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Tool Test Session

September 23, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Before you commit to using a particular tech tool, you might want to check on what it looks like from the student perspective. You might need some help brainstorming how it might be used in an assignment. It might be helpful to have a group of other people test a feature of a tool with you before you try it with your students. But it can be difficult to test these tools alone.

Consider joining the Center for Teaching and Learning’s tool test sessions: informal working groups for faculty who would like to try a new tool (or a new use of a tool that you already use) with a group of colleagues.

Rather than a workshop with an “expert” facilitator who will explain uses of various tools, this is a space for participants to test something out together. Not sure if a tool test session is the right fit? Check out this video which explains how one professor used a session to help with her planning for the fall.


Tools for facilitating discussion or assessment

Please note: by assessment, we mean checking on what students have learned, but not “testing”

Google Forms
Google Forms is a survey tool (similar to Qualtrics) that you can use to conduct assessment, gather information from your students, easily design or collect homework, and do many other things. Here is a tutorial page for Google Forms where you can learn more about this tool and how it works.

A tool for designing game-based learning and polling for students (can also be used asynchronously)

A tool for designing game-based activities for students (can also be used asynchronously)

Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere is an interactive polling tool that you can use to check on your students’ understanding, get real-time feedback, or capture and display students’ opinions. Here is a tutorial page for Poll Everywhere where you can learn more about this tool and how it works. Please note that Zoom also has a free, built-in polling feature, but you will not be able to test this during the session because of hosting permissions.

Zoom or the Zoom chat feature (some kind of fun / interesting / useful way to use it)
If you’re participating in this workshop, you already know what Zoom is, and it’s likely that you know how to operate the chat feature. If not, please review this documentation on using Zoom chat. You might also choose this option if you’d like to do some research or share some ideas about interesting ways to use the Zoom chat feature, fun and interactive icebreakers for Zoom,or anything else related to interesting and engaging uses of Zoom features

GroupMe, Remind, or What’s App for class text messaging chains
GroupMe, Remind, and What’s App are all tools that students can use to communicate with each other (or you) via text message. These are free tools, and each has different affordances and limitations. If you are interested in learning more about text messaging-based chat tools, please look at all three of these (or suggest your own tool).

Slack is a messaging platform that students can use to communicate with one another. To learn how it differs from e-mail, texting, or other communication tools, watch this introduction to Slack video.

Tools for recording your screen or making videos

Animoto allows you to use stock footage and images to make short videos. We used it to create the videos that appear on the CTL’s online course prep guide (here’s an example video).

LiceCap: a free tool for making gifs (i.e. moving pictures without sound)
If you need to show students how to do something on their computer, LiceCap is a great tool. It allows you to quickly make gifs (or moving images). Here’s a video demonstrating how LiceCap works.

Screencast-O-Matic allows you to record your screen, your webcam, or a combination of your screen and webcam in short increments. Here’s a video demonstrating how Screencast-o-matic works. 


September 23, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm