Integrating a new technology into your online course can feel intimidating. You’ve already put a lot of thought into your course, and you’ve likely taught this iteration of the course many times. But like all our comfortable, lived-in spaces, activities, assessments, and content in our course might slowly break down or become out-of-date. After your course has concluded and you are preparing its next iteration, consider integrating a piece of educational technology that may help improve the course experience for your students. This course improvement, large or small, is a great opportunity to freshen up your course and improve engagement and outcomes for your students! Here are three of our favorite fun, free tools for you to consider:
Poll Everywhere is an awesome tool to engage your students through online polling, surveys, Q&As, quizzes, word clouds, and more! You can either link to or embed a Poll Everywhere activity into your online course pages. For example, you might consider including an end-of-module poll to quickly understand if students feel comfortable with new concepts introduced that week.
Poll Everywhere provides free “intro” accounts. With these free accounts you can create unlimited questions and have access to the support center and web tutorials. However, free accounts do have a limit on audience size (25 participants). Upgraded accounts are also available for a monthly fee.
Historically, Quizlet has been used by students in order to create flashcards and learning games for their face-to-face and online courses. However, consider creating your own Quizlet activities to share with students to help prepare them for big exams or practice their newest knowledge and skills. You can either link to Quizlet activities or embed them into your course for easy access!
Quizlet provides free basic accounts and 30-day trials of QuizletPlus for Teachers. Plus, accounts allow you to utilize different types of questions, track students’ progress, remove ads, create diagrams, and more.
If you’re hoping to take your course videos to the next level for your students, consider checking out Powtoon! Powtoon gives you the freedom to create professional and fully customized videos in an easy-to-use platform.
Powtoon provides free accounts which allow you to create short (less than 3 min.) videos with Powtoon branding. This is a great choice for faculty who want to create short module overview or module summary videos. There are also Lite, Professional, and Business accounts available for a monthly fee or Teacher Accounts for $8/mo.
Speak with your on-campus or AP Instructional Design teams to learn more about free educational technology options for your course or tools available on your campus!