Depending on how much work your students will be doing, you can either create differentiated spaces for breakout rooms in your mural or link to individual murals for each breakout group. 

Breakout groups in single class sessions

For breakout activities in a single class session, use shapes or areas to create different sections of a mural for each breakout group. Add each area to the outline and number or name them for easy identification and navigation.


Breakout groups over multiple class sessions

For ongoing collaborations where groups will be working together throughout a quarter or semester, create a central class mural and a breakout mural for each group. To create the breakout mural, first create one mural with any prompts or exercises needed. Then duplicate that mural for each breakout group. You can use sticky notes or shapes to link these breakout murals from your central class mural so that the groups can easily navigate to them. 


Note: To help you stay organized, we suggest making a room for the workshop or class where you can keep all the breakout group murals.


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Hi, Sasha here, transformation manager for education and nonprofits at MURAL. And I'm going to talk to you about breakout groups. If you've ever facilitated a meeting workshop or class, chances are you’ve needed to split your participants up into smaller groups, to be able to collaborate together. To get started on that you want to split your groups up in your video conference software. Once everyone is split into groups, you want to bring them into mural to do that. You'll click on the share button in mural, click copy link, then go back to your video conference software and share that link in the chat that will allow all the participants to come into your main mural canvas and begin collaborating. One of the keys to making sure that works well is setting up your canvas with clear areas for each group to do the work. You can see that done here and within one specific area, you can alternatively create larger areas if you know that they're going to need to come in and add more content.

 In some cases you might need to create completely separate mural canvases for each breakout group. If that's the case, you'll leave your main plenary in your old canvas and go back to the dashboard to get back. You'll click on back to dashboard in the upper left. And from there, you'll be able to create your separate breakout mural canvases for each group. To help you organize that. You want to create a specific room for this project, whether it's the meeting workshop or class, if each breakout group mural, canvas is going to be identical, you can create the first one and then duplicate it for each subsequent group to duplicate a canvas. You just click the drop down in the upper, right? And choose duplicate from there. You can update the name and then just click on duplicate mural. Once everything's been created, you can go back into your main plenary.

Now you want to create the specific area where you're going to set up the links to each of those separate breakout mural canvases for each group. You can do that by bringing in either images or sticky notes and labeling them in this case group one, two, three, and four, you might want to include some instructions as well to make it clear what the participants are going to need to do. In some cases you might incorporate icons like this to make it clear that once this is linked, they're going to need to double click it in order to open up the breakout canvas to link it. You're going to click on the image or sticky note and then paste the link here. I'm going to take you back and show you where you can capture that link from the dashboard for group two, click the drop down and click share.

Now I can copy this mural link, go back to the plenary, click the image or sticky that I'm going to link to. I'm going to click command V or copy paste, and then it hit return. And now if anyone double clicks on the shape it'll open up that separate specific mural canvas for that breakout group. Same thing for a sticky note. If I go back to the plenary, select the sticky note and then paste in the link hit return. Now this sticky note is linked.

So again, it can be helpful to add in icons to grab an icon. You just go up in the upper left star, search and then drag it in and resize it. So now it's clear that in order to access, they're going to need to double click this image. In this case, I've added in some instructions to make sure that if it's a sticky note, people click open mural in the bottom, right. And now when the groups come into the canvas, they'll know where they go to open up their separate breakout neural canvases.

I hope that's helpful. Thanks for your time. We'll talk again soon.


Broadcast or turn off cursors

Keep focused on the content while collaborating in real-time.

Hide your cursors from everyone
Hide all cursors on the canvas
Demonstrate when you need to reveal cursors

Why hide cursors?

When you’re collaborating in a live class session, you can see everyone’s cursors moving around the mural. While some enjoy seeing everyone in the mural, others find the cursors distracting. As a collaborator or facilitator, you can help keep yourself and others focused. You will still see others adding content to the mural, but won’t see the names or cursors as you work.

Hide and show all cursors

Here’s how to hide and show all cursors:

  1. Go to your avatar in the mural
  2. Hover over the avatar to open an options menu.
  3. Select Don’t show me cursors in the menu. All of the cursors will disappear from the screen.
  4. To show cursors again, select Don’t show me cursors in the menu.

Broadcast your cursor

MURAL automatically broadcasts your cursor to your collaborators. However, you can turn off this option while working in the mural by hovering over your avatar and unchecking the broadcast my cursor option.

Hide cursors for collaborators

As a facilitator in a mural, you can also hide cursors for all collaborators to reduce distractions. Here’s how:

  1. Hover over your avatar in the bottom of the mural. This opens the options menu.
  2. Click hide non-facilitator cursors for everyone.
  3. To show cursors for everyone, click hide non-facilitator cursors for everyone again.

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Hello there. I'm Hayley Temple and let me talk to you about hiding and showing cursors in your mural. Seeing other people collaborate in a mural is awesome, but if you have lots of people working, it can feel a little bit overwhelming. 

Good news. You can hide and show cursors in a mural, and here's how I'm going to go down to my avatar down here and I have the option when I hover over my avatar to hide cursors. What happens is people's cursors disappear. This is handy if you're working with a large group and ah, lot of cursors can be hiding work or be a little bit overwhelming. 

You can still see I know who's collaborating in the mural and whose adding content but their cursors are out of the way to turn the cursor capability back on, hover over your avatar again and click show cursors, and now everyone's will be back on. Remember, you can also hide and show your own cursor by hovering over your avatar and clicking broadcast or hide my own cursor here, so recap toe hide or show cursors.

Go to your avatar, click high cursor or show cursor, and you can clean up or show all the collaborators in your working space. happy collaborating.

In-class presentations

Learn how to present slides in MURAL so you can deliver content and collaborate in one space

Integrate slides into your mural
Present and collaborate

Creating a presentation in MURAL

It’s easy to get lost in a virtual class if you have to switch between screens and platforms. Keep it easy by presenting and collaborating in MURAL! 

You can create slides in mural or upload existing slides as images. Once uploaded, right click on each slide to add them to the outline, summon participants, and use presentation mode to deliver the content. 

To encourage participation, you can create  an area for questions below the slides so students can add live questions and engage with the content as you present it. 


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Hi everyone, I'm Emma. And I'm going to explain today how to give an in-class presentation in MURAL. This is really great to do so that you aren't having to switch between the different platforms between PowerPoint and MURAL if you're wanting to kind of move throughout your class, switching back and forth from presenting and collaborating. So, the first thing you'll need to do to present in MURAL is first export your slides from whatever platform you created them in. You could create them in MURAL, but if you created them in PowerPoint or something like that, then you want to export those sides as images as a PNG or JPEG file. Once you have those exported, you will want to upload them to the mural. So you can either drag and drop the file like I'm doing here. Or you could upload the file with this button, from your computer.

So now that you have the slides uploaded, you will want to add them to your outline. So you just right click on the slide and click, add to outline. You'll want to name the slide. Then you will do that for all of your slides. So now that you've added your sides to the outline, you're basically ready to present. The first thing that I suggest that you do before presenting though is summoning your students. It's a facilitation superpower by clicking your avatar at the bottom and clicking summon. This will bring all of your students to look where you're looking. And this will be really helpful when you're presenting to make sure that you don't lose your students along the way, and that they're really focusing on what you are showing them. All right? So once you have summoned everyone, then you'll want to go to the upper right corner and click presentation mode. This will make it so that it really feels as if you are presenting. And you're able to just click from slide to slide. So, you can just click next slide and it brings you along the path. So then that's how you present. And then when you're done, you can celebrate your presentation and you can exit out of presentation mode. So then you can start collaborating.

So, let's go over the process. Again, you'll want to start by exporting your slides as a JPEG or PNG. Then you'll upload your slides to the mural by either dragging and dropping them or using the upload button on the left sidebar. Then you'll right click and add your slides to the outline. You will go down to your avatar and summon everyone so that you can make sure everyone is looking right where you're looking at the mural. And then lastly, you'll use presentation mode to click through.


Leave feedback with comments

Share feedback and work asynchronously with your collaborators in a mural.

Add comments using the toolbar
Manipulate your comments
Use the context menu to navigate your mural

What are comments?

Comments are feedback that you can leave with other collaborators to help you communicate better on a project. With this, you can send messages easily as you collaborate on several projects or classes. You'll be notified by email (or Slack) when someone leaves a comment, and when someone tags you, so you can get back to them when you have time.

There are two ways to add comments to content in the mural: from the toolbar or directly onto the canvas.

Add comments from the toolbar

The first method of adding comments to MURAL is to use sticky notes.

  1. Click on the sticky note icon in the toolbar section. When you do this, a menu pops up.
  2. The menu includes a speech bubble at the top. Click and drag this icon to any element on your canvas where you want to leave comments.

Add comments on the canvas

Alternatively, you can add comments when you right-click anywhere on your canvas.

  1. Right-click on your canvas and a menu pops up where you should select add comment
  2. A comment box comes up. Type your message here. 
  3. Mention any teammate using the @ function. Then, click send.

Follow and collaborate on your schedule

When you join the mural, you can follow the comments alongside the left side of the mural. Each collaborator has a unique color for their comments that matches the color of their avatar, so you can follow the conversation whenever you want.

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Hey there, I'm Hailey Temple. And let me tell you about comments, which are awesome ways to leave feedback or a little note for your teammate when you can be in a mural at the same time. There are two ways to add comments to the canvas. First is in the toolbar, I'll go to this sticky note icon, click, and this menu pops up. This little the speech bubble is for comments. So I will click and drag this to the element where I want to leave the comment. What's awesome is I can type in somebody's name and let them know something. And when I click Send, it's going to send that person a notification that they have a new comment from me Another way to add a comment is by right clicking somewhere on this canvas where I want to add a comment and this menu pops up. I'll select Add comment, and same thing. Add a little comment here. Click Send. And now this comment is here for anyone to reference at any time. So, get started using comments in your work and happy collaborating.

Run in class voting sessions

Engage students, make decisions, and receive feedback

Start a voting session
Vote and delete votes
View voting results page

Surface what matters

You’ve run a brainstorming session with a class and realize there are too many possibilities and concepts to proceed. How do you quickly narrow down your ideas and ensure everyone can input what they want to move forward to the next exercise? Dot voting is a simple yet effective method to prioritize and bring collaborators together. As a facilitator in a mural, you can set up voting sessions to prioritize these concepts.

Reduce bias while voting

A common challenge in group voting scenarios is “Group Think.” This means that collaborators know or actually see what their other group members are advocating for and add their own votes to the same concept because “everyone else did.” Voting in a mural is anonymous, so collaborators won’t see or know who voted for what concepts in the mural.

Start a voting session

Facilitators in the mural can start a voting session in a mural that includes the voting session topic, number of votes, and controls for who can end the voting session. Here’s how:

  1. Click the button for the voting session at the top left-hand corner, next to the timer.
  2. Click start voting session. This opens the voting session options pop up.
  3. Name the session something relevant to your voting criteria. If you leave it blank, MURAL names the session “Session 1, Session 2”
  4. Decide the number of votes each participant gets during the session. Reduce the number of votes by clicking the minus (-) and add votes with the plus (+) button.
  5. Determine who can end a voting session. You can choose between any members of a mural or just me and any facilitators in a mural.

Select next and begin voting. This opens the voting sessions for your participants.

Adding and removing votes

When the voting session starts, click the object where you want your vote to go. Spread votes across different objects or vote for the same object multiple times. MURAL shows you where your votes go by designating a number to the object. At the top of the mural, you will see how many votes you have remaining for the session.

To delete the vote from the object. Hold the shift key and click the object again. You will see the number of votes change in your total count.

Who is voting?

Facilitators can see who is actively voting and who still has votes to cast during the session. In the top toolbar the facilitator will see how many collaborators are voting. Click the arrow next to the number of collaborators voting to get live updates of voters and their remaining votes.

View voting results

When you’re ready to see the voting results, here’s how you end the voting session and share with your collaborators.

  1. Click End voting session at the top right of the mural. If collaborators still have votes to cast, MURAL will inform you before closing the session. Click end session for everyone to confirm you want to continue.
  2. All of your collaborators will see the results page from the voting session. The top-voted ideas will be at the top and show the total number of votes for each object. Close the results page by clicking the X at the top of the mural

Review voting results from the session any time by clicking the voting button at the top of the mural. Then, select view results page.

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Lindsay here. Now, I'm going to show you how to run a voting session. You might want to run a voting session similar to dot voting when you're in person to anonymously get everybody's feedback on a list of items. 

Now to start a voting session, and you'll see we're going to do a voting session here on favorite activities. In the top left hand corner, there's a button for voting sessions right next to the timer. If I click on that, I can click start voting session. Now when I started voting session, I can name it so I'm gonna say favorite activity. 

You could you get to decide how many votes each person gets. I'm gonna say three. And then you can also decide who and you can end the voting session. You can say any member of the mural, or only people that are facilitators in the mural. Click Next, and then click on begin voting. 

Now to add a vote to an element, you click and you'll notice the one shows up here on dancing. To remove a vote, hold down Shift, and then click again. And you'll notice the one goes away. Now I have three votes. I'm going to click on dancing, running and knitting. You'll now see here in this voting bar, I have no votes left. I can also see that there are two people voting. If I click on the down arrow, I can see who else is voting because of who else is also in the mural canvas. I can see that the visiting cell has three votes left. And when the visiting snail votes again, that tick for the two votes, one vote zero votes left will count down. 

At any point in time, you can end the voting session once the voting session is ended. you confirm that you want to end the voting session and session for everyone. You'll see the voting results page. This shows the total number of votes, see one vote, and also underneath each of the the elements that got to vote the number of unique voters. 

So for instance, something could get multiple votes, but all come from one voter, like if I use all three of my votes on running. Now, if I exit out of the voting results screen, I can see I can still see the voting results here. If I click the little x, the voting results will disappear. However, you can always go back to voting results by clicking on voting session, and show results page or show the Volt's votes. 

So show results page and it brings me back to the voting results page. Now, one thing to note is that voting is completely Anonymous. That's why it's very beneficial for your team to use. Say after you did an ideation, I prioritization and then a vote to understand what everybody would like to vote for but in a non in an anonymous fashion. Now you're you just learned how to run a voting session in MURAL.

Manage class time

Use the timer to keep track of activities while collaborating with others in a mural.

Set the timer in a mural
Identify the value of time management in classes

Limiting time to unleash creativity

Creative collaboration feeds on constraints. In class sessions different exercises will expand to fit the time you provide. Setting time limits in a class is an effective time management method called time boxing. When you create an agenda, you limit activities in your session to a fixed amount of time. This helps participants stay on time and productive.

As a facilitator in a mural, You can set time limits with your group directly within a mural with the timer feature.

Set the timer

As a facilitator in MURAL, you can use timers when working with other people in a mural. You have the power to add and change timers as you please. This makes activities more fun and keeps participants on their toes. How to use the timer:

  1. Select the clock button located at the top. 
  2. The timer usually starts with five minutes. You can change this with the minus or plus button.

Add time manually

You can also set the timer manually. 

  1. Type in the number of minutes you want the timer to last. 
  2. Click start timer when you’re ready to go, and this will start the countdown. An icon at the top lets everyone know how much time is left.
  3. When it comes to an end, the group gets a sound notification and a bar announcing the time has ended.

Time’s up! Sound notification 

You can also inform participants that the time is up with a sound notification. When the timer ends, MURAL automatically notifies your collaborators with a tone. The facilitator can turn off the sound notifications if needed.

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Hey there, I'm Hailey Temple and I'm going to show you how to use the timer in MURAL. So, I use the timer when I am working with other people in a mural. And when I am a facilitator in that mural, so I have this star around my avatar at the bottom, and I have this nice badge denoting that I'm a facilitator. So, I have the ability to add and change the timer in the mural. 

Here's how I add time and start the timer. I'm going to select this clock button up here on the mural. And the timer starts with five minutes, but I can change the time by clicking the minus or plus button. I can also just add how much time I want manually. 

When I'm ready to go, I'll click start timer. Now, the mural will start keeping track of that time and counting down. Everybody in the mural can see how much time there is with this clock icon. Now, at any time, if I want to, I can change how much time there is, I can either pause the timer, I can add a minute, I can add five minutes, or I can end the timer. 

When the timer comes to an end, the group gets a notification with some sound and a bar announcing the time has ended. The timer is a great way to keep track of activities or a whole meeting while you're collaborating in a mural with others.

Locking content in a mural

Keep your work in place, even as collaborators move freely in the mural.

Why lock content?

Your collaborators can move around the mural, but that doesn’t mean that you want your content to move with them. Locking content to the canvas ensures that collaborators don’t accidentally move something during your class. You can relax knowing that your work will stay in place. If you’re facilitating, you can also use the superlock feature.

Lock content to the MURAL

  1. Right-click the content you want to lock. This opens a dropdown menu.
  2. Choose the lock option in the menu.

To unlock, right-click the object and select unlock.

How to lock and unlock several elements

Instead of locking and unlocking individual elements, you can do it all at once to save time. You can lock several elements by:

  1. Hold down Control/Command + shift and then drag your cursor to select all of the content you want to lock. The selected content has a blue outline.
  2. Right-click and select lock
  3. To unlock them, right-click on the surface of the mural and choose unlock all.

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Hi, I'm Megan and in this video, I'm going to show you how to lock and unlock content in your mural. So, in this mural, I have prepared an activity that I'm going to do with my team. But I don't want them to accidentally move certain kinds of content. So this title here, and this framework, I want to make sure that it stays put in so we can just focus on doing the activity with these sticky notes. So in order to keep my team from accidentally moving things around, I'm going to select this framework. And we're going to right click it and choose the lock option. So for this exercise, I'm just going to say any member can unlock. We'll go over the difference between the two of these options in a separate video. So I'm going to choose any member can unlock. And now I can tell that my framework is locked, because I see this little lock icon in the bottom right. If I want to move my framework or resize it or make any Changes to anything that I've locked, I can unlock them by saying, unlock and if I have multiple things unlocked in the same mural. So if I lock both of these down and I decide I want to make a big change, I can just say, right click directly on the surface of the mural and say unlock all. So everything that is locked in this mural will become unlocked. And I can select it and edit it freely. And that's it. You're good to go.

Extra facilitator locking capabilities

Manage who can move objects in your mural with this facilitation superpower.

Lock and unlock objects in a mural
Differentiate between member and facilitator unlock

Your facilitator superpowers in MURAL

As a facilitator, you have extra capabilities that set you apart from other collaborators. When you set up an activity with your team, you don’t want anyone to move around objects you’ve added 

Before you invite collaborators into your mural, the facilitator lock—or superlock—can prevent collaborators from actually moving these objects.

Lock verus superlock

The lock feature is available to anyone collaborating in the mural. This prevents anyone from moving content during a meeting or workshop. However, anyone in the mural can unlock one or all of the content  with the regular lock feature.

Superlock restricts locking and unlocking content to anyone with the facilitator power in the mural. You can tell who is a facilitator by checking that they have a star on their avatar in the mural.

How to superlock objects

  1. Select the objects you want to lock
  2. Right-click the objects and move to lock in the dropdown menu
  3. In the menu, select either any members can unlock or only facilitators can unlock
  4. If you are looking to select multiple locked objects, check out our inclusive selection shortcut.

To unlock the object, right-click the element and select unlock from the drop down menu

Practice in MURAL

Build your design skills in MURAL with this hands-on activity. You need a MURAL account to create a mural from this template. Get started with MURAL today, free.

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Hi, I'm Megan and in this video, I'm going to go over facilitator locking. So, only facilitators can facilitator lock elements in a mural. So, I can tell I'm a facilitator, in this mural this tag here at the top that says facilitator. And what that allows me to do basically is when I've set up an activity that I'm going to do with my team, like I have here, I have this icebreaker. 

There are certain parts of this that I don't want anybody to move around by accident. And I know that I can lock it down normally. I also know that some of the people that are going to participate in this activity are members. And if they want to, they will be able to unlock things. So I have a superpower as a facilitator, that allows me to facilitate or lock things down instead of locking them normally. 

So I've selected all the things I don't want anybody to move. I'm going to right click I'm going to go to the lock option. And then here I can see that I have two options any member can unlock. I don't want to do that because I know that participants who are members will be able to unlock parts of my mural that I have built for this activity. So instead, I'm going to choose only facilitators can unlock. And so that means just me or anyone else that I have given facilitator permissions to will be able to unlock that content. 

So if I click on it, I can tell that it is facilitator locked because it has a gray icon. And just to show you what it looks like, I'm going to create a sticky note and lock it normally. So any member can unlock and show you the difference. So here, it's locked and any member can unlock this I can tell because it has the black like lock icon. Here. It has the grey lock icon and this represents things that are facilitator locked. So that's it.

Grading in MURAL

How to grade student work completed in MURAL

Record student progress in a mural by exporting it or taking a screenshot
Upload the exported mural to your learning management system (LMS)
Grade in your LMS

End of semester grading

At the end of an assignment or semester, have your students export their murals as PDFs and submit them via your LMS.

Note: If you’ve invited students as visitors or guests rather than members, they will not be able to export murals. In this case you will need to export the mural as a PDF and distribute to your class or have them take a screenshot.

Periodic grading

If you want to track your students’ progress throughout the semester, periodically export or take a screenshot of their murals and upload those snapshots to your LMS. If your students are members rather than guests or visitors, you can have your students export the murals themselves.

Monitoring participation

To check participation, right click an object on the mural and click the “Show Info” button at the top of the menu to see who added it. If your students are joining your workspace as visitors, make sure they enter their names when opening the mural so objects can be identified as theirs.

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Hi, my name is Jeff Eyet. I'm with the education team at MURAL. I also teach design thinking at UC Berkeley. Today, I'd like to share how I've incorporated MURAL into the grading structure of my class.

Specifically, I like to run this exercise, which is an introduction exercise that gives the students the opportunity to paste their LinkedIn profile, perhaps tell us a little bit about their non-professional selves and then give some aspirations for the class or workshop often. This is given to students prior to class, so they have a chance to engage with the platform and be comfortable with it before our first meeting. Alternatively, you can also use a template like this during your first meeting as a low stakes way for students to get to know each other. And again, be comfortable with the platform that said, assuming the students have completed the exercises at the end of class, I'm going to come in and in the upper right-hand corner, simply click export next to the share button. And we'll give you the opportunity to export as a PDF or a PNG file. I'm going to choose PDF. I'll either receive an email notification or a ping in Slack. If I've enabled the MURAL plugin to tell me when that download is ready, clicking over to my email, you can see the mural is ready for export. Simply click download the PDF that PDF is sent to my hard drive. And then at that point, I come into canvas where I've already created an assignment. Simply have the students submit it, or I can submit it on their behalf.

And wallah. There are three reasons I really suggest doing this: one, MURAL’s not great at going back in time - If I want to know what a mural looked like last Friday at 5:00 PM, that's going to be difficult. So taking  this snapshot in time, preserves the students' work. Second, if there's ever any questions about the grade, you certainly want to have evidence, and third, having the assignment graded in canvas or whatever LMS you choose gives you the opportunity to publish a rubric. So the students know what they're being judged against. Thank you for taking the time to learn about using MURAL for grading and please visit mural.co/education. To learn more about templates, workshops, and webinars to support you. 


End of semester workspace management

Tips for ending your semester — sharing murals and managing members

Export murals and upload them to your class LMS or share a view-only visitor link with students
Remove students from the workspace at the end of the semester

Recommended workspace maintenance between classes

At the end of the semester/quarter, review your membership settings and remove students who will no longer be collaborating in your class to free up space for future students. We recommend giving your students a two-week warning before their workspace access is revoked. 

Before removing the students, we recommend exporting and sharing their murals so they don’t lose access to the work they completed. Alternately, you can share a view-only visitor link with your students.

As a reminder, students can apply for their own free MURAL workspaces by visiting MURAL Education.




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Hi, my name is Jeff, I'm with the education team at MURAL and I also teach design thinking UC Berkeley. Today's video is speaking about how to end your semester. In person we always work to put together that final PowerPoint to really drive home the key takeaways from our class, perhaps make a connection to a current event or look to spark an emotional response from the students to send them on their way. In the digital world, that still applies in terms of having a great story to tell however, how do we capture the mural in a way that allows students to continue to have access to that very valuable work they've done throughout the semester? Well, very simply said you have a few options.

The first is you may leave them as members of your mural workspace, but pretty quick, you're going to fill up that membership capacity and we're going to have to make some tough choices.

Let me show you what I would recommend. We come here to managing our team or our mural board members. And as you'll see, I have myself here, my business account, and this, I can remove myself as a member. And this is about to remove this person. And I removed them from the mural. In my experience very few students come back to a mural after the semester, and if they do, they can email me and I'll happily give them their access back. But understanding that you do have a limited number of memberships, it's good hygiene to clean up. Next you may also give your students a visitors link and a visitor link is evergreen. It lasts until you reset that link. So if we're working on one board for a project, we simply click share visitor link copy, and this is the same link that they would have received at the beginning of the semester to access the board.

That said, if you'd like students to not have access to that board, for some reason, perhaps you're going to clean it up and reuse the same board, next semester, you can simply click reset link and it changes the link to evergreen status. Finally, if you wanted to ensure the students didn't edit that information you can change the permissions here, copy that link and then send what is in essence a view only link to students.

So there's a few options there. However, the cleanest option in my opinion is to just simply export the mural to a PDF. This is exactly what we talked about. When we were looking at grading in mural, exporting to a PDF, then uploading it to your LMS. Very similar here, we'll export the mural to a PDF. Then we'll come to a, what I like to do is I upload the file to my Canvas site. We use Canvas at Berkeley. You may use Blackboard or any other LMS system. Here we would just simply type an announcement. Hey, great semester. Here's your team's final mural, insert the link and send that off to your students. So again, the best hygiene as we like to say for the end of this semester is to first manage your members and move them either to guests, or just remove them from your workspace altogether. If you want them to continue to have access to the canvas, you can share a visitor link. But we would recommend resetting that visitor link at the end of the semester, if you want to manage that access. And the simplest way is to simply create a PDF, download it, and then distributed by your LMS or email to your students.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about end of semester cleanup, please visit mural.co/education to find more tips, tricks, and future webinars to join, to bring MURAL into your classroom.