This toolkit is categorized into different activities that you may want to undertake with your students ranging from communication to sharing material to online lectures. Each category contains our recommendations for the tools to use, with a description of the tool, a text-based user guide, as well as instructional videos. Your feedback is essential to us, and any suggestions or comments can be made to the CLT email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communication with Students
There are several platforms that allow you to communicate with your students in and out of class. Some of the tools mentioned below can perform several functions and so you may find them under a different category as well.
- Google Hangout and Email: AUC members are provided with a Gmail account, which hosts multiple features, including Google Hangout. The Gmail service facilitates communication with students, through individual emails as well as group emails to the entire class. The Google Chat (Google Hangout) feature allows you to synchronously chat with one or more student simultaneously as well as to all users through the Google Hangout feature. Official website – Tutorial
Blackboard Announcement and Email: AUC Blackboard has the announcement feature that allows the professor to post an announcement on the course main page as well as sending a copy of the announcement to all the students enrolled in the course. Official website
Class discussions can be moved outside of class through online discussion boards which facilitate students engagement both synchronously and asynchronously. While asynchronous tools are suitable for reflection on complex issues that require students to take time to think and respond, synchronous tools are suggested to discuss less complex issues and get acquainted as students become more committed and motivated because a quick response is expected.
- Adobe Connect gives the professor a chance to meet with students online for virtual classrooms or webinars. Official website – Tutorial
- Blackboard Discussion Forum allows the professor to create a discussion board on a topic and the students can post their replies asynchronously in the form of message threads. Official website
There are multiple ways of delivering direct instruction to students online both synchronously and asynchronously. While asynchronous tools are suitable for reflection on complex issues that require students to take time to think and respond, synchronous tools are suggested to discuss less complex issues and get acquainted as students become more committed and motivated because a quick response is expected.
- Panopto lecture capture system automatically records audio with/without video as well as any content from presentations and makes it available for playback in a digital format using any web browser as well as audio and video podcasts, with the recorded audio/video in-sync with visual content. Official website – Tutorial
- Powerpoint is a presentation program with multiple slides that allow the integration of animation and multimedia pieces. Official website – Tutorial
- VoiceThread is a web-based multimedia slideshow presentation, which allows users to have an asynchronous conversation around the presentation through video and voice annotations. VoiceThread can be used to send students prompts using documents or multimedia thanks to the video and voice annotations as well as the doodle feature that allows users to point at specific details of a presentation while commenting on it. Official website – Tutorial
- Prezi is a cloud-based software presentation and storytelling tool for presenting the idea on a virtual canvas. Official website – Tutorial
Online group work is made possible through some online tools that allow the group members to work collaboratively, share files and discuss ideas synchronously and asynchronously.
- Google Drive When you share files or folders on Google drive, you will be able to invite others to view, edit and download the shared documents. You can also access the document shared on the drive anywhere. Official website – Tutorial
- Hypotheses is a website that helps. Official website – Tutorial
Feedback and Assessment
The platforms below provide a range of methods to provide a formative and summative assessment. Software such as Turnitin or Show Me allow users to give detailed formative feedback though the use of voice as well as written comments to both the general document and specific parts of it. Blackboard and Turnitin also provide grade books for keeping track of students’ progress.
- Turnitin is an Internet-based plagiarism prevention service that helps instructors as well as students to check a paper’s similarity with the sources cited and thus preventing possible cases of plagiarism. It also offers other features, such as an online grading tool (called GradeMark) with written and voice comments, and a peer review system(called PeerMark), with the option to randomly assign papers to peers. Official website – Tutorial
- ShowMe (IPAD only) is an application available for the iPad and some other tablet devices. It enables instructors to record while using a whiteboard, where one writes notes and give feedback on existing work for example. The video recorded can then be shared with students as a class or individually. It also allows users to record while adding annotation on a document, which could be used for assessment. Official website – Tutorial
- Screencast-o-matic is a screencasting software that records the ongoing screen actions which can help the professor to create video tutorials as well as providing feedback on student work. Official website – Tutorial
- Blackboard Test is an interactive tool that helps the professor to create an online quiz with different types of questions. Official website
- Nearpod is an interactive classroom tool for teachers to engage students with interactive lessons. Official Website – Tutorial
- Playposit is a web-based tool that helps the professor to create an interactive lesson. Official website – Tutorial
- GoogleDrive is a file storage and synchronization service provided by Google, which enables users cloud storage, file sharing and collaborative editing. Google Drive is the home of Google Docs, which offers collaborative editing on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more
Some of the tools available below help facilitate reflective practices. Google Sites and wikis are tailored for collaborative work as well as student reflections. Items like blogs and journals can also aid in individual reflection and expression.
- A blog is a website where a user can post entries (called “posts”) that are displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent appearing at the top of the page. A blog can be created through different websites, such as Blogger, which is accessible within the AUC email account, Wordpress and Tumblr. A blog can be used for individual reflection, group work as well as a course management system. Wordpress: Official website – Tutorial
- Google Sites is a tool offered by Google and accessible from the AUC email account to create a web page structured like a wiki where multiple users can collaborate and share files.
- Wiki is a web application that allows users to share multimedia as well as collaborate on the creation of content with multiple users working on the same platform. A wiki can be created through sites such as PBWorks or Google Site and it can be used as a content management system, where a single user can share materials with other and/or multiple users in collaboration create content. Official website – Tutorial