Blended Learning Toolkit

In-Class Online

When teaching in the classroom, you could use the technology to increase student engagement in different kinds of activities and enhance their learning experience. As UBC instructor, you have access to various learning or content management systems such as Connect (Blackboard Learn), WordPress or MediaWiki. These platforms provide multiple ways of delivering course materials online in advance to the students who can be more prepared for in-class activities. A good way to maximize their learning experience!

Connect (Blackboard Learn)
This learning management system provides a series of tools and features to support the classroom instruction and give more flexibility to teaching and learning. It can be used for different purposes, to upload and develop content online, communicate and/or evaluate the students online.

CMS or UBC Blogs using WordPress
As an instructor, you might be interested in developing course content online available to the students in advance. Students can access learning materials before coming to class and be more prepare for class activities and discussions. What is the difference between CMS and Blogs?

UBC MediaWiki
Wiki's are a collaborative tool that breaks down confined user roles so that anyone can be an editor, an author or a publisher. MediaWiki is a platform where students could produce learning materials and submit their assignment online.

E-Mail and Internal Messages

Allow the instructor and/or the students to send e-mail to other students inside Connect. It works like a listserv.

This tool is extremely effective to send messages to the students without having to send them an e-mail. The messages is posted within Connect and can be made available at all time or at specific dates. The instructor can publish an Announcement to provide any useful information to the students regarding an exam, an additional reading posted or an activity to complete online before coming to class, etc.

Discussion Board
The discussion board or forum allows the instructor and all the students or groups of students (using the group feature within Connect) to discuss different kinds of topics. The forum can be an interesting way of starting a discussion online before coming to class, or pursuing a discussion not finished in class. This tool is also extremely interesting to provide immediate and frequent feedback to the students. When dealing with a large group, discussions can also be facilitated by teaching assistants.
Connect/Blackboard Collaborate
Blackboard (Bb) Collaborate Web Conferencing is an online classroom software where you can facilitate classes, meetings, presentations, discussion groups via an interactive web conferencing tool. As an instructor, you could have guest speakers at distance.

UBC CMS or UBC Blogs

Students can post messages on specific topic and start a discussion with all the other students and the instructor.

PulsePress or liveblogging provides continuous, “rolling” coverage of a live event. Perhaps the best known example of liveblogging is Twitter. PulsePress allows students to rate and evaluate certain posts, and provide useful feedback. The instructor can use PulsePress to identify relevant topics to the students and target the needs in terms of learning.

Subscribe2 (not available by default on WordPress)
This widget can be used to send automatic messages to the students when a new post or page is created. However, students could also subscribe to a specific page should they be interested in receiving notifications when a new post is published.

UBC Wiki
Wiki's are a collaborative tool that breaks down confined user roles so that anyone can be an editor, an author or a publisher.

To evaluate and assess students, Connect provides a variety of tools that are not available on WordPress and on MediaWiki. For assignments and tests, Connect is extremely valuable and effective!

Test and Quizzes
You can create tests to evaluate students using different kinds of questions (multiple-choice, multiple-choice, true/false, short-essay, etc.). These tests are calculated automatically by Connect, except for the essay and short-essay questions that require the instructor or TA to grade them.

As an instructor, you can create a drop-box where students can submit their assignments individually or in groups. This submission process is more effective as it compiles all the submissions under one spot.

Rubrics you could use rubrics to evaluate students’ assignments and clarify your expectations with a list of criteria and levels of performance. This tool can be used to evaluate within Connect and provide feedback directly to the students.

Grade Centre
This tool allows you to make grades available at all time to the students. You can also export the Full Grade Centre or a specific test or assignment grades as an Excel spreadsheet.

There are different ways of engaging students in classroom discussions using the technology.

Clickers (or Student Response Systems) are wireless handheld devices that allow students to respond to classroom polls and quizzes, regardless of class size and common student dynamics. Other clickers systems are available on the Web as free softwares, allowing students to respond to questions posted online directly from their laptop or smartphone. The clickers can be an effective tool to enhance student participation in the classroom. Resource links here.

PulsePress (available on WordPress)
PulsePress or liveblogging provides continuous, “rolling” coverage of a live event. Perhaps the best known example of liveblogging is Twitter.

Lecture Capture (MediaSite)
This is a lecture capture system. As instructor, you might be interested in recording parts of your class when students are presenting a project or for class interactions. You could reuse the recording and publish it on Connect should you be interested in using it as learning materials.

Kaltura is a video platform that allows you to upload video files directly from Connect.

Camtasia is a powerful screencasting tool that also supports video editing. It is available in Windows and Mac versions. There are differences between Camtasia for Mac and for Windows, depending on your purpose and what you are using it for note this breakdown chart between the two.

Snagit helps you capture great looking images and videos with just a few clicks. Easily customize your screen captures with effects, or show off what's important with Snagit’s markup tools.

DIY Media Site
The UBC DIY Media site is full of resources to help you plan and succeed in any DIY Media project.