There are many ways to use technology to support active learning techniques.
NOTE: Technologies mentioned in this collection may not all necessarily be UNL-supported. While the university highly encourages exclusively using university-supported technology, instructors may go outside what’s mentioned here. However, be aware that doing so will mean university ITS (Information Technology Services) will be unable to assist you with any troubleshooting.
Polling (in or out of class):
- If you want to poll in class, add an iClicker to the required course materials. iClicker polling is a great way to find out if your class is understanding the concepts you are covering. Consider using questions from "Stump Your Partner" exercises if you do those first. Additionally, students are likely to be honest because they are anonymous. Polling can be done both individually or in groups. Polling may also be done during Zoom sessions using Zoom's polling tool.
- If you want to assign a poll out of class, consider using tools such a the quiz or survey tools in Canvas to get honest assessments from your students. This is also a useful technique if you want to ask more in-depth questions that are challenging with iClickers.
- If you want to show an educational video, have the students analyze the purpose of the video together. Allow for group time so students can share any thoughts or questions they may have, then have the groups share with the rest of the class.
- Not all multimedia has to be directly educational, keep an eye out for concept parallels to popular media and satire as well. Showing an entertaining or funny video can help students remember the significance of a topic.
Research and Quizzes:
- Consider using competitive in-class quizzes like Kahoot to test for comprehension. Students need a smartphone or laptop to log in to your Kahoot quiz, but they are free to be as anonymous as they want. As Kahoot has its own point system, you can incentivize by having reward tiers for the top three winners like treats or extra credit. (Note: Kahoot is not a UNL-supported service, so instructors who opt to use this tool or other non-supported applications, will be responsible for answering questions about the tool. Contact an instructional designer for your college for ideas on how to accomplish the same goal with supported tools.) Using quiz features in Canvas is another option and is UNL-supported
- Have tech or research days. Allow students to work in groups to research a course-related topic (the choice can be yours or theirs) before coming back to the class and sharing what they learned. Perhaps have everyone find a related video and post the URL to a collaborative document you've created and shared. Then, you can pull them up for the rest of the class and have each group explain their video. This can also be extended to discussion boards on Canvas.
For a couple more ideas on how to use Canvas to interact with students, consider Manda Williamson and Cal Garbin's Just In Time Teaching PDF or their Barely Late Teaching PDF from their July 2020 "Teaching Strategies that Increase Instructor-Student Connection" workshop.