Teaching & Learning Tools Navigator

Last Updated: 07/14/2014

Overview

This web-based guide helps 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 enhances the student learning experience even more.

Technology Minimalist
  • Do want the simplest solution to do the job
  • Don't want to spend a lot of time learning a new tool
  • Do regard technology as a necessary evil
Technology Explorer
  • Do want to use D2L for my course as much as possible
  • Don't mind spending time to learn a new tool if the result is worth it
  • Do enjoy using technology
Technology Guru
  • Do want to use a variety of technologies
  • Don’t mind spending a lot of time to learn to use a complex tool
  • Do like to do cool things with technology for my students

Push a message to students

MINIMALIST
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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.

Power Tip
Create a new e-mail contact named "[course name-semester-year]" and insert the course roster e-mail address in the "Primary Email Address" field. This allows you to e-mail all enrolled students without having to log into the myCUinfo portal.
Post an Announcement
Notify or Remind
EXPLORER
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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.

Power Tip
Did you know that you can create all of your news items at the beginning of the semester, and use the "availability" setting in the News tool to release them when applicable? You’ll never have to worry that you forget to remind students about upcoming events!
GURU
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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 help@colorado.edu to request a Google Group for your course.

Power Tip
Did you know that you can create all of your news items at the beginning of the semester, and use the "availability" setting in the News tool to release them when applicable? You’ll never have to worry that you forget to remind students about upcoming events!

Foster interaction outside the classroom

Start a conversation
MINIMALIST
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With the D2L Discussions tool, instructors can post a topic and ask students to respond. Students can provide evidence they've done the reading before class or continue an in-class conversation online after they've had time to digest the material.

Discuss a picture or video
Moderate a discussion
EXPLORER
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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.

Hold virtual office hours
Hold a video conference
GURU
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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 Adobe Connect instead.

Make learning materials available

E-mail course materials
MINIMALIST
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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.

EXPLORER
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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.

Create a blog
Build a course website
GURU
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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.

Power Tip
Blogger is not a place to share FERPA-protected information.

Distribute multimedia content

Share non-copyright protected photos or other large files
MINIMALIST
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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.

Share copyright protected streaming media
Share copyright protected photos
EXPLORER
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Access to media in both Kaltura and VoiceThread require CU login credentials, making them the best choices to ensure compliance with fair use guidelines when sharing copyright-protected materials.

Post original videos online
GURU
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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.

Power Tip
YouTube is NOT a place for posting copyrighted materials, and you can be banned from the service for doing so.

Evaluate student learning

Keep student grades
MINIMALIST
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If you use paper-based tests or assignments or scantron exams, use a D2L gradebook to to record grades and keep them secure.

Power Tip
Only e-mail FERPA-protected data, including grades, to and from a colorado.edu e-mail address.
Online assignments and quizzes
EXPLORER
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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.

Automate customized feedback
Quizzes outside of D2L
GURU
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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

Critique posts or uploads
MINIMALIST
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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.

Create peer feedback assignments
EXPLORER
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Ask students to create a VoiceThread by uploading a presentation or other document, a short video clip, or a picture. Students can give each other comments and critiques using text, audio, or video, and the instructor can view or join the conversation too!

Manage peer review assignments
GURU
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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.

Power Tip
Leave a voice recorded message as you're evaluating Dropbox submissions using the Record Audio feature.

Track student progress

Quick view student grades
MINIMALIST
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The D2L Gradebook allows you to view each student's performance at a glance with color codings and pop-up progress bars.

Power Tip
Use the D2L Grades tool for more than just number and letter grades. You can add text, audio, and even video feedback to each graded assignment. You can also add comments to a student's grade that are visible only to instructors and TAs.
Create student-managed checklists
EXPLORER
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Ask students to create a VoiceThread by uploading a presentation or other document, a short video clip, or a picture. Students can give each other comments and critiques using text, audio, or video, and the instructor can view or join the conversation too!

Student managed portfolios
GURU
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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.