Friday, 3 August 2007

Simple tools

It's not about the technology. We often say it, but we rarely really mean it I think. Let's be fair now: Technology is kinda fun. I know I get carried away far to easily with new shiny things. But sometimes I forget that not everyone is paid to play with new shiny things. Some of us actually have to teach students on a regular basis. So for those colleagues, here's some lovely simple tools that I think can give you a lot of bang for just a little investment.

Course Genie
Course Genie is a lovely tool. It allows you to create nice looking materials and quizzes without any skills other then MS Word. It's a great tool if you want to develop something slightly more interactive then just uploading a module specification or PowerPoint to you VLE, and it integrates nicely with Moodle, WebCT and Blackboard. The quiz options are relatively simple, but actually have some powerful capabilities such as rich feedback based on answers given. The downside is that Course Genie does not save answers, scores, or track progress

God knows who thought up the name for this one. In all honesty, QUIA would not be a tool that I'd use myself. it does a lot of things (games, quizes, surveys), but it does none of them very well. Nevertheless if you want a cheap tool that instantly will allow you to create a lot of simple interactive resources this might be the tool for you. The absolute plus to QUIA is that you instantly tap in to the whole QUIA community, which allows you to share and rate all developed materials. QUIA also has a very decent result tracking option, which even allows you to expert a detailed result analysis to Excel.

Electronic Voting Systems
A great way to make teaching, especially in larger groups, more interactive. It's a great way to find out what students think, understand or want during your lesson, so that you can adapt to their needs in the appropriate manner. We've been using Turning Point for a short while now, and so far I am quite impressed. It's extremely easy to set up a simple poll supported by PowerPoint. it is however also possible to much more complex thing, such as linking in responses to demographics.


Stephanie said...


Stephanie said...

With the 3 simple tools that you presented, what I like the most is the electronic voting system. I agree with all the things pointed out. It is the best tool that I know capable of creating interactive learning and presentations. You can learn lots on the benefits of an electronic voting system on this site