Technology for Teaching and Learning

Many technologies have the potential to make teaching and learning more effective and efficient—if they are employed appropriately. Several such technologies are centrally supported and available at no cost to users at Iowa State.

The CELT Instructional Development staff can assist with a wide range of projects, challenges, and questions related to the effective use of technology for teaching and learning. Staff expertise covers instructional design, learning theory, research-based effective practices, and technical expertise for a wide variety of traditional and cutting edge technologies for face-to-face, distance, and blended learning.

CELT Learning Technology staff offer seminars, hands-on workshops, individual and group consultation, course design and development, and collaboration on a wide range of topics related to the use of technology in teaching and learning and the pedagogically sound implementation of technology for various disciplines and learning objectives. CELT staff also work 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.

NEW: Online Learning Hub

Coming to Iowa State University, Spring 2014.

Instructor Support for Technologies for Teaching and Learning

There are many tools available to use for teaching. Some may help with classroom management tasks, provide means for students to collaborate, allow teachers to assess student learning, and/or create opportunities for interaction in class. Below are centrally supported tools available to instructors at ISU for which CELT provides assistance. 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 (Online Course Management System)

Blackboard is a secure environment for online teaching and learning—available to all students, faculty, and staff at Iowa State University. Instructors can use Blackboard to:

  • Teach in any of a variety approaches
    • fully online
    • blended (a mixture face-to-face and online)
    • hybrid (a formal split – with a specific number of credits associated with the face-to-face and online components)
    • flipped (a particular approach to blended learning that may or may not be hybrid)
  • Post course information, such as syllabus, faculty information, and calendar.
  • Synchronize with the Registrar’s records to manage course enrollment and submit midterm and final grades.
  • Provide learning resources, including documents, presentations, video, and library course reserves.
  • Encourage active participation via synchronous and asynchronous communications, announcements, discussion forums, group work, journals, and blogs.
  • Manage assessment of learning with online tests, surveys, assignments, and plagiarism detection. Discussions, journals, and blogs are also easily gradable.
  • Analyze assignments for potential plagiarism.
  • Import results from bubblesheet exams.
  • Incorporate extensive course materials from any of several publishers.
  • Manage and import scores from classroom student response system (clickers).
  • Easily identify, notify, and monitor underperforming students.

Class Climate – Course Evaluation System

Class Climate is a web-based course evaluation tool available at Iowa State University. Class Climate helps to assess student learning and teacher effectiveness, of which the end-of-term course evaluation is only one. Student evaluation of teaching (SET) can be a measure of an instructor’s achievements in teaching, and is effective as one form of measurement among many. Class Climate was developed as an effective web-based tool for comprehensively implementing and processing surveys for quality assurance purposes.

Classroom “Clickers” Student Response System

Clickers are hand-held devices in a remote personal response system to transmit and record student feedback to interactive questions. Registered to a student, clickers allow instructors to track involvement and retention, understand attitudes and preconceptions, facilitate discussion and instruction and provide meaningful assessment. Iowa State has standardized on the TurningTechnologies audience response system which includes both the hardware (clickers and receivers) and software components (TurningPoint and TurningPoint AnyWhere)


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 Blackboard course. You can create, edit, and organize questions in Respondus, offline, and then upload the assessment when you are ready. Iowa State University has a university-wide license for Respondus. (Respondus is a Windows-only program)

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. When students use Respondus Lockdown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading.


StudyMate is a tool used to create ten different Flash-based interactive learning activities. Iowa State University has a university-wide license for StudyMate. (StudyMate is a Windows only program.)

Other Technologies

A few technologies are available university-wide for which CELT staff do not provide technical support.

Adobe Connect – Web conferencing is available through ISU Extension and Outreach.

Panopto Presentation Recording System – Capture lectures or record video that is coordinated with presentation slides in the classroom from your desktop.

iTunes U

Qualtrics license – with file upload and offline survey add-ons – technology training site – for online meetings

For more information about CELT Learning Technologies, contact: Allan Schmidt
281 Parks Library

Phone: (515) 294-5357