There are many tools available to use for teaching. Some of them help with classroom management tasks, others provide means for students to collaborate, and yet others allow teachers to assess student learning and create opportunities for interaction in class. Below are tools available to instructors at ISU. Some of them are officially supported by the University, while others are great tools that can be helpful, but are not centrally supported. Click on the name of the tool or the type of tool you are interested in to learn more about it and explore how you might use it in your teaching.
Blackboard Learn is a secure environment for online teaching and learning. Each Bb Learn course can synchronize with the Registrar’s database to manage course enrollment and submit Midterm and Final Grades. Other tools include:
- Course Information, such as Syllabus, Faculty Information, Calendar, Schedule
- Learning Resources: Documents, PowerPoint Presentations, Audio/Video links, Web sites
- Collaboration: Synchronous and Asynchronous communications, Announcements, Discussion Forums, Real Time Chat and Virtual Classroom, Groups, Elluminate Live!
- Evaluation: Turning Point (clicker) Registration, Tests, Surveys, Grade Center, Assignments, Plagiarism Detection.
WebCT, which has been the centrally-supported Course Management System (CMS) at Iowa State is being replaced by its parent company (Blackboard) with Blackboard Learn (Bb Learn). As of May, 2011, all new courses with CMS components at Iowa State will be created in Bb Learn. Courses that use WebCT will need to be moved over to the Bb Learn system by the end of Spring Semester, 2012.
Voice Authoring, Voice Board, Voice Email, and Voice Podcaster
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Information Technology Services (ITS) offers online course evaluation support for University departments through the web-based software Class Climate.
Clickers and the TurningPoint software allow faculty members at Iowa State University to engage their students during a lecture or class discussion. Many faculty are exploring new ways of using clickers with groups of students and at a distance with web-based clickers.
CELT staff are currently working with faculty at ISU and collaborating with colleagues across the globe to research and develop effective practices for teaching and learning with emerging technologies, such as online communication, collaboration, and presentation tools, social network services, and virtual worlds.
Respondus is a tool used to create and manage exams, quizzes, surveys, and self-tests that can be printed on paper or published directly to your Bb Learn course. You can create, edit, and organize questions in Respondus, offline, and then upload the assessment when you are ready.
Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Bb Learn. When students use Respondus Lockdown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications.
SafeAssign is a free plagiarism detection tool that integrates with your Bb Learn course. DirectSubmit is the “teacher only” version of SafeAssign.
StudyMate is a tool used to create ten different Flash-based interactive learning activities.