If you are configuring your Microsoft Teams to have an Echo360 app, you will have noticed (either in the Echo360 interface or in the instructions) a toggle in the Teams configuration block in the LMS Configurations page. This is shown in the below figure.
Be advised that it only appears AFTER you have entered values into the fields and selected to create the configuration. Furthermore, it only applies to MS Teams integrations.
This article is here to explain WHY it is there and what it will allow (or prohibit) when it is turned on.
IMPORTANT: The toggle and the below explanations apply to using the Echo360 App in MS Teams as a Tab in a Team Channel. The "global" Pinned Echo360 app in the left navigation is strictly to the user's Echo360 Media Library and is NOT relevant to this toggle or to the below explanations.
The Brief Explanation
The toggle exists to avoid "role-escalation" of Students. While MS Teams has lots of different user policies that can be configured, the bottom line is that some institutions allow students to create Teams. This makes students the Team owner.
Echo360 sees a Team Owner as the "instructor" for that team. IF the Student has access to the Echo360 App for a tab in their Team, they will pass into Echo360 as an instructor. This will allow them to either MAP that Team to an existing section or it will auto create a new Echo360 section for them (if Simplified Provisioning is turned on). In this case, that Student user will now also have the Instructor role on their user account. The Longer Explanation section below provides details as to why this may be a problem.
This role-escalation can be avoided with proper user and app setup policies in MS Teams by the Teams administrator. Basically, don't allow Student Teams Owners to have access to the Echo360 App for their Teams tabs. If your students aren't able to create Teams or are not able to be assigned as Teams Owners, then this should not be a problem.
But Echo360 wants to provide a failsafe in the event a user ends up in a situation where this is possible.
Essentially what this toggle does is ensure that
- IF the user exists in Echo360. AND
- Does NOT already have the Instructor role assigned to their account, THEN
- Their pass-through into Echo from the Teams Tab as a Team Owner will NOT automatically give them the Instructor role.
The downside of this is that if it is turned on, Instructors who are Teams owners and who add an Echo360 tab to their Teams channels cannot be "automatically created" in Echo360. The Echo360 Admin will need to ensure those Instructors are added into Echo360 separately before trying to link through.
If your MS Teams setup is such that Students who create Teams cannot access the Echo360 App for new tabs in the Team channels, you can turn this toggle off.
If your MS Teams/Echo360 setup is such that you expect Echo360 to create new Instructor users on pass-through, and enroll/allow them to select Echo360 course linking (or have the Echo360 course created for them) then YOU MUST turn this toggle OFF.
Having the toggle ON assumes that new Instructor users are added to Echo360 separately through Echo360. Students are still created on pass-through (if they do not already exist). And all new users are assumed to be Students when they do pass through.
The Longer Explanation
Currently in Echo360, users are assigned one or more roles. Typically these roles control what the user can or cannot do within an Echo360 course. Instructors can control nearly all aspects of their courses, including adding and removing media, changing course features, and viewing student viewing analytics for the classes and media in the course. Teaching Assistants can do all the things an instructor can do except for removing media or classes, and seeing student viewing analytics. Students can view the media, take notes, and participate in Q&A and discussions.
The media library, however, is generally speaking "role-agnostic". It doesn't matter what your role in a course is; if you have the media in your library, you have more control over it. Students of course cannot publish media to a course; only instructors and teaching assistants can do that. But they have access to the Media Details page for the media in their library, which contains additional functionality and information.
Users get media in their library in a couple of ways:
- They add the media themselves through uploads or other method of creating that content.
- The make a copy of course media, if that feature is turned on for a course.
- Another user shares the media with them; they don't own the media but they have access to it outside of a course and can see the media details page.
Sharing media in Echo360 is a way for people to have access to something without having to create a whole new copy of it. Shared media shares both the media AND all of the ancillary details about the media.
Administrators can use some of the Institutional Feature settings to turn OFF certain features for Students explicitly. Things like the ability to create public URL links to media, or the ability to edit Transcripts for media, or the ability to create Groups, or even the ability to HAVE a Library in the first place.
If a user only has the Student role in Echo360, they are subject to these restrictions if the administrator has configured them.
IF, however, a Student gets the Instructor role added to their account, they now have access to ALL of those things that were restricted for Students. This includes the ability to see the student viewing analytics in a media details page.
The Analytics tab of the Media Details page is ONLY visible to Instructors in Echo360 - users with an Instructor role. If a piece of media has been shared with the Student+Instructor, that user can now see who has viewed that media and from where and for how long.
What this ultimately means is that Echo360 wants to AVOID a situation where a student gets an instructor role inadvertently, by using the Echo360 Teams app in a tab to pass into Echo360.