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TCC : Current Students : Academics : Center for Distance Learning : Tools to Support Teaching and Learning in Web-Based Courses Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

Tools and Resources to Support Teaching and Learning in Web-Based Courses

With the rapid evolution of digital tools and resources come new opportunities for online instructors to enhance their digital pedagogy skills.  This repository contains a sampling of useful sites that will help sharpen your knowledge of tools to create more engaging, interactive, and collaborative online environments.


 Audio Recording Tools


 Collaboration Tools

Teamwork is a critical professional skill that can be a challenge to master at times. These are sites to help students and faculty enhance their effectiveness as team members. Sites like Trello and Linoit are great for sharing ideas, tracking team progress, and regulating responsibilities; while Google Docs, Drop Box, and SkyDrive are great for storing and sharing files with group members.


Diigo - A social knowledge management system that can be used to aggregate, store, and retrieve information.

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DropBox - Store and share files with other users.

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Google Docs - An online word processing tool that allows documents to be stored and shared in a cloud. Users can edit a document simultaneously allowing for seamless workflow.

Linoit - An online post-it board application that allows users to sort and manage information and collaborate to achieve goals

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SkyDrive - Store your photos, documents, and videos on the Web.

Trello - Trello is a collaborative website that helps students in a group manage activities, due dates, responsibilities and more using a user friendly interface.


 Discussion Tools


 Educational Media Providers

Keeping up with emerging topics in your field and in pedagogy, all while maintaining classes can be time consuming and at times challenging.  Sites like TED, TeacherTube, and others are excellent repositories of educational videos that can provide new ideas for class activities and keep you current with the latest breakthroughs.

TeacherTube - A dedicated site host for user made educational videos. Use an existing video in your course or upload your own.

TED - TED hosts seminars around the world with the most prominent speakers from all domains of knowledge. It is an excellent resource for instructors wanting to find new ideas that rejuvenate students’ interest in a topic.

YouTube - Typically not thought of as a place to learn, YouTube does contain a vast library of “how-to” videos.  If you need  help learning a new skill, you are  likely to find a quick tutorial here. Additionally, YouTube is a great hosting site for your own videos, making sharing, embedding, and captioning extremely easy. On YouTube EDU, you can find a plethora of lectures and educational videos designed for educational purposes.


 Engagement Tools

Interactive lessons are great for retention. These sites will allow you to bring your lessons to life either through visual and/or exploratory engagement.


GoAnimate - Easily create animated cartoon videos that capture your audience.

Make Beliefs Comix - Create your own comic strip with pre-loaded characters, emoticons, and objects to provide relevance to a seemingly irrelevant bit of information.

Thinglink - Upload photos and attach hotspots to them that display text, videos, links, and pictures when a user interacts with them.

Time Toast - Students or instructors can create an interactive timeline to display the history of a topic or field using text, images, and hyperlinks.

Visuwords - Teachers in language development courses may find this graphical representation of words very helpful. Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net to better understand how words relate.


 Gamification Tools

All instructors seek innovative methods for inspiring and motivating students to achieve.  Gamified environments are designed to reward students for reaching class or personal goals. These sites will help you create and award your students with unique badges for your class that can be displayed to classmates as a sign of their accomplishments.

Credly – Credly allows you to create badges for your students that can be earned by attaining the goals you set for them. Students can then display those badges either on Credily or Mozilla’s Open Badges website which also allows students to display badges earned in Blackboard or Canvas.


 Information Resources

These sites give you the ability to tap into the resources and knowledge of other educators all across the nation. They can be powerful tools when you have questions about a complex topic or need to find class related media.

Flat World Knowledge - Flat World Knowledge offers free, open-licensed textbooks that can be used in class material. Link to any of these textbooks from within your class.

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Internet archive - The Internet Archive hosts public domain video, audio, books, images and other resources.

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Learning Registry - A resource that links educators to learning resources existing all across the web.


Merlot - Find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials. Share advice and expertise about pedagogy with expert colleagues. Be recognized for your contributions to quality education.


Quora - Quora is a website where users post questions on a wide range of topics that can be answered by community members.


 Instructional Support Tools

These sites are all one trick ponies, but the tricks they perform are going to relieve your workload and help you teach creatively. Sites like BibMe will help you and your students create bibliographies in a flash. You can use TinEye, a search engine where users input pictures instead of text to post ambiguous but astounding pictures allowing students to go on a virtual scavenger hunt across the web.

BibMe - A bibliography maker that supports APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian formats.

Bitly - For instructors who want to link to websites with long URLs. Bitly shortens URLs to a manageable size while still linking directly to the original webpage.

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Elementary Paper - Create printable worksheets for use in foreign language courses to increase writing skills.

Evernote -  Personal note-taking software. Capture ideas as notes, incorporate images and web pages into your collections.

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Google Charts - Build your own data charts that are easily customizable and sharable online.

Mathalicious - Mathalicious is a website dedicated to creating lesson plans that put math in a practical real world context to increase its relevance to students.


 Lesson Builder Tools

With the use of these tools you will be able to create your own interactive lessons that flow naturally and engage your students from start to finish.


Articulate Studio – Quickly and easily transform PowerPoint slides into an online course with Articulate Studio. (Available at the CDL)

Articulate Storyline - Create interactive e-learning lessons, recordings, quizzes, and animation with Articulate. (Available at the CDL)

SoftChalk - Soft Chalk is a deeply interactive lesson building tool that allows teachers to build course materials online. Create hot spot activities, quizzes with excellent feedback, and embed captivating pictures and video to augment student engagement. (Available at the CDL)

Camtasia - Not just a video editing and screen recoding tool. Camtasia also lets teachers integrate quizzes into their recorded lectures. When students fail to respond correctly, Camtasia can jump back instantly to the point in the video where the answer is taught. (Available at the CDL)


 Open Courses


 Presentation Tools


 Quick Polling Tools

Data tracking can be a big help in classroom management. These sites allow you to push polls that gauge the body of student knowledge in your classroom quickly. Use them during class to see if your students are following your instruction or use polling outside of class as test prep questions using sites like Twitter.

Answer Garden - Using Answer Garden, professors can create quick open ended questions for the class to answer. The answers are aggregated and displayed together with the most popular answers represented with larger text.

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Poll Everywhere - Allows instructors to create quick polls for students to respond to via text message or web device instantly. Polls are limited to 40 responses in the free version.


 Screen Casting Tools

Showing is often better than telling, but why not do both? Screen casting allows you to record your computer screen and your voice to create lessons that demonstrate ideas, rather than merely talking about them.

Camtasia - A powerful video recording and editing tool that is easy to use. Import your recordings, narrate your PowerPoint presentations, or make new ones to create professional looking videos. (Available at CDL)


Educreations - Turn your touch screen device into a chalkboard and record educational videos on the fly. Benefit from a large selection of other user’s creations and see what works for your classroom.

Jing - A screen casting service that allows users to record their screen, system audio, and microphone audio to create videos. Videos can them be shared online.


 Social Networking Tools


 Student Study Tools


 3D Modeling Tools


 Video Conferencing Tools


 Virtual Worlds

Contact Information

For more information contact the Center for Distance Learning by phone (850) 201-9400 or e-mail

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon - Fri

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