Instructional Technology

U-M relies on a variety of services and systems for recording classes and events. Many U-M colleges and schools have installed automated capture systems in selected classrooms or can provide mobile devices to faculty who teach in locations without automated recording systems. The following are descriptions of lecture capture systems and support services available in particular schools or colleges and a link to examples of how lecture capture tools are used by U-M faculty. Read more »


CRLT provides consultation services to individuals and departments on the integration of technology into teaching, including distance education. Consultation services and programs can include:

Assistance in selecting appropriate technologies for teaching

Technology such as the Internet and the Web can provide invaluable resources for our students both in and outside of class. It is, however, a challenge to choose technologies that can help instructors achieve their instructional goals. CRLT helps faculty learn and understand various technologies and select tools that can enhance teaching and learning. CRLT supports all UM faculty in their efforts to learn to use technology by providing individual consultations, seminars, and demonstrations.

Discussion of issues related to teaching with technology

For most faculty, teaching with technology is a novel experience, though it may soon become as common as teaching with the chalkboard, the overhead, and the VCR. Faculty may have various questions and concerns about using technology in teaching. Through informal gatherings such as brown bags and rountables, CRLT provides opportunities for both novice and experienced technology users to engage in general and discipline-specific dialogues about teaching with technology.



CTools (formerly known as CTNG) is a new version which combines um.CourseTools and um.WorkTools functions, designed to help create course and project websites on the World Wide Web. Using a web browser, users choose from CTools features and functions to create a collaborative tool for use in classes, research projects, and other collaborative groups. CTools is an enhanced version of the original UM.CourseTools, with improvements that include individual personal portals (referred to as MyWorkspace) in addition to class portals; an interface that can be customized to a user's preferences; and includes um.WorkTools capabilities as well.


UM.Lessons enables UM faculty to create and administer online tests and surveys. The site gives you a good way to provide self-testing and practice opportunities for students, and for evaluating course questions. Students are able to receive instant feedback after completing and submitting online tests. Aggregated data tells instructors which questions are good discriminators and which the students are consistently stumbling on. To use this software, go to the above site and request a workspace. Then, follow the tutorials and start building question files. Read more »


Many faculty members at the University of Michigan record face-to-face lectures. Some do this only occasionally because of conflicts between lecture times and a professional conference, for example, or in order to record guest lectures for students.  Some faculty members use lecture capture more regularly to provide students with additional learning resources. The examples below highlight some of the different ways in which faculty at U-M use lecture capture technology to enhance their courses and facilitate student learning. A link to Lecture Capture Systems and Support at U-M is below.

Mika LaVaque-Manty, Political Science, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Professor LaVaque-Manty began experimenting with lecture podcasts in 2006. He mainly uses podcasts in his large introductory courses, although he has used them at the 400-level, as well. He uses Profcast, a college-licensed, shareware application for the Mac. Profcast requires no additional equipment beyond a laptop because it resides on the same machine as the lecture presentation. It captures both the presentation slides--whether PowerPoint or Keynote--and syncs them with the audio. Professor LaVaque-Manty twice created a podcast-only lecture when he had to cancel the live lecture. Read more »


Transforming Student Learning with Classroom Communication Systems (Documents Contributed by ECAR, 2004)

Abstract: Since 1993, the University of Massachusetts Physics Education Research Group (UMPERG) has developed curriculum and pedagogic techniques for use with classroom communication systems (CCSs) and has researched the effectiveness of CCS-based teaching. This bulletin describes how CCSs can influence "interactive pedagogy" and fundamentally transform the learning process. It includes advice drawn from lessons learned through a decade of experience.

Classroom Response System Bibliography
An extensive bibliography compiled by Derek Bruff of Vanderbilt University.