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Communication & Collaboration Tools

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Whether in class, blended, or remote, it is important to have efficient ways to interact with all the students in your class. Increase participation and engagement by using the right tools in the right ways.

Communication & Collaboration Tools

Although many of the tools you’ll need to teach your course are available in your Learning Management System, some functions needed to facilitate learning aren’t always available. Some third-party tools are either supported and licensed by BYU for you to use in your courses or other tools have free licenses (or free options) that allow you to use the tool in your course.

A list of helpful tools is provided below by their primary use/functionality.

Classroom Response/Polling

Classroom response systems allow you to conduct live polling of your students in order to check students' understanding, engage in retrieval practice, and re-engage students’ attention. Some classroom response systems have some asynchronous capabilities.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage can be accessed from most web-enabled devices and stored files can be shared with your students (or students can share with you and their classmates), facilitating a variety of learning opportunities.

Collaborative Digital Whiteboards

Collaborative digital whiteboards allow you to digitally collaborate much like when you and your students collaborate, share and organize ideas, and express yourselves using physical whiteboards (drawing, writing, posting sticky notes, etc). These digital tools work well in whole group collaboration and are useful in Zoom breakout rooms. The following are some free options for educators:

Collaborative Documents

In addition to file sharing, collaborative document platforms allow you and your students to collaboratively edit documents. This can help with group assignments, peer reviews, in-class collaborative activities, and more!

Communication & Discussion Platforms

In addition to the email or messages in the Learning Management Systems (Learning Suite Messages and Canvas Inbox) and discussion boards (Digital Dialog in BYU Learning Suite and Canvas Discussions) that are available to you, some instructors have used the following tools to facilitate and structure communications and discussions with and among their students.

Content Providers

Various textbook and other content providers can integrate with Learning Suite and Canvas.

Decision-Based Learning

Decision-Based Learning software allows you to integrate Decision-Based Learning (DBL) pedagogy that organizes instruction around the decisions an expert makes as they engage with the world in a given domain of learning.

Digital Design & Storytelling Tools

You and your students can use these tools to create beautiful graphics, web pages, and video stories in minutes.

E-Book Publishing

E-book publishing tools allow for the creation of your own books/textbooks. This can be done by faculty individually or collaboratively or as a collaborative class effort with students.

Grading and Feedback/Peer Review and Originality Checking

Learning Suite Grader and Canvas SpeedGrader allow you to grade student work and provide feedback. Additionally, there are times when you may need help your students learn how to effectively document their sources, you can use an originality checker called Turnitin. Turnitin also has a grading tool called GradeMark and a peer review tool called PeerMark.

Turnitin is integrated with both Learning Suite and Canvas and BYU has an institutional license.

Presentation Tools

These tools allow you and your students to create presentations.

Social Annotation Tools

Social annotation tools allow students to collaboratively annotate a reading, allowing them to explore ideas, ask questions, elaborate, etc. With Perusal, you can also socially annotate videos. Both these tools are available through Learning Suite and Canvas.

Survey Tools

Survey tools allow you to collect information

Video Annotation

Video annotation tools are an interactive online platform for feedback, peer-review, grading, and critique of video-based assignments (among other uses).

Video Conferencing

BYU has licenses for two video conferencing systems.

Video Creation/Screen Capture

Although you can use Digital Dialog and Simple Video tools in Learning Suite and these technologies can allow you to easily create videos, especially screen-casts, that can be used to display a narrated presentation or to teach how to use a software program, etc.