In the past week, more and more universities have switched or considering switching in-person courses to online courses. Our academic community joined their efforts to offer primers and guidelines from how to conduct classes through online platforms, to discussions on accessibility and engagement. Teaching online for the first time can be challenging; however, we are lucky to have multiple tools and platforms that make the process less daunting and more engaging for both teachers and students. In this post, I introduce a number of my favorite digital tools that can make the online teaching environment more stimulating and interactive.
Poll Everywhere is a cool tool that you can use to initiate discussion during class time. It also helps teachers in gauging students’ comprehension of lecture materials. It is FREE and straightforward. After creating an account, you can generate a question and choose one of the following formats for the answer:
Once you have your question ready, Poll Everywhere offers two options for students to submit their responses, either through the website or through text messaging. You can view your students’ responses in real-time and kickoff your discussions seamlessly.
Kaizena is an excellent tool for classes with writing-heavy assignments. It allows teachers to provide thorough and personal feedback on students’ writing assignments by enabling you to leave voice comments, and by giving you an intuitive tool to track skills and rubrics. It is also FREE and can be installed on your Google Docs. By using this tool, you will be able to provide personalized and consistent feedback to your students in a way that is accessible and engaging. Of course, this necessitates moving your assignments to Google Docs.
Once you download Kaizena to your Google Docs, you will find a Kaizena tab under Add-ons. If you want to leave a voice comment on a particular section of the document you are grading, it is as simple as highlighting and clicking on Voice Message.
You can also leave a text message or even track a skill throughout the document. Whatever your grading style is, you can make this work for you.
As we are all scrambling to remodel our courses, PlayPosit can help you transform passive video viewing into active learning. PlayPosit has a user-friendly interface. You can upload your video and add your assessments in about 10 to 15 minutes per video. You will have the option to add questions in any of the formats below throughout the video.
What is cool about this tool is that it facilitates asynchronous learning while enabling teachers to capture how well students internalized essential information from a video.