Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.

e-Tool Library

Many of the e-Tools that are included in the UDI Online Toolbox offer one unique or discrete feature. An instructor could use an e-Tool for one or several purposes. For example, Facebook can be used to connect members in a course and to provide reminders, while Google Documents can be utilized so that students can collaborate and document their collaboration. Most of the e-Tools in the e-Toolbox are free, have free versions, or are available at low cost. An instructor could also create a web site and utilize many of the e-Tools together to create a completely asynchronous online course.

Following is a complete list of e-Tools that comprise the e-Toolbox, including features, limitations, ideas for use, and cost. For this project, e-Tools are defined as digitally presented materials, instructional techniques, and/or strategies that can be used or manipulated by a course instructor to proactively create a learning environment that benefits a broad range of learners.

Click on the category of e-Tools you are specifically looking for to go directly to that section of the list, or scroll through the entire library of e-Tools. Click on the name of an e-Tool to go to that e-Tool’s page for additional information, including introductions, instructional guides, demonstrations, technical requirements, and reviews.

E-Tools are compatible with Mac and Windows environments and should work in most Course Management Systems (e.g.; Blackboard, Moodle, WebCT) unless otherwise noted. E-Tools are accessible via screen readers unless otherwise noted. Prices effective as of April 2012.

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Assessment

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Assessment Strategy: Detecting Plagiarism
  • Search digitized documents by key words or entire phrases
  • Only searches digitized documents
  • Search key words or phrases from student work to detect plagiarism

Free

Assessment Strategy: Providing Formative Feedback on Written Drafts
  • Edit documents
  • Track changes and who made changes to document
  • Add comments in margins
  • Only works in MS Word documents; although other applications may have similar features
  • Provide feedback to students on written assignments submitted digitally
  • Allow students to submit multiple drafts of written assignments and track edits to grade/view progress

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for
Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

Online Surveys & Polls: Survey Monkey, Polldaddy, Poll Everywhere
  • Conduct polls or surveys
  • May not be accessible to students using a screen reader for visual impairments
  • Poll student knowledge of topic during class discussions/presentations for formative assessments
  • Assess student knowledge of material through surveys for summative assessments

Free and for-fee versions available.

Go to surveymonkey.com to access Survey Monkey

Go to polldaddy.com to access Polldaddy

Go to polleverywhere.com to access Poll Everywhere

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Campus Wide Technology

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Course Management Software (CMS)
  • A web-based system that supports teaching and learning and permits faculty to create and deliver course content and manage an array of course-related activities online
  • Institution wide deployment and support required
  • Manage online courses
  • Depends on size of institution and required features

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Communication & Collaboration

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Doodle

  • Schedule meetings
  • Create polls
  • Difficult to scroll across the screen to see all options when a large time span is used
  • Schedule meetings with groups of students by posting dates/times of availability
  • Have students sign up for group projects according to their interest from a list of approved topics
Free
Go to www.doodle.com to access Doodle

Facebook

  • Tap into social networking
  • Difficult to know how many people use the Facebook page
  • Create a network of class participants on a social network students know and use often
  • Provide opportunities for sharing ideas, thoughts, needs related to the course
Free
Go to www.facebook.com to access Facebook and create a page
Google Chat
  • Use audio, video, or text chat
  • Requires all participants have a Google account
  • Set up a video conference call with a small group of students to advise on a project
  • Schedule office hours with students via video calls
Free
Go to www.google.com/talk/ to download Google Chat and make a call

Skype

  • Conduct video conferencs
  • Interact with up to 3 people on the call at one time
  • Audio or video quality may be limited by network connection
  • Session cannot be recorded
  • Schedule one-on-one or small group meeting with students during “office hours”
Free
Go to www.skype.com to download Skype and make a call

Twitter

  • Facilitate micro blogging
  • Limited to short message
  • Tweet reminders to students of upcoming exams, assignment due dates, etc…
  • Ask students to tweet answers to in class polls during lectures
Free
Go to www.twitter.com to access Twitter and send a tweet

Widgets

  • Select graphical reminders to cue students about course elements
  • Confirm compatibility with course web site or course management system
  • Imbed pop ups in the course web site to serve as reminders of upcoming due dates
  • Attach specific graphics to each type of assignment within the course web site, for example, all discussion prompts will have one type of widget, all reading will have another graphic, and all exams will have a different widget
Free
Go to www.widgetbox.com to create and install a widget

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Content Delivery with Collaboration

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Elluminate
  • Use a web-based platform for audio and video conferencing and screen sharing
  • Free version requires that web conference remain open
  • Encourage student engagement through online webinars
  • Share documents, advise on group projects, or present a PowerPoint

Free and for-fee versions available

Go to elluminate.com to access the free version of Elluminate ffor 30 days

Google Docs
  • Facilitate document management and sharing
  • Requires a Google account
  • Encourage student organization, engagement, and sharing of course documents

Free

Go to www.docs.google.com to access Google Docs

Google Sites

  • Create course web site
  • Requires a Google account
  • Create a class web site that includes content, wikis or blogs, links to other relevant sites, reading material, presentations, resources, etc…
Free
Go to http://www.google.com/sites to access Google Sites and create a web site

Ning

  • Create course web site for social networking
  • Can require use of outside programs to update content
  • Create a class web site that includes content, wikis or blogs, links to other relevant sites, reading material, presentations, resources, etc…
Free (there may be a fee in the future)
Go to www.ning.com to access Ning and create a site

Voice Thread

  • Create a web site or presentation that promotes social networking
  • Students need to create an account to access the thread
  • Create a web site or presentation (pictures or video) for a topic from course content and have students respond by adding text, audio, video, or pictures
$99 per year
Go to http://voicethread.com to access VoiceThread and create a site

WikiSpaces

  • Develop a wiki
  • Requires managing access to the site using students' e-mails
  • Create a wiki of course content, thinking prompts, or discussion topics for students to respond to and engage in “discussion”

Free or depending on features needed:
$5 per month |
$20 per month

Go to www.wikispaces.com to access WikiSpaces and create a wiki

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Content Delivery

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Apple Keynote - Notes
  • Develop Presentations for Mac users
  • For Mac Only
  • Include notes in Apple Keynote presentations for uploading to course web site so that students can review class lectures and fill in gaps in their notes

$19.99 per program

Go to apple.com to download a trial of the Apple iWork suite

Apple Keynote - Presentation Mode
  • Develop Presentations for Mac users
  • For Mac Only
  • Encourage students to use Presentation mode when presenting projects to the class

$19.99 per program

Go to apple.com to download a trial of the Apple iWork suite

Feeds

  • Enable updated content to be delivered to a Reader page
  • Requires a “subscription” to a Reader
  • Provide means for students to obtain latest information, discoveries, findings about course content
Free

Google Reader

  • Gather and manage updated content
  • Requires a Google account
  • Provide means for students to gather latest information, discoveries, findings about course content in one place
Free
Go to http://www.google.com/intl/en/googlereader/tour.html to access Google Reader
Microsoft Office PowerPoint - Notes
  • Add elements to presentations
  • Cannot see notes during slideshow unless you are in presentation mode, which makes recording narration from notes difficult
  • Include notes in presentations for uploading to course web site so that  students can review class lectures and fill in gaps in their notes

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trail of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

Microsoft Office PowerPoint - Presentation View
  • Add elements to presentations
  • Laptop must be connected to a projector or external monitor to use this feature
  • Encourage students to use Presentation mode when presenting projects to the class

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

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Document Enhancements

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.0 - Commenting

  • Integrate audio and text commenting into pdfs
  • No text-to-speech feature
  • Insert audio or text comments in required reading to highlight key points and to connect points from article to class lecture/discussions (scaffolding)

$69.95
A 30 day free trial is available at:
https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=acrobat_pro&loc=en

Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.0 - Extracting PDFs

  • Extract pages to create new pdfs
  • Requires that whole pages are extracted rather than segments of pages
  • Extract specific pages of case studies from longer pdfs to provide specific sections of a case to students over time (monitoring thought processes and decision making)

$69.95
A 30 day free trial is available at:
https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=acrobat_pro&loc=en

Inspiration

  • Organize content using a graphic tool
  • Requires some time to learn features of the application
  • Create timelines, concept maps, or diagrams of course topics

$69.00
A 30 day free trial is available at:
http://www.inspiration.com/Freetrial

Microsoft Office Word - AutoSummary

  • Focus students' attention on key concepts using AutoSummary
  • Requires downloading application for MS Office 7 for Windows and later versions
  • Summarize key concepts in large Word documents

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial/

Microsoft Office Word - Web Pages

  • Convert Word documents into web pages
  • Formatting may not convert between a document and HTML format
  • Can be difficult to upload pictures and other files, as the server address of those files is required
  • Convert Word documents into Web Pages by saving them in HTML format. Once in HTML format, hyperlinks can be created to link documents and web sites to other documents

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial/

Microsoft Office Word - Highlight

  • Use highlighting to emphasize key points
  • Requires some preparation time
  • Highlight key points, connect points from article to class lecture/discussions (scaffolding)

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial/

Microsoft Office Word - Hyperlinks

  • Create hyperlinks
  • Requires some time to learn features of the application
  • Insert hyperlinks to connect other documents or web sites to Word documents, such as linking student resources to the course syllabus

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011
for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

Microsoft Office Word - Outline

  • Create an outline
  • Feature is based on formatting of document; thus, the process of converting a document to an outline can be time intensive if formatting does not support easy conversion to an outline
  • Outline key concepts in large Word documents

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

Microsoft Office Word - Comments

  • Add comments to text
  • Technical issues may arise with comments across versions of the program
  • Insert text comments in the margins of required reading to highlight key points, connect points from article to class lecture/discussions (scaffolding)

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro
2010 for Windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

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Multimedia – Audio

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Apple Keynote - Audio Narrations
  • Create presentations that include audio
  • For Mac Only
  • Add audio clips or narrations to Apple Keynote presentation for uploading to course web site in order for students to review course material

$19.99 per program

Go to www.apple.com to download a trial version of the Apple iWork suite

Audacity

  • Insert audio recordings and edit mp3 files
  • Vista may not accept files created in Audacity
  • Insert audio recordings of lectures, discussions, explanations into course web sites, documents, or presentations (scaffolding, multi-modal)
Free
Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ to download Audacity.

Fotobabble

  • Add audio to photographs
  • Use with photos only
  • Upload photos and create audio captions for each photo; photos with audio can be shared via email, or posting to a course web site or social networking site.

Free

Go to www.fotobabble.com to access Fotobabble

Microsoft Office PowerPoint - Audio Narrations

  • Add audio narrations or comments
  • Mac version contains glitches
  • Record narrations or comments for entire presentations or individual slides in presentations for posting on course web site

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro 2010 for windows is available at: http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trail of MS Office 2011 for Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

Podcasts

  • Create audio or video media files associated with a course
  • Some learning required
  • Insert audio recordings of lectures, discussions, explanations into course web sites, documents, or presentations (scaffolding, multi-modal)
Free

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Multimedia – Video

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Adobe Flash
  • Add animation features to a document
  • Requires some time to learn features of the application
  • Develop multimedia presentation of concepts to embed in presentations or course web site

$49.95 per month (For Adobe CS6, which includes Flash)
(Educational pricing available)

Go to tryit.adobe.com to download a free trial

BioAlive

  • Create hyperlinks or access course resources consisting of video materials related to life sciences
  • Restricted to life science related topics only
  • Insert video recordings of lectures, discussions, explanations of scientific events into course web sites

Free
Go to www.bio-alive.com to access BioAlive

Camtasia

  • Record and edit onscreen material to create a video
  • Requires some time to learn features of the application
  • Create in-depth demonstrations, explanations in a video clip of activity on a computer screen

$299.00
A 30 day free trial is available at:
http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/

Jing

  • Capture screen shots and videos
  • Limited to a 5 minute recording
  • Create in-dept demonstrations, explanations in a video clip of activity on a computer screen
Free or depending on features needed:
$14.95/year

 

To download Jing go to:
http://www.techsmith.com/download/jing/

Microsoft Office PowerPoint - Pictures/Videos

  • Insert pictures or videos
  • Videos or pictures must be created and edited in another program prior to inserting in a presentation
  • Insert videos or pictures into presentations to demonstrate a concept

$119.95
A 60 day free trial of MS Office Pro 2010
for windows is available at:
http://www2.buyoffice.microsoft.com/
usa/default.aspx?country_id=US

A 30 day free trial of MS Office 2011 for
Mac is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial

YouTube

  • Upload and share videos
  • Videos must be created and edited in another program prior to posting to YouTube
  • Post videos on YouTube to share with students. Use YouTube’s caption creation tool to add captions to videos

Free
Go to http://www.youtube.com to upload a video.

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Strategies

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Assessment Strategy: Group Discussion of Exams
  • Promote group discussions to facilitate community building and learning
  • Difficult to implement for a final exam
  • Encourage students to discuss their answers to exam questions in small groups to learn from each other
  • Build a community of learners by allowing students the opportunity to share their knowledge of course topics with each other

Free

Go to udi.uconn.edu for a complete explanation of the strategy

Assessment Strategy: Likert Rating Scale for Student Feedback
  • Use Likert scales to measure students’ perceptions of their knowledge
  • Some additional time required to prepare assessments
  • Encourage students to express their confidence level in their knowledge of course material
  • Review exam questions for clarity

Free

Go to udi.uconn.edu for a complete explanation of the strategy

Assessment Strategy: Prompts
  • Create and incorporate prompts to promote critical thinking
  • Requires some preparation time to write prompts
  • Encourage students to connect existing knowledge with course material
  • Develop a community of learners by encouraging students to share ideas, thoughts, conclusions around course material with peers

Free

Go to udi.uconn.edu for a complete explanation of the strategy

Assessment Strategies: Rubrics, Rubistar
  • Delineate specific criteria for use in grading assignments
  • Requires some preparation time
  • Express clear grading standards for assignments by developing a rubric for each assignment
  • Establish course and grading expectations from the start of the semester

Free

Go to http://rubistar.4teachers.org/ to access Rubistar

Assessment Strategies: Test Banks & Practice Tests, Quiz Press
  • Develop a repository of practice test questions
  • Requires some preparation time
  • Assist students with exam preparation through practice tests

$49.95

Go to www.solrobots.com/quizpress to download a trial of Quiz Press

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Templates

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Student Resource Template

  • Provide a model for use in course planning
  • Contact information, resources, and links must be changed to match specific institutional information
  • Develop a list of student resources (i.e., IT help desk, tutoring, disability service office, etc…) on campus with hyperlinks to be incorporated into a course syllabus
Free

Syllabus Template

  • Provide a model for use in course planning
  • Contact information, resources, and links must be changed to match specific institutional information about the user
  • Create a course syllabus with clearly delineated objectives, grading rubrics, expectations, resources, due dates, and other student centered information
Free

Week One Introductory Model

  • Provide a model for use in course delivery
  • Contact information, resources, and links must be changed to match specific institutional information about the user
  • Use this “introduction to the course” as an example for future course modules; template includes objectives, assignments, discussion topics, grading standards and module summation
Free

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Time Management & Organization

e-Tools

Features

Limitations

Ideas for Use

Cost

Assignment Calculator
  • Demonstrate a calculator that ties project milestones to due dates as a management tool
  • Requires that user monitors due dates
  • Encourage students to organize long term projects by planning out milestones (e.g., research, notes, first draft, edits, etc.)
  • Establish clear assignment expectations and grading standards

Free

Go to lib.umn.edu to access the assignment calculator

Grade Tracker Template
  • Illustrate a tool that allows students to track grades throughout the semester
  • Requires that user is familiar with using a spreadsheet and actively enters grades
  • Knowledge of MS Excel recommended
  • Encourage students to track grades in course from beginning of semester
  • Establish clear grading standards and course expectations

Free

Go to udi.uconn.edu to download Grade Tracker