7.5 Tools and resources for supporting students

Tools for supporting students

Phone: A phone call to a student can be very effective in getting their attention and showing how much you care about their progress.

Email: Use email when you want to communicate with a student outside the confines of the VLE.

Discussion forum: Asynchronous communication with students can be within the module discussion forums. The forum tools within a VLE allow many different formats, select the one most appropriate to your learning activity.

Live chat: Use a live chat feature for synchronous messaging with a student who is currently online. This tool can also be used for discussions amongst the whole class group.

Annotations: Use video, audio or written annotations on students’ draft work as feedback.

Quizzes: Use quiz tools to create quizzes that check student understanding and give automatic feedback.

YouTube: The commenting feature available in YouTube can facilitate a lot of discussion about particular videos and is a very useful feature from a learning perspective.

Slack: Slack is a cloud-based tool purposely designed for collaboration that is built for discussion-based activities. It can facilitate persistent chat rooms (channels) organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging.

Glossary: Use a glossary to encourage discussion. Students can comment on each entry and even rate entries, both of which can facilitate ‘discussion’ between learners.


Resources for supporting students

Teaching in a digital age (BCCAMPUS OPEN EDUCATION): Online collaborative learning

Topclass: Eight new ideas for engaging online students

JISC: Guide to supporting online students



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