Teaching with Technology

Brief Description: 

Video conferencing, also known as a video teleconference or video chat, refers to conducting a meeting between two or more participants at different sites by using computer networks to transmit audio and video.

Tips for Using Online Video Conferencing/Chat Tools

Before you start

  • Have clear goals for video conferencing. For example, connect guest lecture(s) closely to the course goals and learning activities and arrange a debrief of a guest lecture if needed.
  • Have a back-up plan in case things do not go as expected (e.g. power outage or disrupted Internet connection).
  • Understand how to use the video conferencing tool or equipment well and be aware of where to get technical support quickly when needed.
  • Practice your speaking speed and volume. Speaking to students through a video-conferencing tool is not the same as speaking to students in a face-to-face class. Practice and feedback will help you get it right. Also, keep in mind that there can be lag and delays. Don't cut students off while they are speaking.

Important considerations Read more »

Brief Description: 

Even if instructors have a required text or coursepack for a course, they often have other resources (e.g., articles, videos, blogs, websites) that they want their students to read, watch, listen to, or interact with.  Additionally, many times instructors ask students to create products or resources that they need to share with the instructor or with each other.  These tools provide mechanisms for instructors and students to share artifacts among each other.

Tips for Using Resource and File Sharing Tools

as an instructional tool:

  • Minimize the number of “channels” you are using to communicate & share resources with your students.  Consistency ensures that your students know where to go to find information.
  • Require your students to use a specific naming convention for files (and folders) they share with you.  This will enable you to easily find each students' submissions when needed.

for sharing files and videos:  Read more »

Brief Description: 

Online writing includes any form of writing where the process of writing occurs online or the writing is shared online. Online compositions may be short or long, and they may be written individually or collaboratively. They may be published on the web for anyone to see, shared with the class, or shared only between one student and the instructor. Online writing often leverages the linking power of the web to include images and other media, but this is not always the case. Online writing tools may also offer a glimpse into the writing process by making it possible to see the history of changes to a document, and they often include commenting features to facilitate discussion of the writing and the writing process. Your goals for the type and length of writing, the level of formality, the content and the audience will inform your choice of online writing tools.

Tips for Using Online Writing Tools

  • If students will be writing in a public forum, allow students who do not feel comfortable using their real name to adopt a pseudonym known only to you.
  • Set clear expectations for tone, style, length, and content in your chosen online format. For example, if students will be writing for a class blog, you might consider posting a model blog post. If they will be commenting, consider sharing a few model comments to help students clearly understand your expectations. 
  • Sweetland Center for Writing has helpful guidelines for Using Blogs in the Classroom.


Brief Description: 

Personal response system (PRS), Classroom Performance System (CPS), and Audience Response System (ARS) refer to technology tools that provide a way for students to interact with the instructor during instruction. Through small remote devices ("clickers") or through laptops, tablet devices and/or smart phones accesssing online tools, instructors can poll their students, ensure key points are understood, give low-stakes quizzes to assess student learning, and receive immediate classroom feedback on teaching.

Tips for Using Personal Response Systems (PRS)

  • Examine your own teaching style and establish clear goals for using a PRS in the class.
  • Know how the PRS works before bringing it into the classroom. If you are not well prepared technologically or pedagogically for using a PRS, it is recommended that you postpone using it until you are ready.
  • Explain to students why a PRS is being used in the course and clarify how the PRS can help students achieve the learning objective(s). Be sure to use the PRS regularly and consistently.
  • Clearly articulate your expectations of students and also establish rules and student responsibilities (e.g., it is the students' responsibility to bring clickers or other device to lecture every time).
  • Develop a pool of thoughtful and effective questions for each lecture. Questions that ask for conceptual thinking in technical courses or critical thinking in any class are particularly effective.
  • Use a PRS in conjunction with teaching strategies such as "Peer Instruction" and "Think-Pair-Share" to improve students' conceptual understanding of the content, as well as their critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
Brief Description: 

Lecture Capture involves the recording of classroom activities or special events using specific software and making that recording available electronically. The recording is someimes referred to as a podcast or a screencast, and may be audio-only or include video of the lecture. Some software synchronizes lecture slides for viewing alongside the relecant sections of audio and/or video recordings of the instructor. Depending on the software used for recording, sudents may be able to speed up or slow down lectures, pause the playback, and move forward or backward in the presentation.

Tips for Using Lecture Capture Tools

Before you start...

  • Make sure that you have clear goals for podcasting lectures and the time to prepare them consistently throughout the entire semester (if required).
  • If you don't teach in a room with an automated lecture capture system, make sure that you have adequate and continuing technology support as well as a dedicated place to host the completed videos.
  • Make sure you are aware of and follow all relevant copyright policies regarding podcasts (e.g. acquiring copyright clearance for materials and release forms from students if their questions and answers will be recorded and the podcasts will be shared beyond the current semester's classroom).

If using Camtasia Studio or a different DIY lecture capture platform...

  • Make time to experiment with recording quality. Poor sound quality may prevent students from using the resource.
  • Make podcasts available as soon as possible after a lecture, because most students download podcasts within a few days of a given lecture (or immediatly prior to an exam).

In the classroom... Read more »