This guide was developed to help CU-Boulder faculty select and effectively use the tools that are best suited to what they want to accomplish and to their technology preferences. Choose something that’s quick, easy and does the basics, or try something more advanced that could further enhance the student learning experience. If you need assistance using any of these technologies, contact email@example.com.
Push a message to students
Send an email to all students in your class by clicking the "Class Mail" icon found in your myCUinfo course list. Alternatively, if you're using D2L, its e-mail tool will also do the trick.
Students see D2L News items when they login, so posting an announcement is an effective way to notify them about something. In addition, you can encourage your students to sign-up for automated reminders about upcoming assignments, quizzes, or other important course events.
Google+ allows you and your students to post messages, photos, and web links; reply to the posts of others; and, create communities. Create a private community of Google+ users by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Google Group for your course.
Foster interaction outside the classroom
Providing a clear structure for online discussions increases success for both you and your students. With both VoiceThread and D2L Discussion you can incorporate engaging and open-ended questions and then sit back, watch, and add your own insights as students participate in asynchronous conversations outside of your classroom.
Use the video chat features of Google+ to open a Hangout and send an e-mail invitation to for students to meet with you from a desktop of even a mobile device. If you have more than 10 participants, use Zoom instead.
Make learning materials available
Using a simple web interface, send up to 20 GBs of files securely to multiple recipients via e-mail. If you wish, receive notifications to confirm file deliveries and downloads.
Use D2L to manage all your course materials, including copying previous semesters' content into the current one. Alternatively, if you’re not using D2L, put all of the course material you want to share with students in to one Google Drive folder. Then just share that folder via a link you e-mail to the class.
Google Apps' Blogger tool to post course-related content online and ask students to comment on posts and even to add their own posts. If you’re even more ambitious, use the drag-and-drop interface of Google Sites to create a website to supplement your D2L course or as a stand-alone portal or repository for course resources.
Distribute multimedia content
Emailing large files can exceed quotas, be filtered as potentially harmful, and be unwelcome to mobile device users. Instead, upload your files with the Large File Transfer Service and send a link to students so they can download the content themselves.
Upload screencasts, recorded lectures, or other videos that you create or with the permission of the copyright holder to support flipped classrooms or to showcase student work. Share them only with your students by e-mailing them a private URL, or make the videos publicly available to reach an even wider audience.
Evaluate student learning
Use D2L's Dropbox tool for students to submit written assignments online so you can track them, check for plagiarism, evaluate and provide feedback, and link to the gradebook. Give an online quiz in D2L with a variety of types of auto-graded questions as well as open-ended responses for you to evaluate. fair use guidelines when sharing copyright-protected materials.
If you're not using D2L, Qualtrics is a great alternative for quizzes. Just create a survey with multiple choice or other questions and easily turn responses into auto-graded quiz answers. If you are using D2L, set intelligent agents to provide customized feedback to recognize student achievement (e.g., a high score on a quiz) or alert them of potential problems (e.g., poor performance on an exam).
Facilitate Peer Feedback
Ask students to post answers to study questions, other written assignments, or even draft term papers. Then assign students to provide constructive comments to one or more of their peers.
PeerMark is partially integrated with D2L. You can collect students' paper submissions using D2L's Dropbox tool, and then use PeerMark for the peer review process. Papers can be assigned for peer review automatically, manually selected by the instructor, or self-selected by the students.
Track student progress
The D2L Gradebook allows you to view each student's performance at a glance with color codings and pop-up progress bars.
Using Google Sites, students can create flexible ePortfolio websites to demonstrate their learning throughout a course or program. Instructors, advisors, and mentors can review ongoing work and provide formative assessment, offering feedback to students based on coursework, evidence of extracurricular activities, and reflections.