Other Interactive Tools
By Stacey M Johnson, Assistant Director for Educational Technology and Paige Snay, Instructional Technologist, Vanderbilt University
There are so many interactive online tools that are useful for education, some of which are already integrated into Vanderbilt’s Brightspace instance, and others that can be linked to your course by adding a link in the Content area or in the NavBar.
$ – Designates a tool with associated costs
♦ – Designates a tool which is already integrated into Vanderbilt’s Brightspace platform
For all of the tools listed as examples below, keep in mind 1) your institutional policies regarding digital tools, and 2) protecting your students’ privacy. This Educause post by Perry Drake goes into detail on some of the considerations for FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and Social Media, and this post by Merri Beth Lavagnino explores how and when instructors should use third party tools. The safest way to integrate technology into your course is by using tools for which your institution has a site license. Vanderbilt gives faculty the autonomy to choose third party tools for their own teaching with the understanding that in those cases faculty are taking additional responsibility for ensuring FERPA compliance.
Text Annotation / Digital Social Reading Tools
Social Annotation or Digital Social Reading is the process of allowing books to become a collaborative space by letting students comment and hold discussion in the digital margins. This can be a great way to get students more involved in course readings. This paper is a literature review of research on social annotation for those who might be interested.
- eComma ♦ – a free, open source tool for Digital Social Reading. This tool is best suited for shorter texts.
- Perusall ♦ – a tool for digital social reading which caters both to short and longer texts as well as video. Perusall can be used for free with your own materials, or it can be used with entire books. Students only pay the price of the digital book if you want to utilize this feature. Check out our Perusall setup guide to begin using this tool in your course.
- Hypothes.is – a free tool for annotating on the web, any website with a defined group or open to public viewing.
- LiveMargin/SocialBook – reading, listening, viewing platform that enables you to talk to each other inside of the text, video, or audio in groups or with other SocialBook users.
Video Annotation Tools
Video annotation can improve the sense of social presence in your course and give students multiple modes of engaging in class discussions. These tools can replace traditional video in which students watch without interacting.
- Perusall ♦ – a tool for digital social reading which caters both to short and longer texts as well as video. Perusall can be used for free with your own materials. Check out our Perusall setup guide to begin using this tool in your course
- VideoAnt – a tool used in conjunction with YouTube videos to allow student annotation. This tool is free and very simple for students to use. Created by the University of Minnesota.
- Reclipped – a video annotation browser extension which works with YouTube, Vimeo, KhanAcademy, and several other platforms. This tool utilizes a sidebar within the browser and aggregates a user’s annotations on their profile, allowing them to collaborate on all of their work.
- GoReact $ – an elaborate video annotation tools with options for standard annotation as well as live video feedback for videos you already have in your possession. This tool also offers peer review options, time limits, and a testing mode in which students can only record their response once.
- VoiceThread $ – allows students to use text, audio, images, or video to comment on text, audio, images, or video. VoiceThread is accessible, mobile friendly, and includes assessment items for every kind of activity.
Video Discussion Tools
Video discussion can improve the sense of social presence in your course and give students multiple modes of engaging in class discussions. These tools can replace traditional text-only discussions.
- Flipgrid – a free asynchronous video discussion tool from Microsoft. See this post from Vanderbilt faculty member Patrick Murphy for a description of how to use it in class.
- Microsoft Teams – is a multimedia discussion tool, but can be easily adapted for synchronous group video discussion. Here is a blog post about how to use Teams channels to create group discussion spaces.
- Zoom ♦ – Zoom is the synchronous video conferencing system already integrated into Vanderbilt’s instance of Brightspace. It allows for large group meetings, video creation, whiteboard annotation, as well as small group breakout rooms. Learn more here.
Interactive Quizzing Tools
Interactive quizzing includes everything from videos with integrated quizzes to quizzing tools for immediate feedback from students in the classroom.
- EdPuzzle – allows instructors to create video lessons with integrated quizzes for students using videos from Youtube, Kahn Academy, and other resources. Free and premium versions are available.
- Kaltura Quizzes ♦ – helps instructors create video lessons with integrated quizzes utilizing videos they’ve uploaded into their Brightspace Media Gallery. Your Kaltura Quizzes can now be automatically scored in the gradebook!
- TopHat ♦ – utilizes student devices to allow them to provide real time evidence of understanding and feedback.
- Brightspace Quizzes ♦ – The standard quiz tool in Brightspace, Vanderbilt’s course management system, includes the ability to create many questions types and to integrate video, audio, or images into the prompts for any question types.
Peer Evaluation Tools
- Peerceptiv ♦ $ – an assessment tool allowing students to offer feedback to their peers and evaluate the feedback they’ve received.
- Brightspace Discussions ♦ – a common way to set up peer evaluation in Brightspace is to organize students into small groups of 2-4 people, then create a Discussion area for each group. Students in that group will post their assignments to the group discussion area and use a rubric, checklist, or set of criteria to give feedback to each other on the discussion board. Only students in that group will be able to see the peer review from a group discussion board.
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